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Publisher's Summary

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 con men 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. "A great debut, as affecting as it is smart," writes Dana Spiotta. "Reed's precision-cut sentences and darkly funny dialogue bring to mind Don DeLillo's End Zone."

©2018 Joe Mungo Reed (P)2018 Simon & Schuster Audio

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-30-18

Cycling book of the decade?

This is an exciting novel which is skilfully written by someone very well in the know. It’s a must read/listen! Can’t believe it’s his first novel. Hope he writes another. I’ll be looking out for it.