9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Jed Mercurio has range beyond my expectations - excellent,
This review is from: Ascent (Hardcover)The writer behind the brilliant "Cardiac Arrest" and "Bodies" shows here that he is more than a Robin Cook with grit. I had the feeling that Jed Mercurio might be a one-trick pony before I read this, but "Ascent" shows that the writer has breadth beyond expectations.
The book follows the career of Yefgenii Yeremin from bullied, abused Stalingrad orphan to pioneering cosmonaut via flying MIG15s in the Korean War. Yeremin spends his whole life achieving heroic feats but is always unrecognised due to the shadowy politics of Soviet Russia. He is everyman and nobody. A hero of his times yet utterly anonymous. His yearning for success in everything that he does is attempted merely as a challenge to himself. His actions right up to the lonely finale show that it is the deed that is important and not the recognition that goes with it. In a way this is a beautiful refutation of today's shallow instant celebrity culture. Whether Jed Mercurio meant this I don't know - but that's how it comes across to me.
The narrative is simply presented without complicating side plots making "Ascent" an easy and enjoyable read. It's style reminds me of anothe great book from late last year, Cormac McCarthy's The Road. It is a bleak portrait of human life, warts and all - I guess in that way it IS similar to "Bodies".
I'd highly recommend this book, it's a moving portrayal of one man's battle with his own demons to prove that he is the best. Great buy!