Praise for Cutter’s Island

Cutter’s Island is a perfect, flawless gem, without a false note anywhere. In prose as spare as Caesar’s own, Mr. Panella makes surfaces reflect surfaces, with the sense of bottomless depths beneath. He packs more between the lines, and between chapters, than most writers deliver in books and books.

– Steven Pressfield, author of Gates of Fire

 

…written in a pithy, vigorous prose reminiscent of Caesar’s classic style, Cutter’s Island summons up the violence, danger, and intrigue of the Roman world, investing events long past with a fresh sense of immediacy. Read Full Review

– Los Angeles Times

 

“It is like an epic poem. There is great complexity to the characters, which doesn’t always happen in historical fiction.” Read Full Review

– Anita Miller, Publisher’s Weekly

 

…the world was different then. If you want to find out how different and read a fact-based adventure story that puts breath and blood into ancient history, read Cutter’s Island.

– Barre-Montpelier Times-Argus.

 

Unlike many writers of historical fiction, the author doesn’t overburden his prose with period detail. Instead, through concise description and subtle inference, he allows the reader to construct the past in his her own mind. It’s not so much what he puts in but what he carefully leaves out. Caesar is the story’s narrator and his style in undeniably modern, but even so there are no anachronisms, no jarring notes. The reader is not cajoled, but lulled backwards in time.

Praise for Cutter’s Island

Cutter’s Island is a perfect, flawless gem, without a false note anywhere. In prose as spare as Caesar’s own, Mr. Panella makes surfaces reflect surfaces, with the sense of bottomless depths beneath. He packs more between the lines, and between chapters, than most writers deliver in books and books.

– Steven Pressfield, author of Gates of Fire

 

…written in a pithy, vigorous prose reminiscent of Caesar’s classic style, Cutter’s Island summons up the violence, danger, and intrigue of the Roman world, investing events long past with a fresh sense of immediacy. Read Full Review

– Los Angeles Times

 

“It is like an epic poem. There is great complexity to the characters, which doesn’t always happen in historical fiction.” Read Full Review

– Anita Miller, Publisher’s Weekly

 

…the world was different then. If you want to find out how different and read a fact-based adventure story that puts breath and blood into ancient history, read Cutter’s Island.

– Barre-Montpelier Times-Argus.

 

Unlike many writers of historical fiction, the author doesn’t overburden his prose with period detail. Instead, through concise description and subtle inference, he allows the reader to construct the past in his her own mind. It’s not so much what he puts in but what he carefully leaves out. Caesar is the story’s narrator and his style in undeniably modern, but even so there are no anachronisms, no jarring notes. The reader is not cajoled, but lulled backwards in time.

Praise for The Other Side

A memoir subtitled Growing Up Italian in America, The Other Side, with photographs by Susan Sichel, is a portrait of three generations of an immigrant family written from the perspective of one who bridged the two opposing cultures, worldly American and traditional Italian. This is a book of journeys: a family’s journey from southern Italy to Hell’s Kitchen and the New York suburbs and a young man’s journey to a sense of identity.

…A colorful, bittersweet memoir, a sensitive rendering of immigrant culture as found in one man’s family.
– Publishers Weekly

…Vincent Panella’s sad, harsh, but loving remembrance of his Italian immigrant family….is a personal journey. Like so many other third and fourth generation immigrant Americans, Panella knows his heritage only vaguely through Americanized clichés. He comes to understand himself, finally, by digging up the family roots.
– The Trenton Times

Central to Panella’s search for identity and self-knowledge is the haunting question of what cultural loss was accrued by these new Americans when they began to forsake their ties with “The Other Side,” Italy, the life-world of Naples and Sicily, for the streets of Manhattan, “paved with guns and gold.” For overshadowing Panella’s past is not only the gunman, the gangster with the violin case, but a people whose values were geared to “making it,” making it in the material American sense, making it with money alone.
– A. J. Montesi, St. Louis Globe-Democrat