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A Ladder to the Sky

by John Boyne

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5164033,432 (4.25)55
Aspiring writer Maurice Swift, whose desire for fame exceeds his talent, uses a chance meeting with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann in a West Berlin hotel in 1988 to obtain secrets about Ackermann's wartime activities, which becomes material for his first novel. Once Maurice has had a taste of literary fame, he knows he can stop at nothing in pursuit of that high. Moving from the Amalfi Coast, where he matches wits with Gore Vidal, to Manhattan and London, Maurice hones his talent for deceit and manipulation, preying on the talented and vulnerable in his cold-blooded climb to the top. But the higher he climbs, the further he has to fall.… (more)
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» See also 55 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
Must read! This book will suprise youp with its twists and turns. A fuller review will be posted after bookclub meeting in early Feb. ( )
  SashiG | Jul 2, 2020 |
A Ladder to the Sky is the first John Boyne book I have read and was unsure what to expect. At the start, I almost put the book down thinking that somehow I picked up a gay romance novel. It is not and turned into an engaging story. Maurice Swift is a man of great ambition and little talent but aspires to be a novelist. He leaches on to talented people and tosses them away when he is finished. Swift builds his career and lives on the creativity of others. There is no real action of excitement in the book, but it flows seamlessly cover to cover. Maurice is cold and calculating, and although it is told by several points of view, it reads like a confession. A Ladder to the Sky is a book that is difficult to put down and hard to classify. ( )
  evil_cyclist | Mar 16, 2020 |
Oh, Maurice, such a character that you love and hate.
John Boyne is a wonderful story teller, this book was well written, it had my attention right from the start and kept it until the end.
Just loved it ( )
  karenshann | Dec 31, 2019 |
Sociopaths- unshackled from the weight of empathy, they're emboldened, they're sexually commanding, they're impishly sly, but they're often pretty dense. They've probably been around since the dawn of time- to stir things up a bit, and we've finally figured them out. Now we can script them and fling in and out of life. One does what one can.

I'll keep it short, it's a good book, written with a modern, uncomplicated style that facilitates our addiction to the dark manipulative exploits on offer. For me it had that feel of a story that although has predictability, is no less enjoyable for being led down the garden path. I thought it was a bit daft at times, more like a modern day folk tale than your sinister phycopathy novel, but that's not necessarily a negative. As a bonus you even get to spend some time with Gore Vidal half way through. Highly readable, but keep up the good fight John, I'll certainly read you further ( )
  Charlie_Miller | Dec 3, 2019 |
Definitely a 3.5, not sure if it’s a 4 - I had a few problems with it, particularly in the middle section (Edith’s perspective) which required as massive suspension of disbelief. I did like the ending though. ( )
  Layla.Natasha | Nov 10, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)

John Boyne's new novel, set in the literary world, features a psychopath so intriguing he'll keep you fascinated and appalled to the very end.

This is a hugely enjoyable novel about ambition, fraud, murder and the writing game from an author who, ever since global success of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas in 2006, has been fizzing with ideas, is a dab hand at telling a story and creates vividly arresting characters, too.
added by bergs47 | editThe Independent, John Boland (Aug 5, 2018)
As Picasso is once supposed to have said: good artists copy; great artists steal. It’s a motto by which Maurice Swift, the sociopathic and mesmeric antihero of John Boyne’s latest novel might well live his life.
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