Reviews By Prominent Authors & Critics

“SELLOUT is witty, vibrant, spilling over with experience and true to its material. Some scenes will remain with me permanently, such as the wrestling and the opera-struck rhino—which strikes me on a par with Leventhal in the zoo contemplating the ape in The Victim—as will Gordon Bancroft. He's an authentic robust hero, comic and serious at the same time, a much meatier creation than many of his pale contemporaries. It’s a most readable and enjoyable novel.”

— Alan Lelchuk Author of American Mischief, Miriam at Thirty-four and many others; a longtime professor at Dartmouth he is a co-founder of Steerforth Press.

“SELLOUT proceeds almost flawlessly, detailing the artist's temptations with money and ego, and lampooning the hamburger-hungry hoi-polloi and the critics and teachers who control art in America... SELLOUT throbs with intriguing, well-developed characters and genuine enthusiasm for opera and art in general. The author possesses a flair for detailing realistic relationships and all the forces that affect them. He also has a great sense for clever, comic writing...”

— Dallas Morning News.

“(In SELLOUT) Putnam has so many ideas and such beautiful patience with them, staying with them until their nuances are fully played out... In the same vein the narrator’s charm and self-effacement, his unique and amazing patience—painterly, it occurs to me—seems applied to a worthy mystery: how to live, what to do. I wanted more of the trip with Sarah...’”

— Julie Edelson Author of No News is Good, Bad Housekeeping, The Fat Friend and Courting Disaster


By Jeff Putnam

In the third novel about his life, Gordon Bancroft, no longer a boozer and layabout, is overtaken by karma when he opens a restaurant with chamber music in a pub called the Fife and Drum, whose owner, Brian—a once-dapper Englishman who turns out to be near death from drink—forces him to cope not only with martial music but with his Valkyrian daughters, their restive zombie friends and mob-family quarrels. When Bancroft brings in opera, Brian makes a last-ditch grab at fame and solvency as an impresario of women’s wrestling, forcing Lauritz Melchior into the Ring with tag-team Brünnhildes.

(The above introduction was given a cameo in America’s Entertainment Weekly as “Flap copy of the year.”)

eBook & Paperback versions available.

Other Novels By This Author


About the author

Born in New York and educated mostly in New England and California, Jeff Putnam traveled extensively throughout his life, working professionally as a singer, with periods of settlement in France and Spain. In Europe he sang in opera houses and was successful busking in cafes and on the streets. After a trip to Dallas, Texas, to be with two children of his second wife he met Jane Howle, also a writer, and married her. Ms. Howle saw promise in four books (among many) that Putnam had written about his life, and published them under a new imprint called Baskerville Publishers (after a family name) which went on to publish more than fifty books by promising or neglected authors like her new husband. Putnam worked for her as editor-in-chief under a different name (Samuel Chase) throughout the 90s. Health issues forced the sale of Baskerville to a Fort Worth businessman but when Putnam recovered he continued to run it from 2000 to 2004, and then began publishing with his own imprint (Avenue Publishers). From 2003 the couple have dwelt off and on in Canada, where Putnam has sung with Opera New Brunswick and given concerts in New Brunswick and Maine (in 2003 he was Colline in a production of La Bohème by Maine Grand Opera; in 2007 he had a part in an Opera New Brunswick performance of La Traviata). He and his wife now reside in Dallas close by their son Samuel and Christian, a son by another marriage. Putnam has daughters in Florida and Belgium. His Belgian daughter, Justine, ran a restaurant for some years in Antwerp and now runs a company that translates and edits books for Belgian authors. Jeff and Jane are now contemplating retirement in West Texas after Jane has built her dream house there of hemp-lime construction (see Abner DDAY).