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Publisher's Summary

Fascinated with the secrets still surrounding the Soviet Union's race against the Americans to put a man on the Moon, Jed Mercurio proposes a compelling scenario: What if the Americans weren't the first? With its inscrutable but intriguing hero, Yefgeni Yeremin, a brilliant Soviet cosmonaut, Ascent allows us to imagine what that terrifying journey might have been like. Yeremin, a Soviet MiG pilot, rises from the privation of a Stalingrad orphanage to the heights of the cosmonaut corps. During the Korean War, as a member of an elite squadron, he shoots down the most American fighter jets, a feat that should make him a national hero, but because the Soviets' involvement in the war is secret, Yeremin's victories go unreported. When he is recalled from obscurity to join the race to the Moon, he realizes it is his chance for immortality.
In hypnotic, deceptively spare prose, Mercurio tells a haunting tale that questions the power of ideology and the nature of fate.
©2007 Jed Mercurio (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Beautifully imagined....This wonderful new novel carried me away." (The Chicago Tribune)
"A saucy, witty, dramatic, and affecting tale in the spirit of novels by Amy Tan, Julia Alvarez, and Bharati Mukherjee." (New York Newsday)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By LoneGunman on 01-22-08

Stunningly Bad.

Listen as Andy Dufresne... I mean, Yev Yeremin... battles the evil forces of Boris and Natascha... I mean, The Evil Empire... on his way to - who cares?
Seriously. Rocky and Bullwinkle had more flattering caricatures of the Soviet Union. And Dan Brown has less purple prose. The narrator does his level best with the material, affecting more accents than an episode of Scooby Doo, but this only serves to push the dialogue from sad over to parody.
Still interested? Skip the first twenty minutes then - a gratuitously titillating romp through child sodomy.
Seriously. The Cold War ended nearly twenty years ago. How can Jed Mercurio write Soviets with less care, attention and insight than Craig Thomas mustered for "Firefox" more than thirty years earlier?

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3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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