A Ladder to the Sky

Category: Book
By (author): Boyne, John
Subject:  FICTION / Gay
  FICTION / General
  FICTION / Literary
  FICTION / Psychological
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Published: August 2019
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 400
Size: 8.00in x 5.18in
Our Price:
$ 21.00
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*A seductive, unputdownable psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man who will stop at nothing in his pursuit of success.

Maurice Swift is handsome, charming and hungry for success. The one thing he doesn't have is talent--but he's not about to let a detail like that stand in his way. After all, a would-be writer can find stories anywhere. They don't need to be his own.

Working as a waiter in a West Berlin hotel in 1988, Maurice engineers the perfect opportunity: a chance encounter with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann. He quickly ingratiates himself with the powerful--but desperately lonely--older man, teasing out of Erich a terrible, long-held secret about his activities during the war. Perfect material for Maurice's 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. . . .
Review Quote*A Washington Post Best Book of 2018
An Esquire Best Book of 2018
An Irish Times Best Book of 2018
Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Best Book of 2018

"A deliciously dark tale of ambition, seduction and literary theft. . . . Boyne has given us an unforgettable protagonist, dangerous and irresistible in equal measure. The result is an ingeniously conceived novel that confirms Boyne as one of the most assured writers of his generation." -The Observer (UK)

"I'm embarrassed by how much I enjoyed John Boyne's wicked new novel, A Ladder to the Sky . . . a satire of writerly ambition wrapped in a psychological thriller. Beware reading this in public: Boyne's prose inspires such a collision of laughing and wincing that you're likely to seem a little unbalanced. . . . Even when you think you've figured it out, you'll still be running three steps behind. It's a macabre magic trick in print-the kind of story you want to read again as soon as you've gasped at its final page." -The Washington Post

"A taut and gripping novel . . . as craftily written as Swift himself." -Esquire

"[A Ladder to the Sky is] sort of a comic novel, sort of a satire and sort of a thriller. . . . This is a first class page turner. . . . A rip-roaring beach read about literary life, the fools we make of ourselves in pursuit of love and fame and the whirligig of time bringing in, as it always does, its revenges." -The Guardian (UK)

"Boyne expertly explores notions of originality and authorship. . . . [A Ladder to the Sky] is absorbing, horrifying and recommended." -Library Journal, starred review
"An all-consuming ambition to be a successful writer drives a young man down unusual paths to literary acclaim in this compelling character study. . . . Boyne's singular villain and well-sustained tension merit a good audience." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Boyne's fast-paced, white-knuckle plot, accompanied by delightfully sardonic commentary on the ego, insecurities and pitfalls of those involved in the literary world, makes for a truly engrossing experience." -Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Maliciously witty, erudite and ingeniously constructed. . . . A Ladder to the Sky keeps twisting and turning in such slyly unpredictable ways that, honestly, I sometimes laughed out loud at Boyne's ingenuity. . . . After reading A Ladder to the Sky, you may never look at an author's book jacket photo the same way again." -NPR Books

"Boyne's novel is about high literature, but has lower, juicier ambitions, at which it wildly succeeds." -Vulture

"What is the secret of creating a successful novel? This is the question that drives John Boyne's disturbing psychological thriller. . . . A Ladder to the Sky is clever, chilling and beautifully paced; a study of inner corrosion that Patricia Highsmith herself could not have done better." -The Times (UK)

"[A Ladder to the Sky] is irresistably readable, both darkly funny and a suspenseful page-turner, and with many sardonic things to say about the pursuit of fame and about the literary world and its rivalries. . . . One of Boyne's achievements here is to make his own psychopath so outrageously intriguing that we're as fascinated as we're appalled by the terrible things he does." -Irish Independent 

"John Boyne's ambition in writing a comic novel about a nasty writer-that's nothing new. But John Boyne's ambition in writing a comic novel about a nasty writer with no scruples who never repents that will make you chuckle morbidly until the last line? That's ambition fulfilled." -NPR

"John Boyne is a master storyteller and fans of his earlier novels The Boy In The Striped Pajamas and The Heart's Invisible Furies will doubtless be captivated by this chilling and darkly comic tale of unrelenting ambition. . . . An impressive story built around an irresistibly despicable character you'll love to hate." -Daily Express (UK)

"Well-crafted. . . . The novel unfolds in an extremely layered manner, but what Swift's story slowly reveals says much about publishing, pride, deceit and plagiarism-and worse, much worse." -Booklist

"Deliciously venomous. . . . A Ladder to the Sky is an entertaining, if deeply cynical portrait of the literary world." -Bookpage

"A highly enjoyable romp that lifts the lid on authorial vanity and jealousy and an intelligent take on cultural appropriation." -Monocle

"A deft plotter, Boyne has fun with the idea that vampiring is simply a part of what novelists do, and he implicates readers in their acts of thievery-as-creation by making us like despicable Maurice, almost against our will. . . . [A] devilishly entertaining novel." -Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Biographical NoteJOHN BOYNE is the author of 11 novels for adults, 5 novels for younger readers and a collection of short stories. His 2006 novel The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was an international bestseller, selling over 7 million copies worldwide. He has won three Irish Book Awards, a Stonewall Honor Award and a Lambda Literary Award. His novels are published in more than 50 languages.