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Publisher's Summary

At Rye Adler’s funeral, they didn’t bury his body - or the rivalry of his closest enemy. A gripping literary thriller by the author of the “wrenching and exhilarating” All Things Cease to Appear (Wall Street Journal).

Julian Ladd and Rye Adler cross paths as photography students in the exclusive Brodsky Workshop. When Rye needs a roommate, Julian moves in, and a quiet, compulsive envy takes root, assuring, at least in his own mind, that he will never achieve Rye’s certain success. Both men are fascinated with their beautiful and talented classmate, Magda, whose captivating images of her Polish neighborhood set her apart, and each will come to know her intimately - a woman neither can possess and only one can love. 

Twenty years later, long after their paths diverge, Rye is at the top of his field, famous for his photographs of celebrities and far removed from the downtrodden and disenfranchised subjects who’d secured his reputation as the eye of his generation. When Magda reenters his life, asking for help only he can give, Rye finds himself in a broken landscape of street people and addicts, forcing him to reckon with the artist he once was, until his search for a missing boy becomes his own desperate fight to survive.

Months later, when Julian discovers Rye’s obituary, the paper makes it sound like a suicide.  Despite himself, Julian attends the funeral, where there is no casket and no body. This sudden reentry into a world he thought he left behind forces Julian to question not only Rye’s death but the very foundations of his life.

In this eerie and evocative novel, Elizabeth Brundage establishes herself as one of the premiere authors of literary fiction at work today.

©2021 Elizabeth Brundage (P)2021 Little, Brown & Company

Critic Reviews

"An ambitious, literary novel, The Vanishing Point is distinguished by its characterizations, its pervasive air of melancholy, and its beautiful style. Not surprisingly, there is a great deal of thought-provoking attention given to the meaning and aesthetics of photography, and, like great photography, the novel is ultimately a work of memorable art." (Booklist, starred review)

"Elizabeth Brundage's The Vanishing Point proves that she's one of the very best novelists writing today. It touches on crises that are politically immediate, of the moment, from climate change to income inequality to drug addiction. It gifts the reader with wisdom and insight. The novel brings into the sharpest focus how precious this thing is called life." (Adam Ross, author of Mr. Peanut)

"In this dark-toned mystery, Brundage develops an engrossing story about a love triangle involving three photographers.... The first half of the novel brilliantly dissects the competitive and erotic entanglements that mark the characters, and Brundage is particularly good at using photographic theory to describe how each sees the world." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Vanishing Point

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Engaging Book

Took a few minutes but then I was hooked! Interesting, mysterious and well read.

I enjoyed how the story unfolded through the eyes of numerous characters. Back stories are presented clearly and with details.

The overall story lines are layered and connected well. An enjoyable listen.

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Great audible book except for one thing…

This was a riveting story from start to finish. The writing was engaging and the characters were luminous. However, the narrator who read Simone’s chapters might be one of the worst I’ve ever had to listen to. Her wooden performance was incredibly off putting and was only eclipsed by her ignorance of punctuation resulting in choppy and distracting syntax. Fortunately, the other performers did justice to the story so I was able to enjoy the book.

1 person found this helpful

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Vanishing Point in Art and in a Story

Central plot focuses on how photography influences the reality of life. Four people rise and stumble on a path led by photos. The story ends with superbly written descriptions of humans intertwined with the beauty of nature and forgiveness.

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Ugh! Had to STOP

I tried. I really did. I got a couple of hours into this book and just had to pull the plug. First of all, it was a verrrrry slow start and then there were absolutely NO characters worth liking or investing any more of my time in. I rarely give up on books, but this one was so tedious and awful.

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  • Joy, London
  • 07-11-21

Voice for Simone sucks.

It’s good candy - not high literature. There are few enlighten lines, but not as highbrow at it aspires. Whoever voiced Simone should find a different vocation.