When Rudd Theurer, a high schooler whose father has committed suicide, embarks on a school project, he stumbles upon
a series of newspaper articles from the early 20th century chronicling a vicious murder committed by a grandson of Mormon
leader Brigham Young. Delving deeply into the Mormon ritual of blood sacrifice that seems the basis of the murder,
Rudd, along with his newly discovered half-brother, Lael, becomes swept up in the psychological and atavistic
effects of a century old ritual killing.
As the past and the present become an increasingly tangled knot, Rudd is found at the scene of a multiple
murder at a remote campsite, severly injured and comatose, but alive. When, months later, he regains consciousness,
Lyndi, the daughter of the victims, tries to help him recover his memory and, together, they find a strength
unique to survivors of terrible tragedies. But Rudd, desperate to protect Lyndi and unable to let the past be
still, tries to manipulate their Mormon wedding ceremony to trick the priests (and God) by giving himself and
Lyndi new secret names-names that match the killer and the victim in the one hundred-year-old murder. The
nightmare has just begun . . .
"Whenever I try to describe the resonant and disturbing literature
that Horror, whether acknowledged or not, lately has found itself
capable of producing, I find myself alluding to Brian Evenson, along
with Graham Joyce and a few others: of these splendid younger
writers, Evenson places himself furthest out on the sheerest, least
sheltered narrative precipice—narrative at the far edge of
narrative possibility—where he can speak clearly and plainly of loss, violence, and pain.
THE OPEN CURTAIN is, very simply, a stunning book."
"Brian Evenson is one of the most distinguished, probing, and courageous writers of his generation. His work has never flinched from addressing the most difficult, dangerous issues, and with The Open Curtain he leads us into a world few have lived in specifically, but resonates in all our lives. Family, secrecy, truth, anger, history, the desire to belong, the need to discover oneselfóall these fundamentals are the grist in the mill of Evensonís marvelous, disturbing novel."