Jeff Long The Ascent: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780688108885

The Ascent: A Novel

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9780688108885: The Ascent: A Novel
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In a novel set in the majestic Himalayas, ten men and two women brave the treacherous "dark side" of Mount Everest--a high-stakes adventure that pits climbers against their own fears

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From Kirkus Reviews:

The melodrama and suspense that weighed down Long's previous climbing novel, Angels of Light (1987), are jettisoned for a story of an American assault on Mt. Everest. Sino-Tibetan politics and the echoes of an old climbing disaster are the primary outside complications in this starkly realistic climbing adventure. Paramedic Abe Burns is the last- minute replacement for the medical member of ``Ultimate Summit,'' a team assault on Mt.Everest from the Tibetan side of the Himalayas. Burns was nominated by superclimber Daniel Corder, whose life Burns helped save on his first mountain rescue. The two men, who haven't seen each other since that time, have been psychically linked by their memory of Diana--Daniel's climbing partner who died slowly, trapped in the ice with only Abe for company after being abandoned by the teenaged Daniel. Now, after a trek from Nepal, the team--a mixed bag, including two women--gathers on the shoulder of the mountain to establish their base under the creepy, watchful eye of their Chinese host. During a long wait for their yak supply train, the climbers sort out their pecking order and become involved in the drama of a young Tibetan priest who's been the victim of Chinese political abuse. The spirit of the priest becomes critical to the climb itself--an ordeal described in unmistakably experienced detail. Rather long and devoid of creature comforts, but Long's well- researched story is outstanding for its grimly accurate and thoroughly unromantic depiction of one of the great wild adventures left on earth. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

The memory of a Wyoming climbing disaster 18 years earlier links two members of an expedition striving to conquer Mt. Everest. Long ( Angels of Light ) sets his second novel on the mountain's remote, virtually impassable Tibetan side, where a 12-person team challenging the (fictional) Kore Wall Route must cope with brutal Chinese occupation policies as well as the dangers of the climb itself. Daniel Corder is the expedition's de facto leader, while Abe Burns is the medic. Neither can afford to dwell on the past, but the disaster is never forgotten, leaving readers to wonder throughout how the tension will be resolved. Meanwhile, there's a moral dilemma concerning a Tibetan Buddhist monk who has escaped Chinese torture and who asks the team's succor. The author, himself an experienced climber, firmly establishes the obsessional aspects of high-altitude mountaineering and offers a superb depiction of the physical and psychological effects of ascending imperial heights. Techno-thriller fans will appreciate Long's detailed descriptions of modern high-tech climbing--from the use of specialized ropes to high-priced endorsements--and his frequent, effective use of military metaphors to emphasize the life-or-death nature of his characters' adventure.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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