In a tale both bitter and sweet, Joe Cosentino explores the college coming-of-age memories of Jonathan Bello – an actor who has reached the apex of his career. On the night he wins his Oscar, Jonathan mentally thanks David for being many of his firsts. David was his first college roommate, his first looking-glass into other people’s lives, and his first love. In every way, David was his first adventure.
The author turns back the playbook on the poignant memories, allowing his characters to act them out in Jonathan’s wistful reminiscence. You will be with the boys as David gets people to open up about their lives, giving Jonathan real-life character studies upon which to base his acting decisions. You will also be with the boys as Jonathan tries desperately to get the experienced, vibrant, and charismatic David to love him back.
The humor in this book is subdued, and largely relegated to the supporting characters. Pay close attention to the hyperventilating, possibly hypochondriac acting teacher – you may see him in a movie some day. Also pay attention to Barry, Jonathan’s in-class acting partner – he retreats to Jewish stereotypes as a deflective mask.
It’s a quick read. It’s short, yet weighty in the way award-night memories tend to be. A Shooting Star will deliver the traditional masks of the theatre – tragedy and comedy – in equal measure.