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The Ascent

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  199 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Having lost himself in extreme sports since the death of his wife, sculptor Tim Overleigh joins a team of men bent on climbing the Godesh Ridge in Nepal in order to stop his downward spiral. Only to find what was supposed to be a journey based in Tibetan mysticism to be an experiment in terror.
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Medallion Press (first published January 1st 2010)
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Well, that was fun. I should have read this book when the weather was warmer, as I'm cold enough as it is. I had to read half the book under the duvet.

Tim OverLeigh, who is (was) a sculptor and teacher, is offered the trip of a lifetime, when he happens to meet Andrew Trumbauer at the Filibuster bar where he's trying to drain his sorrows away. He met Trumbauer a few years earlier: as he was a friend of Tim's wife, Hannah. Since the death of his wife; which he blames himself for, he's been unabl
Oct 05, 2013 Bandit rated it really liked it
How often do you come across a thriller that genuinely thrills? Malfi here with The Ascent has accomplished just that. This book was awesome, I couldn't put it down, finished it in about 3 hours. There is so much going on here, it's a story of redemption, love, revenge, survival, camaraderie, perseverance and all tucked into an umbrella of a grand action packed adventure. Malfi's strength as an author really shines through here, elevating the book (no pun intended) above the average action adven ...more
review to come, I'm tired right now
Mar 19, 2011 Lincoln rated it really liked it
In Ronald Malfi’s The Ascent, thrill-seeking sculptor Tim Overleigh is invited on a treacherous hike through Nepalese mountains that have killed nearly everyone who’s attempted to cross them. Having lost his wife a year or so earlier, and his ability to sculpt with her, Overleigh agrees. Unfortunately for Tim, and the other men invited on the climb, the harsh cold and hostile terrain might be the least treacherous part of the journey.

The Ascent is best categorized as a thriller and the easiest d
Emily Crow
My favorite by Ronald Malfi so far, in which a our protagonist, Tim Overleigh, is lured into joining an ill-fated band of trekkers heading for the mysterious (fictional) Canyon of Souls in the Himalayas. Things seem off about this trip from the start: they are warned they are hiking into forbidden, sacred ground; their leader, a charismatic dare-devil, is acting strangely; Tim is struggling with depression and alcohol withdrawal; some of the other members of the party are clearly unqualified for ...more
Patricia Esposito
Jun 13, 2011 Patricia Esposito rated it it was amazing
If you were asked to traverse the Himalayas--through the Valley of Walls, the Sanctuary of the Gods, the Hall of Mirrors--to find the Canyon of Souls, a place no human has ever crossed, would you go? If you were tortured by the death of someone you love, would it look like salvation? Beautifully written, The Ascent will take you on this journey.

Malfi’s novel begins with pain: physical, as Timothy Overleigh is trapped in a cavern chamber, alone with a broken leg, the “jagged serration” of his shi
Trev Twinem
Jul 12, 2016 Trev Twinem rated it liked it
A good story by one of my favourite authors, but not his best. Tim Overleigh haunted by the death of his wife Hannah has departed on a journey to seek out the elusive Canyon of Lost Souls in Nepal. He is accompanied by a motley crew and under the leadership of his friend Andrew they embark on a perilous journey that will have devastating results and a bloody conclusion.
The real winner in this story is the descriptive and colourful prose as our happy band of travellers face the perilous conditi
Russell James
Dec 27, 2012 Russell James rated it it was amazing
Tim Overleigh, a stalled sculptor derailed by self-destructive tendencies and the death of his ex-wife, accepts an invitation to trek to the Himalayan Valley of Souls, a mythical location. The invitation comes from Andrew Trumbauer, a shadowy man whose life intersected both Tim and his ex-wife’s past.
Malfi gathers a great cast for this perilous mountain journey and sets them in a frozen location so well-described you’ll shiver reading this at the beach in summer. Great prose highlights a page tu
Giovanni Gelati
Sep 20, 2010 Giovanni Gelati rated it it was amazing

I had to wonder about the title of this, as I began to read it all the action was happening underground in a cave. I quickly got over that and moved on as the action was beginning to kick into high gear. This novel covers a lot of ground both geographically and emotionally. Here is a synopsis of the novel so maybe you can better understand what I mean:
“After the death of his wife, successful sculptor Tim Overleigh trades in his lucrative career for the world of extreme sports. But when a caving
Daniel Rudge
Oct 12, 2014 Daniel Rudge rated it it was amazing
This is the second book of Malfi's that I've read (Floating Staircase) and I absolutely loved this book. Malfi has a way of setting a disturbing tone to his books and this book was at points disturbing and at other points retrospective. In the Ascent, we are treated to some excellent prose, and some interesting although not immediately likable characters. After the death of his wife in a car accident, Tim Overleigh falls in to a state of despondency. He attempts extreme sports which ultimately a ...more
Jul 13, 2016 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
"It's no death wish coming out here. The death wish would have been to stay home."

I just finished Ronald Malfi's newest book THE NIGHT PARADE and was in the mood for another of his stories. I've had THE ASCENT for a while and love books with cold and snow in them for some reason so it was a no-brainer to read this one.

This is different from other Malfi horror books I've read - this is more about the damage men can do to their fellow man.

Tim Overleigh is an accomplished sculptor, that is until h
Tony-Paul Vissage
In some novels, you can guess what’s going to happen, in some you haven’t a clue. The Ascent is one of the latter. It’s also one you won’t put down once you start it, so don’t begin reading late at night. I can usually figure out what’s going on but this time… I was only going to start a few pages… Right. I didn’t put it down until I read the last sentence. As usual in Mr. Malfi’s novels, his characters are delineated realistically; they’re not superheroes, just people only half-aware of what th ...more
Hunter Shea
Jun 11, 2014 Hunter Shea rated it it was amazing
A brilliant, taut thriller. Reading it on an 80 degree day, I was shivering!
Jan 24, 2011 Tammy rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
I enjoyed this book tremendously. It was a fast read, the writing is smooth, the dialogue well done. Highly recommend.
Patricia Esposito
If you were asked to traverse the Himalayas--through the Valley of Walls, the Sanctuary of the Gods, the Hall of Mirrors--to find the Canyon of Souls, a place no human has ever crossed, would you go? If you were tortured by the death of someone you love, would it look like salvation? Beautifully written, The Ascent will take you on this journey.

Malfi's novel begins with pain: physical, as Timothy Overleigh is trapped in a cavern chamber, alone with a broken leg, the "jagged serration" of his shi
Elusive Controversé
Jul 24, 2015 Elusive Controversé rated it really liked it
Shelves: review
‘The Ascent’ weaves a gripping, bittersweet story about (a sculptor) Tim who joins a group of men in the quest to find the Canyon of Souls. Invited by his late wife’s friend, Andrew, he participates as he struggles to move on from her death but something darker is awaiting.

The story was for the most part unpredictable though I did figure out the twist earlier on. Following these guys on their adventure was truly exciting because the author did a great job describing the scenery in detail. Theref
Dec 17, 2010 SenoraG rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ronald Malfi's “The Ascent” takes readers on a mountain climbing expedition in the Himalayas of Nepal. Andrew Trumbauer, a rich thrill seeker invites six men to join him on this dangerous quest. Each man for his own reasons, agree to go with him. Six men attempting the impossible must rely on each other or die. One of these men has a whole different agenda putting them all at a much greater risk.

Interwoven in the daring climb is the story of Tim, a sculptor who has lost his thirst for the beaut
Cydni Perkins
Oct 14, 2016 Cydni Perkins rated it liked it
It's a gripping story that kept me reading, but the flashbacks get confusing at times. the transitions from story to flashback are super choppy, and there were places I felt very disoriented. When Hannah appears in the story I often don't know if it's ghost Hannah or flashback Hannah. This is the case from the very beginning, when Hannah is in a car, and then I don't completely understand how we got into a cave, and why is Hannah wearing a white nightgown to go caving? Also, the tortured similes ...more
My enthusiasm for the book took a real hit as just after purchasing it, I opened it, got to the "Acknowledgments" and read the following words by the author, "Having never attempted to climb a mountain..." I disregarded any opportunity for firsthand, albeit fictional, insight into mountaineering and reluctantly pushed ahead.

The story of Tim Overleigh, his love for Hannah, his unusual relationship with Andrew a friend of Hannah's, a relationship which eventually gets Tim and several other adventu
Jun 24, 2010 AmandaSOTP rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2010
This was an interesting book. Richly detailed and filled with mysteries all around, I couldn’t wait to find out what was happening to Tim. Malfi manages to tell the story without giving too many hints as to what is going to happen and the ultimate reason behind the trip to Nepal. There wasn’t as much mysticism as I expected from the description, but there was enough to justify the references to it as the story unfolds. For someone who would love to trek across the mountains of Nepal, but will pr ...more
Oct 04, 2010 Robert rated it really liked it
Shelves: other
Ever read one of those books that just defies a person to place it into any certain category? Pick this book up and read it and you will find that this is one of those books. A man loses his wife and decides to go climb a mountain with a group of guys to get over his grief. One simple sentence right? With this book you would be so far off the mark as too not even come close to hitting the jacket cover. I cannot give it all away but there is a blend of adventure, thriller, ghost story and even lo ...more
Aug 01, 2013 Razz rated it really liked it
Wow! Now this is a pshycological thriller! I'm not sure how I stumbled on this book, but I'm glad I did. This book has the same title as another great book by Jeff Long. It's hard to believe I haven't found Mr. Malfi before now. This story was written in alternating chapters of what happened in the past to what is currently happening to Tim Overleigh, a broken down man/sculptor who continues to mourn for his dead ex wife. He is invited on an all expenses paid trek through a region of the Himalay ...more
Nov 18, 2012 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Very interesting story with some pretty well done characters. It took me a few chapters to get into the story, but once they got past the beginning stuff and went on the climb I got really interested in the story. I really enjoyed the ending. It wasn't a happy ending and it wasn't a completely sad ending.

I noticed quite a bit of spelling errors and missing spaces and whatnot throughout the book. Usually I'll dismiss a few, but there were a lot. Could've used another round of proofreading I gues
Mar 09, 2014 Robert rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014

It is always a pleasure to read a Ronald Malfi book, but they are all finished too quickly.

After the death of his wife, Tim Overleigh is invited on an all expenses paid trip to Nepal to find the elusive Canyon of Souls. He an five other men trek up into the wild, snow-covered ranges, only to discover something far more sinister than nature is against them.

This book was a roller coaster ride which called me back again and again, though I tried to put the book down several times. I read it in two

Lorraine Versini
Aug 11, 2014 Lorraine Versini rated it really liked it
A good action story turning into a thriller towards the end, easy to read. I expected it to be like those mountain action movies, and that's mainly why I read this story, as a bit of an experiment to see if books could provide the same enjoyment. The Ascent didn't fail me.
The reason for the four stars, though, is that I read through pretty much the first 2/3rds of the book not because there was suspense, but because I was curious. There was something weird, I couldn't really put my finger on it
Jeff Heimbuch
Mar 01, 2011 Jeff Heimbuch rated it it was amazing
Going to Nepal and, at the very least, being able to see Everest, has always been a dream of mine. Despite his claims to never have been there himself, Malfi does an excellent job of making the reader think he has! Combine that with a fantastic thriller, and you get one book that I couldn't put down. Excellently written, and masterfully executed. I highly recommend it, even if there was a severe lack of pheasant paintings.
Jan 08, 2011 Eileen rated it really liked it
What a great book. Exciting, thought provoking, you never knew what was going to happen next. The story follows a team of men invited to go on a mountain climbing trek, but soon sinister and freaky accidents start happening. This is the first Ronald Malfi book I have read and I'm definitely going to be reading more.
Dec 09, 2012 Sue rated it really liked it
This was a freebie through "Book Bub" a free website that sends notices of free or low-cost books for Kindle, Nook, etc. It took me a while to get into it, but as the story unfolded, it sucked me in...and I mean sucked me in. When the narrator gets trapped in a cave in the beginning chapter, I wondered where the title came from, but very soon it becomes evident. Good read!
Feb 18, 2013 Denise rated it really liked it
This book holds an inspiring story. Although it is full of grammatical errors, it is still readable. I enjoyed the book based on the story of one man's journey to find his true self. The characters were quite good. I enjoyed reading the quest this book holds. Recommended, even with the errors in editing.
Sonia Augusto
Dec 25, 2015 Sonia Augusto rated it it was ok
Adoro temas com escaladas, especialmente envolvendo o Everest, e romances policiais e de suspense, mas infelizmente o livro não supriu as expectativas! :-( Fraquinho como texto, trama muito inverossímil, daqueles que a gente continua só pra ver se melhora no final.
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Horror Aficionados : The Ascent 16 47 Feb 13, 2017 06:29AM  
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Ronald Malfi is an award-winning author of many novels and novellas in the horror, mystery, and thriller categories from various publishers, including Little Girls, this summer’s 2015 release from Kensington.

In 2009, his crime drama, Shamrock Alley, won a Silver IPPY Award. In 2011, his ghost story/mystery novel, Floating Staircase, was a finalist for the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Awa
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