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Book Information: Ascension

Ascension (2003) [Novel]
by Steven Galloway Rating: No votes (Rate!)
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Summary (From the publisher):

The acclaimed author of Finnie Walsh turns from small-town hockey to the extraordinary intrigues of circus life during the heyday of the Big Top through the story of Salvo Ursari, undisputed master of the high wire.

As the novel opens, it is the summer of 1976. Salvo is 66 years old and has decided he can never retire. Already famous thanks to his days in an American circus, he has made a living in recent times performing solo walks of extraordinary difficulty. And so he finds himself attempting to accomplish the most difficult feat of his career: to walk a wire strung between the twin towers of the World Trade Center, 1350 feet from the ground.

Transylvania in 1919 is a place of poverty and persecution for the Rom people. Salvo follows his father to a village church, where the senior Ursari -- the only man who volunteers for the task -- is to climb the steeple to replace a large iron crucifix that had been removed for safe-keeping during the war. He restores the cross, but it is not properly attached and as they are leaving, it falls, killing a priest. When the villagers exact their revenge, Salvo’s parents are killed and he is separated from his brother and sister. Thus begins nearly a lifetime of being forced to flee from suspicion and misfortune that takes the reader from Europe to the US to British Columbia’s Fraser Valley and back to Manhattan.

Ascension combines powerful storytelling -- including stories of the Romany people, poverty-stricken but resourceful, and rich in legend -- with great surprise and originality; Steven Galloway makes it clear why he is one of the hottest young writers in Canada today.

Original title: Ascension
Original languages: English


Genre: FictionGeneral FictionLiterary Fiction/classics

Edition #1: Ascension

Ascension (2003)
Edition Details:

Language: English

  • "What makes Ascension worth the read is Galloway’s storytelling powers; his is a self-possessed voice that seamlessly weds narrative and tone. . . . Galloway has the power to move and astonish, seemingly without sweat or effort." Quill & Quire
  • "One of the most suspenseful introductory chapters in Canadian literature... Once you’re a handful of paragraphs into Ascension you’re rapt; this is a book that comples attention, then holds it throughout... His knack for a gripping story never falters." The Georgia Straight
  • "Galloway shows a rare flair for inhabiting minds at moments of exhilaration and peril... His attention to detail lends an uncanny veracity to the skywalk passages and the book has loads of neat lore... Ascension is a novel that has stuck in my mind, and I don’t expect it to leave any time soon." The Montreal Gazette
  • "Steven Galloway negotiates a mesmerizing line…. Rising above all else soars the elegance of the storytelling. Galloway’s balance on the narrative line is a pleasure to experience." Vancouver Sun
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Manifested in:

Ascension (March 23, 2004)

Format: Paperback
Place of publication: Toronto
Publisher: Vintage Canada
ISBN: 9780676974607
Pages: 279

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Ascension (August 2003)

Format: Hardcover
Place of publication: New York
Publisher: Carroll & Graf
ISBN: 9780786712083
Dimensions: 5.8 x 8.6 x 1.1 in
Pages: 275

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Ascension (March 2003)

Format: Hardcover
Place of publication: Toronto
Publisher: Knopf Canada
ISBN: 9780676974614
Pages: 279

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