G. Emil Reutter’s latest book of short stories, The House on the Edge of Town, is built upon what he calls “neighborhood people.” Reutter considers his writing fictional realism, he will see something that will spark an idea, and his imagination will do the rest.
The inspiration behind the namesake story The House on the Edge of Town, came when Reutter and his partner were driving, and he noticed a house that stood out to him.
“What’s that house doing there?” Reutter wondered. “Everything else is restored in the whole area, and this one house is just sitting there. So that’s why I came up with the idea, then I let my imagination go on.”
The character-driven stories are peppered with real locations throughout the city — a diner no longer there, at 17th and Chestnut called Little Pete’s, a couple who has a house in Fox Chase, and a young man driving down Frankford Avenue.
As violence rises in Philadelphia, one poem charges citizens to stand their ground. In the story, he describes a couple who go for a late-night meal at Little Pete’s. It goes on to describe a chaotic night where two men fighting outside the diner turns into a woman getting her purse stolen and a police chase to catch the bandit.
The last lines of the story are striking — the woman asks the man if it was worth the breakfast, and he responds with, “Yes, we will just have to park closer next time.” It serves as an ode to citizens of Philadelphia who refuse to let the violence scare them out of living their life or visiting their favorite restaurant.
The stories are ones that all different types of people can relate with. They are about Philadelphia, its citizens, and common experiences shared by them.
“I just think they [readers] should know that it’s character driven, neighborhood driven,” Reutter said. “It’s a piece of the fabric of the Northeast for the most part, and they just may see themselves in it when they read it.”
Readers can purchase The House on the Edge of Town, on Amazon. ••