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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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  • Published:
    Nov 13, 2018, 0 pages

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Page 4 of 6
There are currently 39 member reviews
for A Ladder to the Sky
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  • Linda V. (Independence, KY)


    Karma....or not???
    What an engaging novel! You think you like certain characters and then at each Part, your opinion is turned on its head. You're engaged with each moment of this novel as time passes. You get to the end...hoping that karma will be visited on this character...only to think...hmmm, was there a punishment. Was he even conscious of the havoc he wrought over so many lives. Great read!
  • Suzette P. (Chicago, IL)


    An Engrossing Tale of Dark Deeds
    An engrossing tale of literary theft and darker deeds, John Boyne's latest novel is a look into the twisted mind of a master manipulator. Like Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley, Maurice Swift is a social climber but he seeks literary fame rather than simply wealth and status, and he will do whatever necessary to achieve his goal. The book is divided into three sections, each told by a different narrator, and two interludes, told in the third person, which provide different perspectives of Swift's rise in the literary world. It's a narrative structure that really works - the reader is swept along from 1988 to the present, only slowly becoming more and more aware of Swift's true nature and the lengths to which he will go to ensure success. Real-life literary figures, such as a skeptical Gore Vidal, make an appearance, which adds to the novel's verisimilitude. I found the book quite funny at times - Maurice has a way with words and doesn't hesitate to take down a rival, although he also respects those who challenge him. This is a fast-paced and captivating read; Maurice Swift is an unforgettable character. Highly recommended.
  • Constance C. (Bristol, RI)


    Ambition and literary theft
    A Ladder to The Sky is a novel about literary theft and ambition and confirms John Boyne as an assured author.Maurice Swift becomes famous by using other people's stories and doesn't care who he steals from. He is a psychopath, a ruthless manipulator who will stop at nothing to achieve his dream of becoming a famous author and winner of The Prize. John Boyne has the ability to write soul and meaning. His plots are all so different. I never give 5 stars but I am this time. Read this book you will be in for a great read.
  • Lorri


    Ambition run amok
    Boyne is a gifted storyteller and this tale of ambition run amok is compelling from beginning to end. It makes you absolutely hate the publishing world and the egomaniacs that people it.

    Makes you think about:

    Who does a story belong to--the person it happened to? The person who can tell it best? The last one standing?

    Is there a price to success that is too steep to pay?

    Does doing a bad thing to a bad person cancel out the "bad"?

    Boyne captures something essential about ambition and about publishing. Yes, the story is extreme, but the spirit behind the action is not.
  • Dottie B. (Louisville, KY)


    Review of A Ladder to the Sky
    John Boyne's novel A Ladder to the Sky is a fictional study of the vagaries of the publishing industry. The novel's main character Maurice Swift badly wants to be a writer but lacks the requisite imagination and skills. He must therefore resort to stealing the work of others, and this process provides the central theme. The cast of minor characters, some notable authors you may recognize, lends credence to the novel's theme and will keep you turning pages. Because Boyne depicts the publishing industry as particularly nasty business, if you entertain the notion of becoming a published author, maybe you shouldn't read this novel. But then again, maybe you should.
  • Portia A. (Monroe Township, NJ)


    An excellent book
    A ruthless would-be writer who is charming, handsome and determined to be famous. All he lacks is the talent to create a great book. That would not stop him.
  • 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.

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