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Paperback Ascension Book

ISBN: 184354752X

ISBN13: 9781843547525


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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good


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Book Overview

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... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Falling through life

ASCENSION, by Steven GallowayThere are few people who will not feel the fearful tension of observing another person conquering the high wire. It is a sense that normally can only be endured for relatively short spans of time. In this story Steven Galloway has his characters, led by the high wire artist Salvo Ursari, carefully and persistently walk that wire through a lifetime beginning in the 1920's of central Europe and ending across the Atlantic in America ending in 1975. It is a lifetime of unrelenting suspense. Like the wire itself, the technique of maintaining constantly recurring emotions of success bordering on disaster throughout a book is a path that is very fine and perilous. If an author is not careful the intense apprehension of so many situations may overcome the reader and all is lost, just as with the wire artist who pushes himself too far and falls. Shakespeare recognized that an audience can endure only so much before comic relief is required to preserve the life of a story. There is precious little comic relief to be found in this book. Somehow Mr. Galloway just manages to stay barely within the allowed limits that keep his story from floating quickly downward into the abyss of ludicrous nothingness. This is a book in which anxiety is so pervasive as to nearly bring the story over the line of reality. A large part of the thrill of this book is that the author manages, like his high wire artist character, to stay just inside the bounds that avoid disaster. It is not an easy discipline. As Salvo Ursari carefully steps through life, starting as an Hungarian gypsy and ending as something of an American circus super star, he and his family embroil the reader into most, if not every strength, weakness, and emotion known to mankind. The loyalty and prejudices of the group; love and hatred; jealousy and attachment; carelessness and curiosity; pride and humility; bravery and cowardice; fear and courage; simple family life and corporate politics; strength and frailty; pain and joy; and of course life and death are all found in the lives of his characters. This is a story. A story of life, a story of stories. Truth is revealed, sometimes sharply and sometimes vaguely. As specific events unfold one always knows what is coming yet the story remains an intriguing mystery. A person might ask upon finishing the story "What was that all about?' at the same time there is likely to be a sense of gratitude for having read it and for the author having written it. Very entertaining.

Rising Above

Steven Galloway has written a remarkable book. "Ascension," is the story of Salvo Usari, the family he leaves behind, and the family he gathers around him. It's also an account of the persecuted Rom, or gypsy culture, the metaphors and techniques of tight-rope walking, and the lives of "circus people." The story starts with a hair-raising account of a tight-rope walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center, and as I wondered where the author could possibly go from chapter one, I found myself traveling the world with the extended Usari family from one adventure to another. Mr. Galloway seasons the telling with stories within the story, and it matters not whether they sprang full blown from his imagination, or are, in fact, the secret tales of the Rom. They are marvelous inventions that root the family in an ancient culture, and help explain the vicissitudes of their time on earth.Other than its obvious details, "Ascension," is an aptly titled meditation on rising to the heights of your abilities, and maintaining your balance once the height is achieved. All the characters, none more than Salvo Usari, climb above their circumstances, but one solid rule of physics wins out - what goes up, must come down."Ascension," is a book for everyone. It belongs on any adult, young/mature, or family reading list, and I hope, like the Usari family, it finds the audience it deserves. Highly recommended.


I simply couldn't put this book down. Salvo Ursari is a rom wire walker who performs in the circus. The novel opens with him walking between the towers of the world trade center, and this one scene is so heart stopping, so well written that I was actually sweating. I bought the book for my daughter and she loved it too.

Book of the year

This is one of the most gripping books I've ever read. The first chapter is breathtaking. I read a lot of books, and this is the best one I've read this year, one of the best I've ever read. An unknown author whose work I highly recommend.


I love this book.I recently heard Mr. Galloway on the CBC talking about his writing and reading from this book. I usually don't buy hardcover books, but I was in the bookstore browsing for my nephew's birthday and I thought I should check out Ascension. The cover is beautiful, but the inside is even better! I started reading the first chapter, part of which I had heard on the radio earlier. He hooked me. I bought the book for my nephew and thought I could read it before I send it back east. Well, I read it, but couldn't give it up. I bought another copy to send!What makes it so good? The characters--Salvo, oh how I love Salvo. He breaks my heart. The stories. What happens. One of the things I love about this, is that you can see everything so vividly, but he never uses really poet language. The story is told simply and beautifully.I was haunted by the people in this book. Ascension is a very special story, full of special people. I HIGHLY recommend you purchase this book. You will fall in love.
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