Last Call in the City of Bridges

“It was supposed to be the greatest night of our lives.”

It’s the eve of the Obama election. Change is in the air and hope is running high. And for twenty-five-year-old, self-proclaimed cool man Michael Bishop, so is the alcohol and the bluster. Working a dead-end job proofing subtitles on third-rate videos, Michael has kept his future at bay through a stream of boozy nights or by blowing time in front of his Nintendo. That is, until he meets Ivy Chase, the smart, pretty pastor’s daughter whose innocent charm takes his breath away. But Ivy turns out to be much more than Michael bargained for, and in a moment that surprises even him, he makes the decision of his life.

Smart, funny, poignant, and very, very timely, Last Call in the City of Bridges is a Bright Lights, Big City for the new millennium. With its memorable characters and unforgettable scenes, this insightful look into twenty-first-century America is a book you won’t want to put down.

Last Call in the City of Bridges was published on November 6th, 2012 by Braddock Avenue Books.





“Like the comic book heroes he obsesses over, Michael Bishop has an origin story, the story of the first wound that makes his powers necessary. In Last Call in the City of Bridges, Michael at last faces into that tragedy, resurfacing suddenly at the mid-point of his twenties, those years of snark and expectation spent proofreading DVD subtitles, drinking literature-themed cocktails, and pining over preacher’s daughters and college crushes. In this witty and charming debut, Salvatore Pane reminds us that while you can’t retcon your past, you can perhaps learn to live up to its responsibilities, by using your powers not necessarily to save the ones you love from loss, but to care for those left behind in its wake.”

Matt Bell, author of Cataclysm Baby

“Quite obviously, Salvatore Pane’s mind has been dunked in video games, social media, comic books, the WebNet, and everything else our august literary authorities believe promote illiteracy. I’d like to hand the authorities Pane’s novel–a funny, moving, melancholy, sad, and immensely literate book about what being young and confused feels like these days–and tell them, ‘See? Things are going to be fine!’”

-Tom Bissell, author of Extra Lives and Magic Hours

Last Call in the City of Bridges is Goodbye, Columbus 2.0, a poignant novel about looking for something real in a plastic world where Irony is Everything. This generational anthem is ultimately, despite all the 21st century detritus, an old-fashioned page turner, full of old verities and truths of the heart. Salvatore Pane’s voice is both new and necessary, one I know I’ll be reading for years to come.”

Cathy Day, author of The Circus in Winter and Comeback Season

“Salvatore Pane is the acknowledged Hipster Prince of Pittsburgh, PA, which is the acknowledged Paris of Middle America. If his publishers had taken my advice they would have titled his groundbreaking first novel: A Hipster’s Guide to the Galaxy, the Book of Laughter and Longing. His very humorous novel is voice and character driven, a virtual page turner. Yet for all its humor, the novel has an underpinning of real humanity. I was laughing out loud while at the same time gritting my teeth in shared, profoundly recalled embarrassment.”

-Chuck Kinder, author of Honeymooners and Last Mountain Dancer

“Like his post po-mo Facebook generation, Michael Bishop, the manic narrator of Last Call in the City of Bridges, has reached the end of his irresponsible youth. Stuck and unsure, he looks back at those eight-bit Nintendo years with tender nostalgia while trying to feel his way forward.  Like The Moviegoer, Salvatore Pane’s debut novel is a romantic ironist’s plea for authenticity in a fantastic age.  It’s telling–and hilarious–that his hero’s model for male adulthood isn’t William Holden but Super Mario.”

Stewart O’Nan, author of The Odds: A Love Story and Snow Angels


Reviews, Interviews, and Best of the Year Lists


Kelsey Hughes in The Fifth Floor 

Books and Booze‘s Best Books of the Year

Amber Sparks’ Best Books of 2012 in Big Other

Layne Ransom’s Best Books of 2012 in Vouched

Sandra Levis in Pittsburgh Quarterly

Ben Tanzer in This Book Will Change Your Life

Michael Wayne Hampton in Necessary Fiction

Ian Denning in Barnstorm

Tony Norman in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

James Brubaker in The Fiddleback

Joseph Fitzpatrick in NUVO

Robert Clark Young in Connotation Press

Kristofer Collins in Pittsburgh Magazine

Bill O’Driscoll in The Pittsburgh City Paper

Christopher Backley in HTMLGIANT

David S. Atkinson in PANK

Joellyn Powers in Used Furniture Review

Ben Wheeler-Floyd in Genre Lasanga

Wade Thiel in The Reflector

“Episode 41 – Salvatore Pane” with Renee Pickup, Jessica Taylor, and Dakota Taylor in Books and Booze

“Episode 25 – Sal Pane” with Dirk Walker in Inside Joke

“UIndy’s Salvatore Pane Holds Social Media up to the Mirror” with Michelle Freed in The Indianapolis Star

“Episode 12: Sal Pane Interview” with Mark Poulton in Talking About Our Issues

“The Voice of a Very Particular Subculture: An Interview with Salvatore Pane” with Jay Varner and Patrick Culliton in Talus, Or Scree

“Imagination structured: East Scranton native publishes first novel, plans local reading and signing Dec. 23″ with Josh McAuliffe in The Scranton Times

“Episode 129 – Salvatore Pane” with Brad Listi in The Other People Podcast

“Sal Pane Returns to Scranton for Reading” with Amye Archer in The Electric City

“‘I Have Naught Come Hither to Save You’: An Interview-in-Excerpts with Salvatore Pane” with Joseph Scapellato in The Collagist

“Salvatore Pane Last Call in the City of Bridges” an Interview with Teddy Wayne in The Huffington Post

“New English Professor Publishes Debut Novel” an Interview with Anna Wieseman in The Reflector

“The Raw Naked Urge of Just Being Alive: A Conversation with Salvatore Pane” with Joellyn Powers in Used Furniture Review


Book Tour

Indianapolis, IN, September 29, 7pm, Indy Reads: Vouched Presents, a reading with Amber Sparks, Lania Knight, Scott McClanahan, Sam Pink, Megan Boyle, Jordan Castro, and Mallory Whitten.

Pittsburgh, PA, October 6th, 7pm, UnSmoke Art Gallery: Wood-Fired Words, a reading with Sean Thomas Dougherty and Sarah Leavens.

Indianapolis, IN, November 5th, 7pm, Indy Reads: Word Lab.

Indianapolis, IN, November 16th, 8pm: Indy Reads: Vouched Presents, a reading with Matt Bell.

Champaign, IL, December 1st, 5pm: Mike and Molly’s Bar: Stories and Beer, a reading with Jen Percy

Scranton, PA, December 23rd, 4pm: Jack’s Draft House: A Very Merry (happy hour) presented by Prose in Pubs, a reading with Brian Oliu, Sarah Blake, and others

New York City, NY, January 3rd, 7pm: KGB Bar: #Boomshakalaka: A Reading With Teddy Wayne, Justin Taylor, Adam Wilson, and Salvatore Pane

Louisville, KY, February 16th, 8pm: Bearno’s Bar: A Valentine’s Day Vernacular Massacre: a reading with David James Keaton and Patrick Wensick

Boston, MA, March 7th, 8pm: The Sweetwater Cafe: Their Curious Ambitious: A Reading About America’s Presidents With Every Indie Writer Ever

Indianapolis, IN, April 5th, 7:30pm: Wheeler Arts Community First Friday Presents Salvatore Pane

Tuscaloosa, AL, April 13th, 3pm: The Tuscaloosa Transportation Museum: Streamline Modern: a reading with Carol Lynne Knight, Theresa Beckhusen, Barry Grass, Farren Stanley, and more

St. Louis, MO, June 22nd, 6:30pm: Cicero’s Bar: Books and Booze LIVE: a reading with Gordon Highland, Brandon Tietz, David James Keaton, Fred Venturini, and J David Osborne

Pittsburgh, PA, July 5th, 7pm: Remedy: Vouched Presents Pittsburgh with Chris Lee, Salvatore Pane, Jeffrey Condran, and Sheryl St. Germain

Seattle, WA, March 1st, 12:30pm: Black Coffee Coop: Beep Boop: An Offsite AWP Reading of Writers Reading About Video Games with Brian Oliu, Gabe Durham, and more

Pittsburgh, PA, April 12th, 5:00pm, Chatham University: The Minor Bird Launch Featuring Guest Reader Salvatore Pane

Selinsgrove, PA, April 14th, 7:30pm, Susquehanna University: Rivercraft Launch Featuring Guest Reader Salvatore Pane

Indianapolis, IN, Friday, August 1st, 7:30pm, Indy Reads: Vouched Presents Indy with Meagan Cass

Indianpolis, IN, Wednesday, October 8th, Venue: TBA, Vouched Presents Indy with Michael Martone


Book Trailer