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Extended Audio Sample Ascent: A Novel Audiobook, by Jed Mercurio Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (100 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jed Mercurio, Todd McLaren Narrator: Todd McLaren Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2007 ISBN: 9781400173686
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Fascinated with the secrets still surrounding the Soviet Union’s race against the Americans to put a man on the moon, Jed Mercurio proposes a compelling scenario: What if the Americans weren’t the first? And with its inscrutable but intriguing hero, Yefgeni Yeremin, a brilliant Soviet cosmonaut, Ascent allows us to imagine what that terrifying journey might have been like.

Yeremin, a Soviet MiG pilot, rises from the privation of a Stalingrad orphanage to the heights of the cosmonaut corps. During the Korean War, as a member of an elite squadron, he shoots down the most American fighter jets—a feat that should make him a national hero, but because the Soviets’ involvement in the war is secret, Yeremin’s victories go unreported. When he is recalled from obscurity to join the race to the moon, he realizes it is his chance for immortality. In hypnotic, deceptively spare prose, Mercurio tells a haunting tale that questions the power of ideology and the nature of fate.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Gripping action scenes.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A stunning debut from a writer who bears close attention.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jubilee | 1/5/2014

    " An orphan boy in Russia gets his break when he is accepted into a military academy giving him the ability to follow his overwhelming desire to fly fighter aircraft. Later, this driven man achieves levels of heroic recognition that only drives him further... to his Ascent! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 1/1/2014

    " Loved this book about Russian flying ace and cosmonaut Yefgenii Yeremov, who becomes Russia's "Man on the moon". The suspense of his mission to the moon builds up to an amazing climax. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Duncan Wilson | 12/2/2013

    " I have to admit i didn't think much to the art style. but the story was engaging. a good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben! | 11/2/2013

    " Pretty good novel. Covers a lot of good ground on both the space race and what it means to leave a legacy behind. Throughly enjoyable airplane read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paul | 10/26/2013

    " The early bits set in Korean War were gripping enough, the character set up nicely, then you could see what way it was going and just plodded through the last 100 pages. Nice idea, rather flat execution "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 9/26/2013

    " I would never normally read books about flying but this one so brilliantly seems to capture the intensity of flying a fighter plane that it was a very gripping read indeed. The story about the moon shot also had sufficent detail and atmosphere to be very persuasive. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vincent Eaton | 9/26/2013

    " Delightful. Sentences that spark, story that soars. Read this author's recent novel "American Adulterer", and was more than a little impressed. This, his previous (second) novel, just a good. Major fan made. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 6/22/2013

    " What if the Russians got to the moon first? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andy | 5/14/2013

    " A stunning novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jimmy | 4/22/2013

    " Tha parts about the Korean War (the battles between Jet fighters - as good as James Salter's The Hunters which i would recommend as a companion book) and Franz Josef Land are excellent, but I think that part about the Moon was so far-fetched it lost credibility. Still, well worth the read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robin Brooksbank | 2/12/2013

    " Decent book, not as much soviet insight as i would like but the story is very engaging. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martin Bradford | 12/18/2012

    " From the shocking and violent start, to the sad but triumphal ending, Mercurio retains your interest with a fast paced narrative. A great insight in to Soviet history. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dave | 11/11/2012

    " I found this story to be somewhat monotonous at times, but overall it was entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine Ryan Howard | 3/20/2012

    " Fantastic book that will appeal even if you've no interest in the space race. If you DO, you're in for a real treat. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt Frear | 11/4/2011

    " Exhilarating! Can drift into technobabble at times, but not too much. An amazing flawed hero. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gilbert | 2/25/2011

    " A great graphic novel - really enjoyable and quite moving. Would make a great film. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dave | 2/24/2011

    " I found this story to be somewhat monotonous at times, but overall it was entertaining. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vincent | 10/17/2010

    " Delightful. Sentences that spark, story that soars. Read this author's recent novel "American Adulterer", and was more than a little impressed. This, his previous (second) novel, just a good. Major fan made. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Todd | 8/9/2010

    " I enjoyed this gritty tale of the space race from the point of the other side. It seemed well grounded and not too fantastical. I thought the characters were well developed and thought out. The evolution of the hero was well done, using the Korean war as a tool. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 1/2/2010

    " I would never normally read books about flying but this one so brilliantly seems to capture the intensity of flying a fighter plane that it was a very gripping read indeed. The story about the moon shot also had sufficent detail and atmosphere to be very persuasive. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jubilee | 12/26/2009

    " An orphan boy in Russia gets his break when he is accepted into a military academy giving him the ability to follow his overwhelming desire to fly fighter aircraft. Later, this driven man achieves levels of heroic recognition that only drives him further... to his Ascent! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben! | 6/8/2009

    " Pretty good novel. Covers a lot of good ground on both the space race and what it means to leave a legacy behind. Throughly enjoyable airplane read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Garth | 5/9/2008

    " A gripping read - I really begrudged putting this book down before I finished it. Even sensing how it would end took nothing away from it.
    Definitely on my "read-again" list for a couple of months out.
    "

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About the Author
Author Jed Mercurio

Jed Mercurio trained as a doctor and joined the Royal Air Force while at medical school. He adapted his first novel, Bodies, into an award-winning drama for the BBC and is currently developing an American version for the Showtime Network. He lives outside London.

About the Narrator

Todd McLaren was involved in radio for more than twenty years in cities on both coasts, including Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. He left broadcasting for a full-time career in voice acting, where he has been heard on more than five thousand television and radio commercials, as well as television promos; narrations for documentaries on such networks as A&E, Discovery, and the History Channel; and films, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit?