The Rope Dancer
Skink Press, $22.95 pb, 228 pp
In The Rope Dancer, Rob Leach sets himself the ambitious task of using Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra as a template for an impassioned meditation on mountaineering, authoring one’s life and owning one’s injuries. It seems like formidably brainy material, and the novel can certainly be excavated for its philosophical underpinnings. Yet it’s equally possible to disregard them and to simply read The Rope Dancer as an engagement with the ordeal of living and the unspoken bargains one strikes with life.