Steve Kistulentz’s ambitious debut Panorama traces the story of a New Year’s Day plane crash at the Dallas airport. The novel follows several of the people connected to the crash in the day before the tragedy and those following it. Washington pundit Richard who specializes in free speech fisticuffs. A single mother returning to Dallas from a vacation weekend with her boss/ boyfriend. A young law student flying to take care of his ailing mother. These are only a few of Kistulentz’s characters who face the pain and realities of a mechanic’s neglect.
In spite of a solid premis, I felt like the writing suffered from several issues. Because Kistulentz reveals the crash in the first chapter, the book relies on its characters and writing to move the narrative. Yet the characters are somewhat cookie-cutter and predictable. The writing was dense, and the words seemed to be stacked upon others haphazardly.
I can not recommend Panorama. I believe there is great promise in Kistulentz’s writing, but this one did not create any mystery or tension for me. There are so many other good novels out there that explore the effects of these types of tragedies.
2 out of 5 stars
Thank you to NetGalley, Little, Brown, and Co, and Steve Kistulentz for the copy for review.