It is the summer of 1976 and Salvo Ursari, a man of retirement age, is walking on a taut wire strung between the Twin Towers of New York s World Trade Center, almost fourteen hundred feet above the city Far below him in the gaping crowd stands his wife, Anna, to whom he has made a solemn promise This wire walk will end his career In this daring moment, Steven Galloway oIt is the summer of 1976 and Salvo Ursari, a man of retirement age, is walking on a taut wire strung between the Twin Towers of New York s World Trade Center, almost fourteen hundred feet above the city Far below him in the gaping crowd stands his wife, Anna, to whom he has made a solemn promise This wire walk will end his career In this daring moment, Steven Galloway opens his riveting novel about Salvo Ursari, whose life begins in 1919 amid a Transylvanian boyhood inhabited by gypsy folklore and inspired by the bravery of his persecuted people Salvo s story moves irresistibly from a tragic fire that envelops his family, to street life in Budapest, where he learns the skills of a wire walker, to the carnivals of Europe and the competitive world of the American circus Most fulfilled when living with paradox, Salvo feels safest while performing startling feats of balance on a wire high above the dangerous world and most endangered if performing above a net With compassion, warmth, and blazing originality, Ascension combines jaw dropping storytelling, and fantastical symbolism with mesmerizing detail of Romany and circus culture, and an unforgettable walk with the amazing Salvo Ursari.
Ascension It is the summer of and Salvo Ursari a man of retirement age is walking on a taut wire strung between the Twin Towers of New York s World Trade Center almost fourteen hundred feet above the ci
Heart stopping opening first chapter introducing the reader to Salvo walking a high wire between the twin towers in New York Wondered if this might spoil the book, knowing the ending, but it did not Characters were wonderful Loved Miksa, Salvo s father, and his ability to remain so positive despite his difficult life He accepted the troubles that faced him and focused on the moments of good Really interesting picture of Roma life and the conflict with Hungarian gdjaje This conflict ultimately le [...]
The novel opens with a tight rope walker on a high wire strung between the Twin Towers written prior to the attacks From the Galloway takes us to the childhood of a Roma boy and his journey to becoming a wire walker, traveling thru Europe, America and Canada We hear Roma stories and fables, learn a of their customs and lifestyles, and transition to the lives of circus performers.Galloway is an author known for impeccable research and an uncanny knack for bringing to life events and characters fa [...]
This book is an absolute joy from start to finish After the heartstopping first chapter, which reveals how it all ends, we return to the forests of Transylvania and Salvo s dramatic childhood with the Rom gypsies back in 1919 The story is then told quite sparsely and factually, through his orphan childhood in Budapest, his aptitude for acrobatics and learning the wire , his time with the Fisher Fielding circus in the US as part of a family death defying high wire act with its inevitable twists, [...]
I loved Galloway s Cellist of Sarajevo and wanted to like this one as much the writing is as beautiful and the descriptions of Salvo s wire life are amazing as are the Roma tales But the parts about life in the Fraser Valley on the farm, felt clunky And Anna didn t really come to life at all Of course, Salvo wasn t really living when he wasn t walking the wire, but what does this mean finally As one person wrote, the blocks are all there, but it s not clear what they add up to.
In case you re wondering why there are no stars, I don t think much of this novel.
Wonderful Beautifully written.
Loved it Had me hooked in the first chapter.
Suspenseful This book is indeed, very wonderfully written, and is filled with suspense Even though, I have to say, the topic isn t one that is typically the topic of suspenseful narratives There aren t superheros, car chases, killings and bombings, nothing like that It is just a book about the life of a Roma wire walker, and yet the author manages to fill the pages with narrative that not only makes the reader turn the page, but also be filled with literary suspense.See, this is the story of Sal [...]
Here he is timeless, one man on a wire far above it all, in a separate place He is not free, but he is as free as he will ever be Bury me however you do I will die standing Some people believe all animals are good I do not believe this I have seen an elephant stalk a man, always watching him with one eye, waiting for him to make a mistake, to get too close And I have seen that elephant crush his enemy, and I would swear the elephant enjoyed the man s screams and the crunching of his bones beneat [...]
This book had such potential for magic, and yet it often felt so mundane Here you have a story centered around the Usari family, and in particular, Salvo a man who walks the skies for a living And while we are told time and time again that this man IS special, you never really feel anything special when reading I know Steven Galloway is a brilliant story teller from his other works And while his other stories have burrowed under my skin, making me feel all the feels one can feel, this one did no [...]
This first chapter of this book grabbed me by the heart and didn t let go.It tells the story of Salvo, a wire walker who is attempting his greatest feat, walking the wire between the World Trade Center towers I was practically breathless reading that first chapter.After that first chapter the book goes back to Salvo s childhood in Transylvania He is a Rom, a gypsy and as such deals with some unfairness and some prejudice that lead to his becoming an orphan He is left to his own devices and short [...]
rising above fears, circumstances I first heard the first chapter read on CBC radio and was hooked I had to buy and read it.From the first page to the last, the story of Salvo, a Romanian gypsy cum tight rope walker, engages the reader with suspense, wonder, loss and survival by rising above his fears and his tight rope journey through life.Galloway writes a beautiful novel full of folk tales, fresh metaphors, and above all a sense of beauty in storytelling.The first chapter stands alone so well [...]
A feature of this novel that struck this reader immediately is that it has some brilliant passages of description that sit within an overall text that has rather a simple style, as if it is itself a longer version of one of the Roma folk tales that pepper the text The first exemplary description is the opening chapter, which describes in extraordinary and convincing detail a high wire walk between New York s twin towers But there are other examples throughout the novel It is difficult not to be [...]
I thoroughly enjoyed this book It unusually starts with the end and in the next chapter it returns to the beginning The story is beautifully written with rich characters and gripping drama It tells the life story of a high wire walker, starting with a walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre and then tracing his life, from his Romany roots in Hungary, through his circus life and the trials and tribulations of his family It flowed so well that I found it quite difficult to put down [...]
I absolutely loved this book and found it very difficult to put down so, although I am currently working 12 hour days, I have read it in a little over 2 days I found the story of Salvo Ursari fascinating and the author totally draws you into the story At one point I even became quite snappy with my husband because he wanted to discuss something with me and I felt that I was not able to put the book down This is the second book by Steven Galloway which I have read I also read the Cellist of Saraj [...]
Galloway works hard to weave a richly threaded fabric of a story The first third of the book is riveting Focus is lost with circus politics, melodrama of secondary and not the most well defined, and too many characters The book takes a long time to wrap up, and does so in an epilogue ish sort of way This left me unsatisfied If you re of a certain age you ll certainly be reminded of the WallendasI can t discern why he opens with a WTC walk and the end of a life when the rest of the story is curio [...]
This is one of the audio books podcasted out by CBC s Between the Covers in 2008 I am somehow totally inept with subscribing to podcasts, and prefer to wait and download them myself, so I would often let the episodes accumulate until I had a few to listen to at a time This story follows a roma tightrope walker around Europe and the US in the mid 1900s It was a good story, though I wonder that perhaps I liked it best because I had it read to me which is a huge pleasure.
I enjoyed The Cellist of Sarajevo and was pleased to find that this earlier novel was of equally high quality It is a quirky, unusual, sometimes shocking story I found the ending really quite moving.My only complaint was the unnecessary detail given to a very minor part of the story surrounding the ownership of the circus I feel this could have been covered far briefly and not detracted so much from the main story.
Great compelling start, then the story is very slow for a very long time, until the protagonist takes up his role as wire walker Once it has begun this thread and develops, it is once again very gripping and has you feeling the fear of every wire walk the characters do.Due to me losing interest for a few months near the start I m only giving three stars, but I recommend you stick with it
If you liked this book, you might also enjoy Water for ElephantsListened to on CBC Radio s Between the Covers podcast.
Rather grim book in many ways The Roma fables are richly done and woven into the book but the main characters seemed flat I still found it rewarding enough to finish in several sittings as the writing is well done, put together block by block like Legos, sad Legos and not really sure what they built
An amazing insight into the world of tightrope walkers the author described the walking in great detail It was interesting to find that the outcome of the walk between the twin towers was described at the beginning of the book.
Loved the story Galloway kept me completely involved with the characters and their lives Touching and revealing of a group of people of whom I have little knowledge I could not put this novel down.
I was in total awe of the beauty of The Cellist of Sarajevo, and I had high hopes for another Galloway book Ascension was good with similar literary qualities of the aforementioned title, but not as powerful.
This book was amazing I loved the characters and it was the first introduction I had to Galloway s writing My friend Lindsey chose this for a book club from years ago 2005 and I lent my copy to someone does anyone remember borrowing this from me, because I really could use it back
Maybe a 3.5 Writing style is very fluid, and the characters are interesting but not particularly likeable I wish the author hadn t started with the main character s death I think he should have saved that for the end.
This book was awesome Lindsey picked it in maybe 2005 for the book club that turned into dinner club I ve lent it to someone and have no idea who But it was a great read and my first introduction to the excellent stylings of Steven Galloway Someone, anyone, know where my copy is
It was only on the ground that he was afraid so true Also, people die in nets all the time, without one you know you can t fall, so you don t fall If anyone has the exact quotes I would greatly appreciate them I left my copy of the book at a hostel book exchange
A fantastic first chapter that should have stood alone as a short story The rest of the book was full of stories and characters I wanted to care about, but didn t.
This is a really GOOD STORY Heart stopping at times and the descriptions of the high wire acts and the climatic moments were wonderful I reccomend this one.