THE RIB FROM WHICH I REMAKE THE WORLD by Ed Kurtz

rib-coverChizine Publications

September 2016

THE RIB FROM WHICH I REMAKE THE WORLD starts out as a mystery novel, a murder occurs and the hotel detective must figure out who did it; however, the book takes a turn to horror after the murder. As things take a turn towards the macabre, hotel detective George “JoJo” Walker must look deep inside himself to learn the secrets of the traveling “hygiene show” that has turned his rural town in Arkansas upside down. The traveling show has a special invite-only midnight show. There’s no nudity here, but the movie shows each viewer their own personal nightmare on the big screen. Some nightmares reveal the viewer’s deepest fears, where others dredge up horrible events from the viewer’s past.

Author Ed Kurtz’s pacing and story structure is astounding. Kurtz uses the first chapter to give the reader all they need to know about JoJo, all while he is on a quest to find a match for his cigarette. During this quest, we learn about JoJo’s past, his coworkers on the night shift at the hotel, and that a “hygiene” movie is coming to town. None of this development feels rushed or forced. You can tell from the seamless transitions from scene to scene that Kurtz is a fan of cinema. The book feels like a movie.

Kurtz also excels at character development. Early in the book we are introduced to Theodora, the movie theater owner’s wife. She starts out as a lonely housewife that doesn’t see her husband on a regular basis because of his work and mistress. She’s mousey and isn’t happy. As the book progresses, she calls on her inner strength and becomes stronger than she thought possible. Kurtz took a character that could have easily become a throw-away victim in the story, but he gave her an integral role.

To be honest, horror novels are not usually my forte. Ed Kurtz proved to me that not all horror novels have to be blood and guts and gore. Don’t get me wrong, those elements are in THE RIB FROM WHICH I REMAKE THE WORLD, but Kurtz balances them with engaging characters and a captivating story.

 

Kate Malmon

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