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Ascension by Steven Galloway. This is a new title from the author of the Richard & Judy bestseller "The Cellist of Sarajevo". This is an unforgettable walk with Salvo Ursari, tightrope walker extraordinaire. Gripping from its very first heartstopping page, "Ascension" is a breathtaking novel about risk, fate and history; a dazzling feat of storytelling that takes us on an epic journey across the twentieth century.

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 Centre, almost 1400 feet above the city. It is the most challenging performance of his life. 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.

As a boy growing up in Transylvania, Salvo Ursari is haunted and inspired by the gypsy folklore that forms his heritage. When a tragic fire that envelops his entire family, Salvo is forced to flee his village and begin a lifetime's odyssey that takes him through the Transylvanian forests, to the streets Budapest - where he first learns the skills of a wire-walker - and eventually to the United States during the heyday of the Big Top.

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Steven Galloway



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