The Ski Jumpers (Compact Disc)

Staff Pick Badge
The Ski Jumpers By Peter Geye, Robert Fass (Read by) Cover Image

The Ski Jumpers (Compact Disc)

By Peter Geye, Robert Fass (Read by)


Special Order

September 2022 Indie Next List

“This book is about so much more than ski jumping. A stunning story of family, trauma, secrets, and forgiveness, of finding peace as we grow older. You will grow attached to every single character in this storytelling masterpiece.”
— Kristen Sandstrom, Apostle Islands Booksellers, Bayfield, WI

Staff Reviews

If I have ever recommended a novel with crisp writing, families with seemingly-chilly edges (who turn out to be so much warmer than they appear), and a plot line that will have you cracking your knuckles in anticipation of what's to come - then I've most certainly handed you one of Peter Geye's novels.
His latest takes us from the seedy underbelly of Chicago in the 1950s to the pristine, snow-laden ski hills of Northern Minnesota, making The Ski Jumpers everything you'd expect from an author Kirkus has likened to Jack London and Jon Krakauer.
So much of the Bargaard family story revolves around winters on the slopes, but you won't find something as posh as a lift ticket here. Likewise no gondolas or apr├Ęs-skis; brothers Jon and Anton scale their hills fueled purely by adrenaline and competition. Family lore alleges that Pop and Bett ran away from a bad situation in Chicago, but the details are sparse, and things only get more foggy as the boys grow older. When they are in their early teens, their father goes to jail for murder, but something doesn't add up. What happened when their parents first arrived in Minneapolis?
When Jon and Anton are forced to reunite decades after Jon left home, at their father's funeral, the only thing more contentious than Jon's relationship with his mother is his attempt to talk to his brother about something other than his unsuccessful Olympic trials in the sport of ski jumping. Anton's pursuit of the sport for which their father had an undying love, made him the "golden child," despite his sleazy business dealings, which may have been passed on to him from their father. The brothers' trips down memory lane are packed with so much love, but it's buried under so much resentment and misunderstanding that you wonder if they will ever find common ground. The past gradually reveals answers to how their family became a broken one, but the journey of Jon's effort to set things right before his entire life changes is well-worth the hopeful hike.
As with every burnished novel he's written to date, Geye's story shines bright with storytelling of the highest caliber, with a whodunit to boot.
— Jessilynn

A writer and former ski jumper facing a terminal diagnosis takes one more leap--into a past of soaring flights and broken family bonds

A brilliant ski jumper has to be fearless--Jon Bargaard remembers this well. His memories of daring leaps and risks might be the key to the book he's always wanted to write: a novel about his family, beginning with Pops, once a champion ski jumper himself, who also took Jon and his younger brother Anton to the heights. But Jon has never been able to get past the next, ruinous episode of their history, and now that he has received a terrible diagnosis, he's afraid he never will.

In a bravura performance, Peter Geye follows Jon deep into the past he tried so hard to leave behind, telling the story he spent his life escaping. It begins with a flourish, his father and his hard-won sweetheart fleeing Chicago--and a notoriously ruthless gangster--to land in North Minneapolis. That, at least, was the tale Jon heard, one that becomes more and more suspect as he revisits the events that eventually tore the family in two, sending his father to prison, his mother to the state hospital, and placing himself, a teenager, in charge of thirteen-year-old Anton. Traveling back and forth in time, Jon tells his family's story--perhaps his last chance to share it--to his beloved wife Ingrid, circling ever closer to the truth about those events and his own part in them, and revealing the perhaps unforgivable violence done to the brothers' bond.

The dream of ski jumping haunts Jon as his tale unfolds, daring time to stop just long enough to stick the landing. As thrilling as those soaring flights, as precarious as the Bargaard family's complicated love, as tender as Jon's backward gaze while disease takes him inexorably forward, Peter Geye's gorgeous prose brings the brothers to the precipice of their relationship, where they have to choose: each other, or the secrets they've held so tightly for so long.

Product Details ISBN: 9798212030205
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Publication Date: September 13th, 2022
Language: English