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Item #: BK884A-349
THE ASCENT [Novel] Jeff Long 1992 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine
By Long, Jeff
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Detailed Product Description

New York, 1992, 1st edition. 288 pp. Hardcover with dust jacket. Fine

Climbers attempt Everest from the North side. Includes mountaineering and the Tibetan - Chinese conflict. 

Winner of the Boardman - Tasker Prize.

Review 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 defacto 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.

Review From Library Journal

The author of Angels of Light (Morrow, 1987) here turns to adventure set in the Himalayas, as a group of American mountaineers attempt to climb Mount Everest. The characters have diverse motivations and backgrounds, and conflicts between the Chinese government and Tibetan nationals provide interesting foils to the Americans' saga of courage and survival. Beneath the conventional plot lies an existentialist drama of human nature and individual responsibility for one's actions. As the expedition begins to unravel, Long describes in sometimes graphic detail medical problems, emergency surgery under appalling conditions, and the constant possibility of death.

He reminds us that each person is the product of past choices. The provocative, by no means conventionally happy ending will have readers debating whether the expedition's final acts were courageous and responsible or merely inevitable. Highly recommended for all libraries.-- Stanley Planton, Ohio Univ. Chillicothe Lib. Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review 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 Mount Everest from the Tibetan side of the Himalayas. Burns was nominated by super climber 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 teenage 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


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