Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ronald Malfi The Ascent


I had to wonder about the title of this, as I began to read it all the action was happening underground in a cave. I quickly got over that and moved on as the action was beginning to kick into high gear. This novel covers a lot of ground both geographically and emotionally. Here is a synopsis of the novel so maybe you can better understand what I mean:
“After the death of his wife, successful sculptor Tim Overleigh trades in his lucrative career for the world of extreme sports. But when a caving accident nearly ends his life, Tim falls into a self-destructive downward spiral. On the cusp of losing his mind, Tim runs into an old friend who tries to convince him to join a team of men climbing the Godesh Ridge in Nepal. The journey requires crossing the Tibetan Beyul- the hidden lands – to seek out the elusive Canyon of Souls. Knowing he needs to get away and put his life back on track, Tim departs for Nepal. But what begins as a journey steeped in Tibetan folklore and mysticism soon turns into an experiment in torment, destruction, and death. Will any of the men escape the mountain with their lives?”
Okay, one might ask: If everybody that has issues crop up in their lives went to climb a mountain in Nepal to get their life back on track, would it be more popular than Disneyworld? HMMM, I am going to say that that is what fiction is all about. The Ascent is filled with many things, plenty of action, heartache, pain, redemption, and a nicely tied together ending. There is plenty of symbolism and metaphors and I think the deeper aspects of the novel made the climb and Tim’s struggle that much more tangible to me. It helped me put the plotline into perspective as he was totally bent on basically destroying his very nice centered life that he had prior to his wife’s passing.
The Ascent is the first novel I have read by Ronald Malfi. I enjoyed his style of writing and the manner in which he went about executing his plotline and using various tools to drive home his main points. He is also the author of: The Fall of Never, The Nature of Monsters, Via Dolorosa, and also numerous digital shorts. Ronald Malfi’s next novel is Shamrock Alley and that has been optioned for a film. I think your question is : Do I recommend this novel? Certainly. It took me to different places I will never go. The author’s descriptive ability made me feel like I was in the cave with Tim in the beginning and also on the mountain as the action was in high gear. Go for The Ascent it isn’t a downer.
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