This captivating novel of passion and philosophy stretches from Melbourne’s local crags, across the sprawling Grampians (Gariwerd) and all the way to the fabled Tien Shan – Central Asia’s Celestial Mountains. A rare foray into Australian climbing literature, The Rope Dancer is Rob Leach’s second novel.
Since antiquity, mountains have been terrain for poetry and philosophy as well as physicality. Rob Leach continues this tradition in a novel that combines gritty urban realism with a great tale of men and women in the mountains. From Melbourne’s back streets and the Wimmera wheat-fields, The Rope Dancer takes you on a compelling journey high into the Tian Shan, Central Asia’s Celestial Mountains. At the same time, The Rope Dancer tackles some of Nietzsche’s most important ideas: the need to create your own meaning in life, how the decadence of modern society deadens our sensitivity to beauty, the dangers of being trapped by past events, and the cyclical nature of life. The Rope Dancer is a rare kind of a book: funny, disturbing, sexy and wise.
Kate Rigby, author of Topographies of the Sacred:
A search for existential meaning, sex, drugs and climbing
– what more could we want from a novel
Greg Pritchard, author of Climbing in Australia