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Book Reviews, Fiction, Historical Fiction

Kirkus Reviews Gives Thumbs Up To Curtain Calls

The review of Curtain Calls arrived from Kirkus Reviews today. Needless to say I’m very pleased.

The review is posted below, but here’s a link if you want to see the actual Kirkus site: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/joseph-ponepinto/curtain-calls/

CurtainCalls_cover_3x4.5_72dpiKIRKUS REVIEW

This thoughtful debut novel illustrates the impact of war on three young Americans visiting Paris.

Ponepinto (The Face Maker, 2013) seamlessly blends two of his interests: World War I and vaudeville, in which his grandfather once performed. His novel is set just before the start of the Great War, when three American vaudeville performers find themselves drawn into the orbit of Jean Jaures, the French peace advocate whose speeches single-handedly managed to postpone the start of the European conflict for two years. With war in the air, Jack and Gus, who team in a lonesome-cowboy act, and Kera, “The Parisienne Nightingale,” find themselves stranded in Paris, where the owner of the club at which they’re playing refuses (or can’t afford) to pay his performers. Fed up with his unrequited love for Gus, Jack decides to come out, and their forays into gay nightlife culture reveal the underbelly of the French capital, specifically at the smoke-filled cabaret Le Secret. From this dingy nexus, the trio divides, each following a separate destiny and initially making questionable choices, as the young often do. Yet they mature against the backdrop of a steady march toward war, inevitable after the assassination of Jaures. As Gus explains, “There was no need for the factions to debate the war any longer. It would come now. He took a last drink of the chill, bitter coffee—this was what the future would taste like for the Parisians.” Blending real and fictional characters, Ponepinto remarkably sketches the end of an era for France, which is slipping into a war that ultimately sparks another. All this is seen through the naïve eyes of three Americans, blank slates for history to sketch upon as they admirably evolve.

A winning novel about how small missteps can result in global consequences.



About Joe Ponepinto

Co-publisher, with Kelly Davio, of Tahoma Literary Review. Author of "Curtain Calls," a featured Kirkus Review. Married to Dona. Dad to Henry, the coffee-drinkin' dog.


20 thoughts on “Kirkus Reviews Gives Thumbs Up To Curtain Calls

  1. Mazel Tov! Wonderful news. Will you release the e-book now or how will you proceed? Congratulations again.

    Posted by Stephanie Barbé Hammer | April 6, 2015, 2:23 PM
  2. Congratulations, Joe! Lovely review!

    Posted by Diana U. Dinverno | April 6, 2015, 2:46 PM
  3. Great news Joe, we’re very proud of you! I’m sure it was worth the wait and sacrifice. Getting this title into play probably cost you at least one or two titles in the BPL.

    Posted by socalsoxman | April 6, 2015, 3:03 PM
  4. Great news, Joe. I’ve been caring for my ailing mother and have not had time to catch up on my blog reading. So glad I picked today to do just that. Off to Amazon to buy Curtain Calls and do a little happy dance, to boot.

    Posted by Darrelyn Saloom | April 6, 2015, 3:17 PM
  5. Congratulations, Joe! A wonderful review. Of course, I’m not surprised. I also love the cover. Look forward to reading it.

    Posted by Diane DeCillis | April 6, 2015, 3:33 PM
    • Well I’m surprised—at least a little. Took me a while to suck up the courage to look at the review when they told me it was done.

      Posted by Joe Ponepinto | April 6, 2015, 11:07 PM
  6. I’m in the middle of Curtain Calls and I’m not surprised at the well deserved review. The story & characters have haunted both my sleeping and waking hours. Well done.


    Posted by Robert Hoffman | April 6, 2015, 3:41 PM
  7. Congrats Joe, your talent has always been there, ever since the Lemon Yellow. Great review.

    Posted by Jeff dexter | April 6, 2015, 5:56 PM
    • Thanks, Jeff. Actually the writing started long before Lemon Yellow. I used to do a neighborhood newspaper when I was 8. But Lemon Yellow is still one of the high points of my career.

      Posted by Joe Ponepinto | April 6, 2015, 11:09 PM
  8. Congratulations aplenty, Joe. I’m going to buy my own copy of your book from Amazon, and as soon as I do, I’ll put up a review for you on my site, which granted is small potatoes, but something. Congratulations on the Kirkus and the brouhaha and all the excitement and the smiling faces and just all of it! I know of few people who deserve it more!

    Posted by shadowoperator | April 7, 2015, 6:07 AM
  9. CONGRATULATIONS Joe. Love this review.

    Posted by Teri | April 9, 2015, 11:21 AM
  10. Fantastic! Well done.

    Posted by Downith | April 9, 2015, 4:17 PM

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