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A Ladder to the Sky

A Novel

by John Boyne

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne X
A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne
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  • Publishes in USA 
    Nov 13, 2018
    0 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Page 4 of 5
There are currently 33 member reviews
for A Ladder to the Sky
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  • Debra V. (Kenosha, WI)

    A Ladder to the sky
    If you like a liter tale of unbridled ambition you'll love this book. Maurice Swift is the ultimate narcissist who (as the book progresses) turns into a sociopath. Maurice expects to become a great writer. Unfortunately he lacks imagination— so he steals other writers stories.

    The book is written in 3 parts — most told by his victims. Since each part starts years after the last one you are forced to pay close attention to find out what happened during the missing time. This might confuse some readers but I liked the challenge and anticipation.

    Enjoyed the book and would recommend to book clubs.
  • Susan H. (Mount Kisco, NY)

    He's hard to like ....
    He's hard to like ....but very difficult to stop wanting to see what he does next. this is not a book I would usually read but I am very glad I did. it is dark but so compelling!
  • Robert M. (Smyrna, GA)

    Interview With the Bibliovampire's Victims
    In a novel with more than a few similarities to The Talented Mr. Ripley, John Boyne creates the sociopathic Maurice Swift, a character who can truly be described as a literary vampire, or at least a bad novelist with dreams of artistic empire in his eyes. He literally feeds off the stories and successes of good writers (including an attempt at an aging Gore Vidal) to further his own ambitions. The stories of his conquests are both horrifying and eminently readable. Boyne once again has created an entertaining novel with some deep issues racing alongside the text, in this case writer's ownership and plagiarism. If you're a fan of his books, then this is a must. If you haven't read John Boyne's other works, this is good read for those looking for some wickedness in their fiction. Those who love books will cringe at a lot of these scenes!
  • Marjorie W. (Naples, FL)

    A Ladder to the sky
    Almost didn't finish this book - I had this feeling that something very evil was about to happen and put the story away for a few days. I have to stay that the Maurice was a despicable character - and when I decided to try again to read this book, I became hooked. This author does draw the reader into the plot and you wonder what evil will Maurice commit next. I don't think this is a book for everyone, but I did enjoy it.
  • Beth B. (New Wilmington, PA)

    Engrossing Case Study
    John Boyne is a masterful writer and with A Ladder to the Sky, has created a saga of one man's life -- from a beautiful young man to an alcoholic with self-realization of what his "natural state" is. Maurice is consumed with ambition, a man who allows himself to become a leach, attaching himself to others and in doing so authors his own demise.

    Ambition, arrogance, jealousy, suspicion, superiority, punishment, selfishness, even a touch of discrimination --- all are threads of a carefully woven plot. Maurice is devious, yes, but is a master of wit where he genuinely has a way with words.

    This is a compelling read although at times too graphic for me.
  • Paula K. (Export, PA)

    Look out Margo Channing!
    Margo Channing, meet Maurice Swift, your successor to the crown of bald-faced ambition.

    Aside from my extreme prejudice to love anything John Boyne writes, I found myself feeling a bit anxious about 1/3 of the way into "A Ladder to the Sky." At this point, I had no great positive feeling for any of the characters and only a sinking feeling that things would get worse. And worse they got but along with way, I came to appreciate this chilling look at the literary business proving that politics is not the only venue for back-stabbing vitriol. It is a masterfully-crafted character study of Maurice Swift seen from the eyes of two of his victims as well as himself.

    For some reason, I have always seen writing as a noble profession with little of the ugliness that can be encountered in more pedestrian careers. But "A Ladder to the Sky" indicates that it is subject to the same ugliness of human nature as other vocations. Maurice Swift is the epitome of the professional climber and his single-minded pursuit of success gets progressively more violent as the story progresses. At first, he is simply careless with the feelings of others but the casualties of his ambition get progressively worse the longer he goes unchecked.

    It is a frightening story well told.
  • Vicki R. (York, PA)

    Villainous Author
    Maurice Swift is a villain that you will love to hate! In John Boyne's book "A Ladder to the Sky" Maurice just wants to be a successful author. It is what he was born to do. Now he just needs the story and he will go to treacherous extremes to get it. This book is an enjoyable, entertaining read. It reminded me of "The Talented Mr. Ripley" by Patricia Highsmith. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes to read books that do not fall into any specific genre!


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