The following is the complete review of Taking Flight as featured in the Kirkus Reviews magazine dated Jan. 15th, 2014 followed by a link to the Kirkus Reviews website. ST
CreateSpace (464 pp.)
$13.50 paperback, $4.95 e-book
ISBN: 978-1482662467; April 3, 2013
Tritto’s sparkling debut novel succeeds as a gripping tale of one man’s self-discovery.
Tritto, a veteran short story author, tells the story of Anthony Bartolo, a product manager for a high-tech firm. He and his wife, Bernadette, a buyer for an upscale department store, are DINKs—dual incomes, no kids—living well in the suburbs, as are the couples with whom they socialize. By most standards, Anthony should be content, but he still feels unfulfilled - a good thing, narratively speaking, since these characters are fairly unappealing early in the novel. Then life throws some changes at the Bartolos and their friends.
Anthony is blindsided when he loses his job, which leaves him casting about for what he wants to do with his life. Such ruminations could come off as whiny, but in Tritto’s capable hands, Anthony blossoms. A member of their group dies while doing charitable work in El Salvador, and Anthony, the only one with time on his hands, volunteers to retrieve his remains. In fact, he selfishly does so without consulting Bernadette, further threatening their crumbling relationship.
Anthony’s worldview changes once he lands in the Central American country, which is populated by believable characters, including his guide, Col. Juan Hernandez, a former rebel leader who serves as security for Anthony during his trip. While Anthony jumps through bureaucratic hoops in order to take his friend home, he learns to appreciate the ways of El Salvador while navigating its dangers and tragedies. Anthony arrives in El Salvador as a well-meaning but sometimes-ugly American, yet he comes back a changed man, bearing precious cargo: not only his friend’s body, but also a secret from his friend’s other life.
Anthony doesn’t know what he wants to do, but he knows he doesn’t want his old life. Tritto helps Anthony evolve from a self-absorbed yuppie to a man more empathetic to those around him, a man readers can root for even if he still doesn’t truly know himself.
A novel that artfully spans two cultures, from a talented new author ready to take wing.
Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media LLC, 6411 Burleson Rd., Austin, TX 78744
- Stephen Tritto
- San Jose, California
- STEPHEN TRITTO was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He volunteered for the U.S. Air Force at the age of seventeen after graduating from high school. His four year military experience served as his “coming of age" period. He returned to Brooklyn to continue his college education and pursue a career in software technology and management followed by a move to Silicon Valley. He held several executive management positions before pursuing his passion for writing fiction. Winning the 2006 Red Wheelbarrow (S/E) short story competition for “The Cherries and the Holster” convinced him to stay with it. He began a five year project that produced his first novel “Taking Flight.” He has just completed a collection of short stories scheduled to be published in 2014. The author’s other interests include amateur astronomy and kayaking which he often manages to bring in to his writing. His interest in the skies and oceans “provides an excellent perspective to life and a reminder of our place in the world.” The author may be reached at Steve95135@gmail.com. He and his wife, Peggy, live in San Jose, CA
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Monday, November 18, 2013
A novel by Stephen Tritto
Murder, assassination, betrayal and revenge alter the lives of four seemingly successful couples living ordinary lives in Hempstead, New York.
Anthony Bartolo was an up and coming high tech hot shot who measured success by the toys he acquired. His life in Hempstead starts to unravel and he finds himself on a noble mission in Post-Civil War El Salvador. There, his life and that of Colonel Juan Hernandez, a former officer in the rebel forces, become linked forever facing life and death as Anthony’s mission changes radically.
His experience in El Salvador inspires him to change his life, but first he must reconcile the murderous revenge taken in the name of defending his life, his personal history and a disintegrating marriage with his new found values. The characters in Taking Flight are flawed, but the Salvadoran spirit provides hope for survival and possibly even redemption.
From Amazon Reviews:
5 of 5 Stars: "...I didn't want to put it down."
5 of 5 Stars: "I'd just call it a darn good read."
5 of 5 Stars: "A page turning experience...a must read."
5 of 5 Stars: "...I raced to the end."
5 of 5 Stars: " A great read!"
5 of 5 Stars: "There are so many subjects that Mr. Tritto incorporates into this novel, including gluttony, adultery empathy, murder, disloyalty, corruption, and reflection on oneself. He invokes so many different emotions on the reader, that you can't help but be completely immersed into the story."
5 of 5 Stars: "It is a journey of forgiveness, acceptance, soul searching and the courage of one man to make a change in his life. Read it, for it will put you in a reflective state of mind and it just may make you realize what’s really important in life."
5 of 5 Stars: "Mr. Tritto has created a work addressing everyday issues such as corporate greed, adultery, compassion, philanthropy, murder, betrayal, and healing. The reflective portions of the story occur in El Salvador and the book title actually pays homage to the spirit of the people of that country."
5 of 5 Stars: "the author handles Anthony's confrontation with murder deftly and with welcome restraint...the story does not conclude with a trite redemptive package."
4 out of 5 Stars: "I would definitely give this book 4 out of 5 stars. As soon as I finished it, I was recommending it to my friends and family. The main character, Anthony, is well developed and you find yourself experiencing some of the same emotions that he goes through."
4 out of 5 Stars: "I will give Taking Flight 4 stars. It starts slowly but is worth the wait. It's a well written story with believable characters and engaging dialogue."
4 out of 5 Stars: "The story and plot line were very well written...I was challenged on more than one occasion which I deem to be masterful writing that evokes emotion. It's something that every author strives for and this author achieved it."
Link to complete Amazon Reviews, Sample and Ordering Information: Amazon
From Self Publishing Review (SPR):
4 of 5 Stars: "This is a good read and page turner..."
"There is something of Richard Yates to this masculine, set straight American style ..."
"An interesting and heartwarming read which would make a good movie""
Link to Complete Self Publishing Review: SPR
Interview of author by Angela Hill of Bay Area News Group, March 2014:
at 11:32 PM