Originally published 10/01/2016
A hardboiled crime novel meets an earthquake of speculative chaos, The Rib from Which I Remake the World uses historical period color and fantastical shadows to paint a darting, rough, small town tale. From the opening pages, this story showcases an endearing nature. I fucking love hardboiled pulp and this fell right in line. Grim and grimy, feeling crimey, then, almost out of nowhere, a man’s body comes apart and the fantasy spills free of the wounds, washing away any tethers still hitched to reality. The characters transform, suddenly filling endless gaps that were mostly unnoticed. Bits sprinkled in foreshadowing, yes, sure, but mostly the change occurs like starting a video and forgetting the surround sound was at maximum volume from the night before. The jarring effect of the change seeps throughout the story until everyone feels the connection and understands, or at least recognizes the need to follow, his or her part in the grand scheme.
There are freaks and monstrosities, a diabolical magician with seemingly limitless power. There are the rubes, pegged away like tin ducks at the BB shooting range. Insanity and gasoline fuel the frenzied finale: violence becomes secondary to the understanding and the remolding, which acts as a mostly insignificant bridge to the overall effect of the grand reveal.
Ed Kurtz writes with a strong voice and imagination befitting the calling. There were a few stuttering steps and flippant leaps in landscape, but little to detract from the overall vibe and entertainment of the story.
Come one, come all, The Rib From Which I Remake the World is vivid, textured, colorful, and worth the price of admission. It’s fun, strange and quick to engage.
Available now from Open Road Media