We Begin Our Ascent by Joe Mungo Reed

We Begin Our Ascent

“A dazzling debut by an exciting and essential new talent: fast, harrowing, compelling, masterfully structured, genuinely moving. Reed is a true stylist.” —George Saunders“Joe Mungo Reed’s unforgettable debut novel introduces us to a powerful new literary voice, as riveting as DeLillo’s or Morrison’s. I read it cover to cover in a gulp.” —Mary KarrSol and Liz are a couple on the cusp. He’s a professional cyclist in the Tour de...

Details We Begin Our Ascent

TitleWe Begin Our Ascent
Release DateJun 19th, 2018
PublisherSimon Schuster

Reviews We Begin Our Ascent

  • Bandit
    This one grabbed my attention with its cover, it’s an awesome cover. But then it also had such accolades from well known names, most auspicious for a debut, so why not. It actually turned out quite a good read. Thing is though I don’t like competitive sports, I don’t get the appeal, can’t relate to the sort of maddening dedication it requires or understand the singlemindedness it takes just to get to the finish line before the other guy. ...
  • Jill
    Years ago, according to one character in this fine book, a doctor wrote about a man riding three horses at a circus. “He said it was important not because of what the man was doing but because it increased our sense of human capabilities.”For Sol, a professional cyclist racing in the Tour de France, the sport is not about individual winning. His duty is to “get our team leader, Fabrice, across the twenty-one stages of this tour in as little...
  • Katie B
    Sol has been a professional cyclist for years but has never achieved any real fame or fortune. His wife, Liz, a geneticist, and their son, Barry, are back home in England while Sol is busy trying to help his teammate, Fabrice, win the Tour De France. In a sport in which some people are willing to cheat their way to victory, Sol is forced to decide what he is willing to risk to get to the top.For a decent portion of the book, I wasn't really feeli...
  • Kim
    This just wasn't for me. The narrative was unbalanced and nothing about the story compelled me to read it. The writer assumes the reader knows quite a bit about competitive bike racing (I did not) and maybe this is a better read if that knowledge is already present. I found myself unable to connect with the main character or any of the supporting characters. The main character's wife, Liz, was someone I found particularly unlikable. Is George Sau...
  • Jean Mandella
    I won an ARC of Joe Mungo Reed’s debut novel in a Goodreads giveaway. We Begin Our Ascent is an impressive debut, taking the reader into the world of Tour de France racers. I know nothing of this world, only of Lance Armstrong’s rise and subsequent fall from grace and had to look up the exact meaning of the word “peloton” (the main group of riders in a race) which lead me to read more online about the world of professional bikers. This i...
  • Dennise
    DNF at 50%. I was lucky enough to win an ARC of this book through Goodreads. It takes a lot for me to DNF a book, this is actually the first book in 18 months that I disliked so much I refused to push through.The premise sounded very interesting to me, even if I am not a fan of sports... any sports. A story about doping, and the family of the athlete being involved etc. was fascinating. I don't exactly know what I was expecting, but it was defini...
  • Tale of a Bookworm
    Got this ARC in exchange of an honest review from Simon & Schuster via NetGally. Thank You!!I picked this one up because of its cover. (Its quite pretty!!) Its a sports fiction and the writing style is quite interesting. I enjoyed the way writer described the pressure, the drive, the frustrations a sports person face in his life. But I don't know why I could not get engaged with it. The reason could be that I am not a sports person, so I don't ge...
  • Heidi Perling
    We Begin Our Ascent reads like a mix of fiction and nonfiction, with long passages about the sport of cycling and the Tour de France, specifically. The main conflict of the story is the struggle of a driven, professional couple to find a balance between work and family- a struggle that doesn't come to a neat, simple conclusion by the last page. The detailed descriptions of life as a pro cyclist were interesting to read, even though I am *not* a s...
  • dori
    A score from NetGalley and an honor to read this pre-published book. I absolutely loved it. Reed's prose is beautiful - so beautiful that he held my interest on a topic I have NEVER been interested in (road race bicycling); the topic drove the book while simultaneously being a metaphor for human relationships, for choices we make in life, for marriage and parenthood, and Reed's particular way of portraying human behavior is perceptive and perfect...
  • Beth Loflin
    I received this book as an ARC. I am not a sports book reader, so I was skeptical. I really enjoyed reading this. Something I don’t normally read, as well as eye opening into a world I am very unfamiliar with. Quick read. My only complaints, I wish the story of the wife would have been more prominent. The description reads that she was on the edge of a scientific breakthrough, but that side of the story fell flat. Overall a good and quick read.
  • Glenn Stenquist
    If you are any type of sports fan this will be a good intense view into the sports/personal life balance and choices that must be faced and dealt with on the roas to career and life winning/losing/draw.
  • Ace Boggess
    Some good writing, detailed insights, crisp dialogue. Sadly, if you're not a fan of the Tour de France, not even those positives cam make the sport interesting. I'm sure there are people who will love this book, but I found it tedious. Pass.
  • Rebecca H.
  • Sifra (brilliant bookshelf)
    Read this review at Brilliant BookshelfNetgalley provided me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. As the daughter of an avid lover of cycling, I’ve grown up with bicycles and live broadcasts of professional cycling competitions like the Tour de France. In recent years I have really grown to love the sport on a deeper level. This is the main reason why I decided to pick up We Begin Our Ascent, the other being that I was really curi...
  • Katherine
    This book provided an inside look at professional cycling and performance-enhancing drugs. The main character is training and competing in the Tour de France, meanwhile his marriage and personal life, are going to pieces. I enjoyed riding the slippery slope down into doping with Sol, he just wanted to be on a level playing field and everyone was doing it! It's not a fair race if you can't compete at the same level, they are just supplements, they...