We Begin Our Ascent by Joe Mungo Reed

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“We are doing all this for a bicycle race?” Fast and smart, funny and sad, this is an outstanding sports novel, and Reed is an author to watch.
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Synopsis

“[A] small, tight bud of a first novel…You hotly flip this book’s pages.” —The New York Times
“A dazzling debut by an essential new talent.” —George Saunders
“Unforgettable…a powerful new literary voice.” —Mary Karr

One of the Best Books of the Summer—as chosen by Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly, Amazon, The Daily Beast, Kirkus Reviews, Good Housekeeping, Christian Science Monitor, AFAR, and Bookish.

Sol and Liz are a couple on the cusp. He’s a professional cyclist in the Tour de France, a workhorse but not yet a star. She’s a geneticist on the brink of a major discovery, either that or a loss of funding. They’ve just welcomed their first child into the world, and their bright future lies just before them—if only they can reach out and grab it.

But as Liz’s research slows, as Sol starts doping, their dreams grow murkier and the risks graver. Over the whirlwind course of the Tour, they enter the orbit of an extraordinary cast of conmen and aspirants, who draw the young family ineluctably into the depths of an illegal drug smuggling operation. As Liz and Sol flounder to discern right from wrong, up from down, they are forced to decide: What is it we’re striving for? And what is it worth?

We Begin Our Ascent dances nimbly between tragic and comic, exploring the cost of ambition and the question of what gives our lives meaning. Reed melds the powerful themes of great marital dramas like Revolutionary Road with the humor, character, and heart of a George Saunders collection. Throughout, we’re drawn inside the cycling world and treated to the brilliant literary sports-writing of modern classics like The Art of Fielding or End Zone.
 

About Joe Mungo Reed

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Published June 19, 2018 by Simon & Schuster. 256 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Kirkus

Excellent
on Mar 20 2018

“We are doing all this for a bicycle race?” Fast and smart, funny and sad, this is an outstanding sports novel, and Reed is an author to watch.

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