The Ascent of Isaac Steward
Nominated for the Galaxy Book Award 2011 for New writer of the year
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The Ascent of Isaac Steward is the first book of the Dandelion Trilogy.
Literary surrealism at its most profound, The Ascent of Isaac Steward follows one man’s journey into his own mind as he struggles to come to terms with the trauma that has reshaped his life.
One year on from the car crash in which his wife Rebekah and son Esau were killed, and his other son Jacob left in a coma, Isaac Steward has repressed the memory of that fateful day. But fate seems determined to make him remember, driving Isaac deeper and deeper into himself. Dysfunction builds on delusion as childhood memories compete with a persona he has fabricated in order to regress to an earlier, happier time. But violence, death and destruction result as Isaac slowly loses his grip on reality. His half-brother Ishmael tells him he must return to the wood at his childhood home, to a tree he called The Dandelion Tree, if he is ever to be reunited with Rebekah. But as he descends further he starts to question his own existence
"(a) Michelin starred linguistic meal"
The Ascent of Isaac Steward was originally published by Cauliay Publishing in 2011, and was re-published by Elsewhen Press in a digital edition on 19 April 2013 and in paperback on the 2 August 2013
"Moving and lyrical, original and hypnotic—Mike French’s The Ascent of Isaac Steward is a remarkable debut novel” MICHAEL KIMBALL, Dear Everybody
“Reminiscent of the surrealist literary experiments of James Joyce’s Finnegan's Wake but blessedly readable The Ascent of Isaac Steward is insanely ambitious, startlingly odd, boldly conceived and executed with tremendous confidence. One of the most extraordinary novels I've ever read.”
R.N. MORRIS, A Razor Wrapped in Silk
"A real neo-modernist triumph and in a nihilistic world is definitely worth your time and patience."
"Ambitious, eccentric tale of madness."
"Powerful evocative beautifully clear impressions and images. I rather enjoyed my afternoon inside the head of Isaac Steward." BOOKLORE
"Linguistically this is a powerfully done novel, with exquisite prose and an interesting psychological premise that raises strong questions about the power of internal cognition."
THE COMPULSIVE READER
"Takes Finnegans Wake as a starting point and adds a sprinkling of Lacan and onomatopoeia." BOOKMUNCH
"Wonderfully unique and experimental."
PAUL BURMAN, The Grease Monkey's Tale
"A strong, original first novel, with a literary lyrical voice."
HELEN CORNER, director of Cornerstones Literary Consultancy
"Brimming with energy and touched with sadness, The Ascent of Isaac Steward is a perilous journey of the mind."
JOHN DICKINSON, WE
"The ascent of isaac steward is the kind of book that, once you have raced through it, captivated by the fantastical, crystalline imagery and caring prose, makes you want to start all over and read it again to find all its hidden meanings. Here’s a debut novel, you shouldn’t miss."
"A richness and abundance of imagination and originality, beauty of imagery, tenderness, vividness and page after page of surprise and variety."
STEPHANIE PORTERSMITH, The Lancashire Writing Hub
"Poignant and painful, there are many beautifully written, tender scenes in this tragic tale."
SHANTA EVERINGTON author of 'Marilyn and Me'
"Full of rich evocative description."
"A must for everyone's bucket-list if you are looking for a totally unique experience"
"A fantastic debut novel and it differs so much from all the other books out there on the market nowadays that it can be called a masterpiece of surreal fiction"
The Ascent of Isaac Steward Interviews and Reviews
Paul Burman Interviews me
Luton on Sunday
Inside Books Review
Publishers Weekly Review
The Book bag Review
The Influential - Interview
Interview by Claire King
Audio Interview with Compulsive Reader
Paul Burman Review
Jane Turley interviews me
Lancashire Writing Hub Review