A Ladder to the Sky

A Ladder to the Sky

John Boyne / Jul 17, 2019

A Ladder to the Sky The new novel from the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and The Heart s Invisible Furies a seductive Highsmithian psychodrama followi

  • Title: A Ladder to the Sky
  • Author: John Boyne
  • ISBN: A Ladder to the Sky
  • ISBN
  • Page: 302
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The new novel from the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and The Heart s Invisible Furies , a seductive Highsmithian psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man who will stop at nothing in his pursuit of fame Maurice Swift is handsome, charming, and hungry for success The one thing he doesn t have is talent but The new novel from the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and The Heart s Invisible Furies , a seductive Highsmithian psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man who will stop at nothing in his pursuit of fame 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 Get A Copy Kindle Store StoresAudibleBarnes NobleWalmart eBooksApple BooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Hardcover, 366 pages Published November 13th 2018 by Hogarth Press first published August 9th 2018 More Details Original Title A Ladder to the Sky ISBN 1984823019 ISBN13 9781984823014 Other Editions 15 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about A Ladder to the Sky, please sign up Popular Answered Questions Im a bookseller in British Columbia, Canada and my book buyer and I cannot figure out what the text behind the title says Its driving us crazy Anyone have any ideas 7 likeslike 2 months ago See all 4 answers Julie This answer contains spoilers view spoiler I m pretty sure it says The Tribesman followed by the author s name Maurice Swift hide spoiler flag Does anyone know why this book is so hard to locate in the U.S My understanding is that it was released on August 1 here None of the booksellers, including are offering it Thanks 1 likelike 5 months ago See all 8 answers Leanne The US release date is November but the UK one was early August if you want to read it sooner I would suggest Book Depository this is what I did The US release date is November but the UK one was early August if you want to read it sooner I would suggest Book Depository this is what I did free shipping worldwide less flag See all 6 questions about A Ladder to the Sky Lists with This Book Best Literature of 2018 139 books 32 voters Best books of 2018 1,178 books 1,916 voters More lists with this book Community Reviews Showing 1 30 Rating details Sort Default Filter Oct 18, 2018 Emily May rated it it was amazing Shelves contemporary, 2018, favourites Everyone has secrets, I had remarked There s something in all our pasts that we wouldn t want to be revealed. This book was extraordinary I can t think of a appropriate way to put it It s a story made up of fascinating characters, amusing literary criticism, fantastic dialogue, and moments of such terrifying desperation and horror that I sat staring wide eyed at my Kindle.And I wasn t sure about it at first, to be honest Books about writers, the publishing process and literary criticis Everyone has secrets, I had remarked There s something in all our pasts that we wouldn t want to be revealed. This book was extraordinary I can t think of a appropriate way to put it It s a story made up of fascinating characters, amusing literary criticism, fantastic dialogue, and moments of such terrifying desperation and horror that I sat staring wide eyed at my Kindle.And I wasn t sure about it at first, to be honest Books about writers, the publishing process and literary criticism are not usually my cup of tea, but I fell so deeply in love with Boyne s The Heart s Invisible Furies that I wanted to give this a shot And I am so so glad that I did While A Ladder to the Sky is most definitely a character study, it s seemingly quiet nature soon gives way to dark secrets and unbelievable horrors I can t stop thinking about it.The story is built up via a compelling past tense narrative that seems to foreshadow an inevitable doom Each section of the book starts fairly innocuously, but through carefully crafted character dynamics, something much sinister emerges In the first part of the novel, aging author Erich Ackermann becomes enad with a beautiful young man and aspiring writer called Maurice Swift His obsession with Maurice leads him to naivete, trusting him with ugly truths from his early life as a gay second degree mischling in Nazi Germany truths which Maurice then uses for his first novel Erich s career is destroyed when he is revealed as the inspiration behind the book, while Maurice s takes off.After a brief interlude which features a meeting between Maurice and Gore Vidal and the witty insights we would expect from him , the next section reveals that Maurice is now married This part is narrated by his wife and addressed to you , or Maurice, an effective choice which is made even effective when we eventually discover the reason why.Maurice is one fascinating character in a sea of fascinating characters here He is an attractive man who uses his looks and careful manipulation to further his ambitions but the question is how far is he willing to go for a story idea It s really effective how the darker aspects of this story creep into what first seems like a quiet character study about art and writing Boyne explores the fine lines between first love and obsession, between competition and jealousy, between ambition and fanaticism and he does it all with dashes of the wit and humour I so loved in The Heart s Invisible Furies It is especially interesting how he looks at blame and who deserves to be held accountable for their actions Not just with Maurice, but with Erich, too Erich is such a complex character old, lonely, desperate, carrying a terrible secret and at a glance his punishment might even seem fitting But is it Are there terrible circumstances which demand exceptions to be made Perhaps In any case, it is hard to feel any satisfaction at his downfall.It s just an absolutely captivating book about people and their stories the ones they tell and the ones they don t I MUST read of Boyne s work antisemitism rape murder racism homophobia.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube flag 601 likesLike see review View all 20 comments Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing Shelves fiction, contemporary, 2018 releases, favorites, lgbtqia rep, adult I, personally, love reading books and straddling that fine line between loving the book and wishing you could unhinge your jaw and a swarm of locusts fly out of your mouth to attack the book My feelings for this book are still flashing like a flipped coin, end over end hate love hate love hate love endlessly combining and recombining in the ceaseless effort at making sense I feel morally and legally obligated to spread the good gospel about this story, but I don t want anyone to make the fa I, personally, love reading books and straddling that fine line between loving the book and wishing you could unhinge your jaw and a swarm of locusts fly out of your mouth to attack the book My feelings for this book are still flashing like a flipped coin, end over end hate love hate love hate love endlessly combining and recombining in the ceaseless effort at making sense I feel morally and legally obligated to spread the good gospel about this story, but I don t want anyone to make the false assumption that I took pleasure in this reading experience In fact, the first thing to spill out right after I turned that last page was a long string of four letter words that I m not going to deploy Just know that Maurice Swift best be glad he doesn t exist because if I ever met him, I was going to punch him in multiple painful places So, what s this book about Maurice Swift wants to be a famous novelist The desire to reach literary celebrity had never been so piercing But Maurice doesn t have an original story to tell unless you ram it down his throat Or, in the case of Erich Ackermann, Maurice pries into your breast with his charms and smiles and shucks it from you like oyster shells.Erich, a closeted German novelist whose latest novel was a huge success, meets Maurice in a bar and invites him to assist him on his international book tour, all in the spirit of hope, for in the young Maurice, Erich Ackermann s starved and stunted romantic feelings found a place to fix Erich tells Maurice the story of his youth in Nazi Germany and a terrible secret his mind had archived into a distant past, and he does it all in good faith, but Maurice keeps it, in bad Maurice prowls at Erich s edges, digs up the past, looking for a crack, inducing the old man to drag that festering memory into his mind before he churns it into his first acclaimed novel and wreaks havoc upon Erich s life.Unfortunately, Erich Ackermann s foolish heart is not the only one that had to be led away from his hopes to Maurice s Maurice draws in men and women, who trust too easily and could not see into the cracks of the world, as if he were winding up a thread before he snips that thread between them clean in half, deciding to never look back This was his method cruel, violent, effective And I was chilled by it.A Ladder to The Sky lit a hellfire in my heart The thought of this book mixes up rancor, disgust, violence and even affection into an intolerable brew I finished this book feeling as if the fragile filament that connected me to the real world fell slack all at once I felt dazed, even exhausted, feeling the trailing ends of the terrible things I d read, and worse the ricochet of my brief, brilliant joy, when, for an instant, I really believed the story was taking the turn I d hoped for But the wrongness of the ending held me completely rooted Yet, I found within myself, rising through all the trepidation and horror, a strange bubble of gladness A Ladder to The sky is dazzling in its complexity, astounding in its fiendishness and astonishing in its sheer audacity Any summary can hardly do justice to the mind boggling complexity of the plot John Boyne is an eloquent writer of provocative, layered dialogue and descriptions and I often found myself so awed by individual pages that I had to cry out about them to hapless people around me.My mind felt needle pricked Each new twist threw me, staggering, and as I was tracing the implications of every new revelation, my small, sickly faith was eroding I read with wide eyes and sick fascination as Maurice snatched at every opportunity with clawed hands, carving everyone he meets to their bones, gathering up their weaknesses and setting them with the rest of his collection He mangles their emotions and they yield to his manipulations, even as they feel for themselves a measure of the contempt Maurice feels for them That line from Villette, said Dash quietly How does it go Where is the use of caring for him so very much He is full of faults Funny, said Gore, laughing a little I was thinking about Wuthering Heights earlier, just before we met You know you ve gone off the deep end when you start obsessing about the Bront s There was such desperation in Maurice, and it left me wanting to arm myself and put my back against a wall But I was angry too rage pulsing up from my core like the shock wave of a blast, ripping through my horror My fury, already blazing, burned hotter when we finally get Maurice s account I really tried sifting his thoughts for glimpses that bore some semblance of goodness, but they were a lyre with only one string, and the note it played was his name I honestly don t think I ve ever despised a fictional character with such casanovian passion.A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, A Ladder to the Sky is an exhilarating, unsettling and invigoratingly original read You may not grasp it yet at least not consciously but you ll be so preoccupied with Boyle stirring such a storm in your mind that you won t notice he s seized your heart in a pitiless grip as well TWITTER INSTAGRAM TUMBLR flag 330 likesLike see review View all 46 comments MoonWyvern Awesome review Feb 01, 2019 04 02AM Matilda I bought this today at a charity shop because you felt so passionately about it Hope I love it as much 3 hours, 57 min ago Nov 15, 2018 Melissa rated it it was amazing Shelves 2018, best of the best, dark and twisted, mind fuck, must read again, unforgettable reads Masterfully manipulative Cunning Ingenious Exceptional. There are times when the sheer cleverness involved with what I ve just read requires time to ruminate before some semblance of coherent thought can be strung together So, here I sit two months post read hoping to express just how impressive I found this creative gem to be If the fact that this book is still lingering in the forefront of my mind after so long and a dozen other books in between isn t a testament to John Boyne s level of Masterfully manipulative Cunning Ingenious Exceptional. There are times when the sheer cleverness involved with what I ve just read requires time to ruminate before some semblance of coherent thought can be strung together So, here I sit two months post read hoping to express just how impressive I found this creative gem to be If the fact that this book is still lingering in the forefront of my mind after so long and a dozen other books in between isn t a testament to John Boyne s level of storytelling, I don t know what is.They say you should write for no other reason than because you love the craft That freeing feeling of turning ideas into words driven by some internal passion sharing your stories with no one or anyone a choice to consider later The thought of being published let alone fame should be the furthest thing from your mind during the process But what do they know anyway For Maurice Swift, fame packaged as The Prize is his ultimate literary goal And he s willing to go to just about any length to get what he wants Sure, he tries his hand at writing the epic novel a few times, but there s always one crucial obstacle he can t seem to surmount coming up with an idea creative enough to inspire a prize winning story Forget plotting, characterization or theme, it all centers around the idea and without it, there s no hope.Although starting out on somewhat of an unassuming note, the storyline quickly takes a turn, morphing into something much darker Picking up this book means surrendering to a master manipulator and his deviously deceptive antics Without a doubt, Maurice is as despicable as they come But, he s also incredibly charming, ambitious as hell and handsome which means it s all too easy to succumb Only to realize when it s far too late that he s stolen your words, your life, your very essence of being.Set amongst the publishing world, Boyne gives readers a look at what the so called ladder climb to the sky of literary success often entails Boyne s play on perspective, dark humor and the constant moral questioning the self rationalizing protagonist manages to provoke, makes for an utterly engaging experience Writing so lovely in fact, it reiterated why the written word has become such a passion in my own life Thank you to Crown Publishing for sending a free copy of the book my way. flag 327 likesLike see review View all 89 comments sue Loved this review Jan 30, 2019 04 08AM Melissa sue wrote Loved this review Thanks, Sue Can you tell I lovvvved this one Jan 30, 2019 08 17AM Jul 17, 2018 Paromjit rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves literary fiction, netgalley It is a story that is as old as time itself, common in our human history and a major source of inspiration for writers, producing great literature, from the likes of Shakespeare to Patricia Highsmith s Tom Ripley, the unleashing of a ferocious, power hungry ambition, nakedly unfettered, ruthless as it wreaks tragedy and destruction in its wake, doing whatever is deemed necessary to achieve the sought after obsessive dream After the brilliance of The Heart s Invisible Furies, John Boyne gives us It is a story that is as old as time itself, common in our human history and a major source of inspiration for writers, producing great literature, from the likes of Shakespeare to Patricia Highsmith s Tom Ripley, the unleashing of a ferocious, power hungry ambition, nakedly unfettered, ruthless as it wreaks tragedy and destruction in its wake, doing whatever is deemed necessary to achieve the sought after obsessive dream After the brilliance of The Heart s Invisible Furies, John Boyne gives us a mesmerising psychological drama, with its coldly manipulative and ambitious Maurice Swift, an adequate if mediocre writer but lacking the elusive inspirational spark that produces great novels, he is blessed with charisma and good looks A sociopath, a man desperate enough to steal stories to succeed in his desire to win literary prizes, having no issues when it comes to betrayal of anyone, willing to sell his soul for literary worldly acclaim In a tale that begins in the 1980s through to the present, it shifts from Berlin and Europe, the US to Britain today, we follow Swift from his initial encounter with Cambridge academic and literary prize winner, novelist Erich Ackermann, whose past life story he exploits to gain his entry into the glittering world he so craves and his ensuing career and family Will there be an accounting of his actions and behaviour What I can say is that not everyone is taken in by his persona With dark comic humour, Boyne once again demonstrates his ability to give us fascinating and gripping storytelling with a central character that rivals the great Tom Ripley, whilst pondering over the thorny issue of who owns stories A brilliant read that I do not hesitate in recommending highly Many thanks to Random House Transworld for an ARC flag 227 likesLike see review View all 56 comments Aug 24, 2018 Meredith rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves netgalley THIS BOOK WOWED ME Meet Maurice Swift whose single purpose in life is to become a famous novelist Beware Maurice is a story thief He will steal your stories, and, in essence, your soul Maurice will do whatever it takes to get to the top but he was one major problem standing in his way he lacks creativity While he can write, his stories are boring.Ever the resourceful one, Maurice uses his physical beauty and charm to leach onto famous writers, not to learn from them but rather to ste THIS BOOK WOWED ME Meet Maurice Swift whose single purpose in life is to become a famous novelist Beware Maurice is a story thief He will steal your stories, and, in essence, your soul Maurice will do whatever it takes to get to the top but he was one major problem standing in his way he lacks creativity While he can write, his stories are boring.Ever the resourceful one, Maurice uses his physical beauty and charm to leach onto famous writers, not to learn from them but rather to steal from them Maurice is a story thief, he uses people for their ideas and throws them away when he gets what he needs He sucks people s souls right out from under them, draining them to the point where they have nothing left to offer the literary world It all begins in Berlin in 1980, when renowned novelist Erich Ackermann first spots Maurice working as a waiter at the Savoy Drawn to Maurice s beauty, Erich lures him into becoming his assistant and believes that they have a true connection But their connection slowly crumbles, as Maurice is only using Erich for a storyand what a story he steals This seems to be Maurice s first act of destruction When he is done with Erich, he simply discards him and moves onto his next victim doing ANYTHING, and I mean anything, to get the stories that he needs Once he has achieved his first conquest, he continues to take and take and take One wonders if all of his stealing will ever catch up with him.Told in three parts by three different narrators, along with some interludes woven in, A Ladder to the Sky details Maurice s rise to the top I too was enthralled with Maurice As much as I despised him, I was intrigued by him and couldn t wait to see what he was going to do to keep his status Maurice s character is brilliantly crafted it was as if I was pulled into the pages by Maurice, even before I got to experience his voice, which says a lot about Boyne s writing ability Boyne s writing is top notch Intricately plotted, filled with sharp wit and multi dimensional complex characters, I was completely riveted while reading this I found A Ladder to the Sky to be an absurdly interesting critique on the literary world While I had a sense of how things would turn out in the end for Maurice, I could not predict the lengths that he would go to keep his fame I loved every moment of this book It s not a happy story, but it certainly is an alluring one that got under my skin This is by far the best book I have read in 2018 I finished it some time ago and still cannot stop thinking about it I highly highly recommend I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Crown Publishing in exchange for an honest review flag 212 likesLike see review View all 83 comments Aug 05, 2018 Larry H rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves netgalley When you get ready to read a book by an author whose two previous books wound up at the top of your year end best lists and they re truly among some of the best books you ve read, at least in the last decade , you get a little nervous whether lightning will strike thrice, or whether you re putting too much pressure on the book I am the one who has preached measured expectations when reading new books by favorite authors, because each new book deserves to be weighed on its own merit, not comp When you get ready to read a book by an author whose two previous books wound up at the top of your year end best lists and they re truly among some of the best books you ve read, at least in the last decade , you get a little nervous whether lightning will strike thrice, or whether you re putting too much pressure on the book I am the one who has preached measured expectations when reading new books by favorite authors, because each new book deserves to be weighed on its own merit, not compared to others the author has written All that being said, John Boyne, author of The Absolutist see my review and The Heart s Invisible Furies see my review , has done it again He has created an unsympathetic, morally dubious character who is utterly unforgettable, and has slayed me in the process.Maurice Swift is a handsome young writer with a tremendous amount of ambition, but he lacks the talent to back it up No matter When he meets noted novelist Erich Ackermann at a West Berlin hotel in 1988, he immediately recognizes that the older man is attracted to him Ackermann is desperately lonely, and is energized by Maurice s companionship, so he invites the young man to travel with him around the world to participate in different literary events.Maurice uses his sex appeal, and the tantalizing promise of giving Ackermann of him, to encourage the writer to divulge a secret he has long kept hidden from the world, a secret with potentially damaging consequences if it is discovered, despite the fact that it happened when Ackermann was a teenager in the midst of World War II Maurice realizes this story will be the perfect basis for his first novel, so once he gets what he needs from the man, he s ready to move on and he doesn t seem to care what it does to Ackermann, or his career.But once Maurice gets a taste of literary fame, he can t imagine life without it After an encounter with famed writer Gore Vidal which makes him uncertain of how far his looks can help him succeed, he moves from literary circle to literary circle, from the U.S to London and all over the world, in search of his next opportunity And as he moves through his life, the stakes get higher and higher until there s nothing he won t do for fame but is a life alone worth the acclaim of success Although there are similarities to The Talented Mr Ripley, A Ladder to the Sky is a novel all its own Maurice is an utterly amoral character, and as much as you dislike him, you have to admire his cunning, his ambition, his single minded pursuit of fame We ve seen this story before, but in Boyne s hands the suspense crackles, the longing of those Maurice strings along is tremendously affecting, and you can t wait to see whether he ll get his comeuppance.Boyne throws some surprising twists into the plot, and takes the story to a different level He s one of those storytellers that hooks you from the very start, and keeps you engrossed in the plot from start to finish While his last two novels have remained in my mind because of the way they touched my heart, A Ladder to the Sky will stay in my mind because of Maurice Swift s character and his unbridled ambition.NetGalley and Crown Publishing provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review Thanks for making this available See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at flag 190 likesLike see review View all 39 comments Dec 06, 2018 Julie rated it it was amazing Shelves 2018, e book, fiction literature, overdrive A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne is a 2018 Hogarth Press publication And you ve heard the old proverb about ambition, haven t you He shook his head That it s like setting a ladder to the sky A pointless waste of energy Maurice Swift may be one of the most calculating literary characters in recent memory His goal is to be a great writer, to win the big literary prize However, he has no imagination of his own He can t outline a plot, or create characters, so he uses his good looks and A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne is a 2018 Hogarth Press publication And you ve heard the old proverb about ambition, haven t you He shook his head That it s like setting a ladder to the sky A pointless waste of energy Maurice Swift may be one of the most calculating literary characters in recent memory His goal is to be a great writer, to win the big literary prize However, he has no imagination of his own He can t outline a plot, or create characters, so he uses his good looks and charisma to draw stories from other people His first success comes from suckering the newly famous author, Erich Ackermann, a man who is totally smitten with Maurice, into telling him stories about his life prior to becoming a well known and respected writer This pays off for Maurice quite well, propelling him into the spotlight From this point on Maurice latches on to one author after another sucking everything out them and leaving broken hearts and tragedy in his wake He does this with malice aforethought, without conscience, without regret He is deliciously diabolical, with a deviousness one can t help but compare to Mr Ripley This is my first novel by the famous Mr Boyne Yes, you read that right I have not been tempted by his YA novel about a boy in striped PJ s, but, I did want to catch The Heart s Invisible Furies , but will have to pick it sometime in the future My first impression of this author is one of astonishment This book is incredible I love dark humor, and deep character studies, and anything that pokes a satirical stick at the publishing industry always tickles me I m not sure why climbing into the mind of a sociopath is so mesmerizing, but I was literally spellbound I couldn t turn away, couldn t believe what I was reading It was utterly chilling Writers are all fascists We like to control the discourse and crush anyone who dares to disagree with us.The prose is exquisite, especially considering the book is centered around such a despicable character The scary thing is that Boyne nails so many parts of this character and those who fall prey to his machinations, as well as the environment that helped Maurice pull off his deceptions It was a little eerie, to be honest, but oh, so fun I can t say much without delving into the plot, but I can tell you this This is my kind of book I m so glad I managed to tuck this one in at the eleventh hour, so I can add it as one of my favorite books of 2018 flag 193 likesLike see review View all 93 comments Aug 13, 2018 Elyse Walters rated it it was amazing review of another edition In the same way Vampires hunger for blood, protagonist Maurice Swift , hungers for stories John Boyne has created a literary Vampire Swift will trade stories for organisms He s not wired sexually like most men He has no desire for sex with either men or women Sex is just one of his power tools to achieve his needs STORIES Maurice is a writer who can t for the life of him think of a story to write about Yet Maurice is driven obsessed nothing else matters He studies every review In the same way Vampires hunger for blood, protagonist Maurice Swift , hungers for stories John Boyne has created a literary Vampire Swift will trade stories for organisms He s not wired sexually like most men He has no desire for sex with either men or women Sex is just one of his power tools to achieve his needs STORIES Maurice is a writer who can t for the life of him think of a story to write about Yet Maurice is driven obsessed nothing else matters He studies every review of every new book published looking for clues as to how do authors come up with stories As an extremely handsome man which means little to Swift per say he will show off his tight abs as seduction for a story for a juicy secret for a story to steal and make his own Be it an author Maurice admires, a wife who can write brilliantly, a son who needs his help, Maurice will sell out everyone and anyone that gets in his way of success Swift s goals in life were clear from a young age to become a famous writer, popular with mainstream readers, and highly respected with the literary critics He also wanted to be a father Swift will eventually sell out himself in time too With no storytelling talent of his own, Maurice Swift, is one of the most famous names in the literary world I still vote, The Heart s Invisible Furies , best book of 2017 I vote Maurice Swift as the most fascinating character of the year.2018 He s toxicdangerous.evild incredibly scrumptiously unavoidably alluring flag 180 likesLike see review View all 87 comments Nov 18, 2018 Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing Shelves books on books I was a good looking boy and I brought him back to life I may have taken advantage of his good nature, but why not I flirted with him, made sure that I remained sexually ambiguous at all times Always a possibility but never a certainty I led him on to the point where he was so overwhelmed with desire that I think there was literally nothing he wouldn t have done for me, had I asked And then, when I got everything I needed from him, I wrote What s wrong with that Well, a lot, but then th I was a good looking boy and I brought him back to life I may have taken advantage of his good nature, but why not I flirted with him, made sure that I remained sexually ambiguous at all times Always a possibility but never a certainty I led him on to the point where he was so overwhelmed with desire that I think there was literally nothing he wouldn t have done for me, had I asked And then, when I got everything I needed from him, I wrote What s wrong with that Well, a lot, but then the world is full of givers and users, and sometimes the givers become users, and when circumstances become dire enough, even users can sometimes become givers We all have users in our life, those people who always remind us of how good a friend we are when they need something, but when we need something in return, suddenly they are not as good a friend as they professed to be Hopefully, none of you have a Maurice Swift in your life Other reviewers make comparisons with Patricia Highsmith novels, which is spot on, but Swift reminds me the most of the main character I d tell you his name, but part of the subterfuge of the novel is his identity in A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin If you like novels involving sociopaths, who are infinitely fascinating because of their ability to walk among us and seem reasonably normal, then definitely put the Levin on your reading list Now the question becomes, as you get to know Swift, is he a garden variety sociopath, or is he a full out psychopath The book explores the idea of harm, or should I say degrees of inflicted harm Is stealing ideas really wrong Does a man s life story belong to him once he has told it to someone else Is taking a good idea poorly written by another writer and turning it into a much better presented story really immoral After all, isn t the idea just lost in bad prose until someone, say a Maurice Swift, who is a good writer, can salvage it for literature Swift s father is a plumber by trade, and the family intends for Maurice to be a plumber, as well To them, writers only come from well to do families who can afford to give their offspring an Oxford level education There is this great scene that, in varying degrees, plays out in families all over the world when a child comes to their parents and says I want to be a writer, painter, dancer, or musician Mention any of those professions, and it will send a finger of fear down any middle class patriarch s back Swift makes the mistake of mentioning to his father D H Lawrence s modest background before becoming a well respected author as an example that a plumber s son, too, can become a writer That D H Lawrence only wrote filth, replied his father Naked men wrestling with each other and posh pieces having it off with the gamekeeper Queer stuff, if you ask me Written for poofters with fancy ideas I ll not have any of it in the house I think Dad might have a flair for writing himself Posh pieces having it off with the gamekeeper It got me all tingly One of my favorite parts of the book is when Maurice Swift, as the companion to yet another writer he is using to gain influence in the publishing industry, visits Gore Vidal Now, Gore appreciates a chiseled pair of buttocks and a rigid, muscular stomach as much as the next gay man, but he is no one s fool His interactions with Swift are simply marvelous The sexual teasing and charm that Swift has used so effectively on other male writers is of an irritation to Gore, who may have seen some of himself in the foppish hair, good looks of Swift Of course, Gore had been better looking, whittier, and elegant He felt a sudden desire to anger fuck the boy, then toss him over the cliffs into the sea below, to watch as his body bounced off the rocks and his bones smashed into a thousand pieces Goodness, now there is a frightening view of the mind of an aging man who finds the manipulations of youthful, mercenary exuberance to be something to shatter rather than preserve Of course, if Swift had been polished and less overtly, coldly calculating and had displayed naive charm, then maybe he might have had success lowering Gore s defenses If Swift had been born with a creative mind, would he have been so feral in his interactions with his mentors, his loved ones, his proteges If plot ideas were bubbling out of him like an erupting Vesuvius, would he have felt so much desperation Is he willing to let himself become psychopath than sociopath I don t think Swift would have ever been very likeable or a model of human behavior, but maybe if he had been blessed with an inventive well spring of a mind, his impact on those he associates with would be less catastrophic I suppose it s difficult to talk about a work in progress You never know who might steal your ideas There is a reason why writers are careful about discussing plots or letting too many people read their work before it is finished You don t have to know someone like Maurice Swift to feel the need to be careful I remember once in college I was writing some fiction for fun and someone I knew, with whom I shared it, took all the characters names in my story and used them in a story he was working on It was really WEIRD I kind of laughed it off, but at the same time I felt violated, like something had been stolen from me He acted like it was no big deal Unbridled ambition can be a positive thing in the lives of those surrounding it, or it can be a fast moving car that leaves people it touches crushed, bereft, and walking down a lonely road, watching the taillights disappear over the horizon This is a cautionary tale about the hazards of beauty without substance Do not be fooled I can t really imagine a serious reader or writer who would not like this book Given the numerous points of potential discussion this novel provides, it would make a great book club book How far would you go to be successful You may not go as far as Maurice Swift, but what degree is acceptable Maybe you will find out things about your book club members you never knew before If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at flag 194 likesLike see review View all 28 comments Aug 06, 2018 Tammy rated it it was amazing Dark and delectable, Boyne s latest novel is compulsively readable Maurice has one consuming desire and that is to be a wildly successful writer Although he is able to craft sentences, he lacks the other critical element crucial to achieving his goal imagination What s a poor boy to do Well, he uses his physical beauty and manipulative charm to glom onto those who are in a position to help him Maurice leapfrogs from person to person as he purloins stories and leaves wreckage in his wake G Dark and delectable, Boyne s latest novel is compulsively readable Maurice has one consuming desire and that is to be a wildly successful writer Although he is able to craft sentences, he lacks the other critical element crucial to achieving his goal imagination What s a poor boy to do Well, he uses his physical beauty and manipulative charm to glom onto those who are in a position to help him Maurice leapfrogs from person to person as he purloins stories and leaves wreckage in his wake Gore Vidal narrates one section and is too sharp or too jaded to succumb to Maurice s machinations Much like the Talented Mr Ripley you must continue to read to find out what reprehensible Maurice will do next or if he ever meets his match Yes, this is a novel about ambition but Boyne s mockery of the publishing world, its inhabitants and preoccupation with prizes is good fun too flag 164 likesLike see review View all 67 comments Nov 12, 2018 Will Byrnes rated it it was amazing Shelves fiction, literary fiction, lgbtq, thriller In evolutionary biology, parasitism is a relationship between species, where one organism, the parasite, lives on or in another organism, the host, causing it some harm, and is adapted structurally to this way of life 1 The entomologist E O Wilson has characterized parasites as predators that eat prey in units of less than one Well, sometimes a host gets to be an entire feast Maurice Swift can be plenty charming, and he is quite something to look at, but he has issues with mo In evolutionary biology, parasitism is a relationship between species, where one organism, the parasite, lives on or in another organism, the host, causing it some harm, and is adapted structurally to this way of life 1 The entomologist E O Wilson has characterized parasites as predators that eat prey in units of less than one Well, sometimes a host gets to be an entire feast Maurice Swift can be plenty charming, and he is quite something to look at, but he has issues with morality, and is possessed of a very considerable and toxic ambition He wants to be a writer Not just any writer He wants to be a world famous writer, winner of The Prize And he does have talent He can write The only problem is that he is a form without substance Maurice cannot, for the life of him, come up with any story ideas Luckily for Maurice, the world is bubbling with such talents It is left to Maurice to attach himself to those who are able to concoct stories, or even just recount good stories from real life, and drain what he can from them before casting aside their empty husks We begin when young Maurice latches on to Erich Ackermann, an aging gay writer who has lived almost his entire life bereft of romance Preying on Erich s desperation, Swift slowly draws from the once top tier talent a life story of unrequited love during the days of Hitler, and a heinous betrayal that has haunted Ackermann all his life John Boyne image from The Guardian by Murdo Macleod We get to see Maurice from the outside until the final part of the book, his marks telling us about their dealings with him Of course, things are not entirely black and white Yes, Maurice is awful, and he does seek to take undue advantage of those he targets, but his victims do not always enter into arrangements with Maurice with blinders on The experienced among them, at least, know that he is not exactly a choir boy, while recognizing that he could pretend to be one if they wanted him to Most see that he means to feed on them, and are ok with that, up to a point, there being some give as well as take Also, in addition to being a pretty awful specimen of humanity, one redeeming feature is that Maurice feels a great desire to be a father Does this make him less sociopathic It certainly seems out of the usual range for characters of this sort And there must be a place inside us where we want Maurice to finally find his grail, without having to cosh Lancelot over the head to get it Is Maurice a rake or a monster, or are both merely steps on a ladder Particularly wonderful among Maurice s targets is a fictionalized Gore Vidal, the one person Maurice targets who sees right through him The venom in this section is considerable and potent You might want to wear the sort of disposable rain slicker they give people in the front few rows of Blue Man Group performances lest you find some spatters on exposed skin and are taken down several notches Delicious fun when I was writing this, I watched as many documentaries as I could I wanted to capture his voice, and I felt that with somebody like that, because he was so sharp, so funny, and so clever, you ve really got to raise your game I felt very sure that Vidal would be the only person in the book who would see through Maurice and not be taken in by him I worked very, very hard on that section and all of his lines to make sure that they sounded right, that if he was still with us and if he read it, he would feel that I haven t let him down from the interviewBoyd does a wonderful job of ratcheting up tension, the same result, if not the kitsch, of the little child running back into room where a monster was last seen, to retrieve a favorite stuffy You idiot, don t do it Come back We can see the perils long before his marks do, and even get a pretty good idea of how Maurice is going about his crimes And we wonder, just how long can this son of a bitch keep getting away with it If you find this unrealistic, I would recommend for your consideration the question of why Donald J Trump has not seen the inside of a jail cell for his lifetime of crimality Sometimes monsters walk free regardless of what they have done Boyne, author of five novels for younger readers, including the wildly successful The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, and eleven novels for adults including this one , has been bringing and of his personal life into his books His prior novel, The Heart s Invisible Furies, looked at the life of a gay Irish man over the course of a lifetime In A Ladder to the Sky, Boyne is looking at a millieu with which he is familiar, lit life, book tours, writers, and hangers on, personalities, dreams, ambitions, and disappointments Maurice was based on a part of that He came from an experience I had a number of years ago with an aspiring writer who sort of attached himself to me, he says We formed quite a strong friendship and it developed into an unhealthy situation I was very drawn to this man I m no innocent in terms of how it all worked out We were both maybe using each other slightly The guy was aware of the fact that I d a crush on him I was just charmed to be around him It eventually reached a point where I had to confront that Not that I was interested in confronting him about it but confronting myself about why I was allowing myself to be manipulated from the Gilmartin interviewYou can enjoy this novel on two levels It is a something of a thriller, watching Maurice wend his way through serial victims How far will he go, what will he do to achieve his ambitions And what will he do to keep his true self hidden On another level this is a wonderful satire on writers and writerly ambition, what they do to get ahead, the networking, light and dark, that fuels success Whatever elements touch you, we can certainly recognize in Maurice and in Boyne s other characters, a need for recognition, whether in the form of personal affection or public acclaim, regardless of the profession or sexual inclinations involved A Ladder to the Sky is engaging, dark, and wickedly funny While the rungs on Maurice s ascent are sometimes too easily scaled, he does encounter the mis step here and there You, on the other hand, need have no such concern Each step up will offer a wider and clearer view until you reach the top and see all A Ladder to the Sky offers a rewarding vista Enjoy the view Review posted November 16, 2018Publication date November 13, 2018I received this book from Penguin Random House s First To Read program in return for an honest review, well, at least one I wrote myself Thankfully the FTR program does not require one to be the first to review I noted at least 200 reviews already up by GR Friends, and god knows how many by people I have used and then ditched I wrote this all myself, I swear I absolutely did not scan through all those earlier reviews looking for and purloining the best ideas, swear to God EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author s personal, Twitter and Instagram pagesInterviews The Irish Times John Boyne We formed a strong friendship, it developed into an unhealthy situation by Sarah Gilmartin interview John Boyne Explores the Dark Side of Literary Ambition by Catherine Elsworth Publishers Weekly Haggling for Fame PW Talks with John Boyne by Kelsey Gillespie Smith Odd bits A wiki on the many sorts of ladders there are 10 Writing Tips from John Boyne My review of The Heart s Invisible Furies flag 160 likesLike see review View all 34 comments Aug 13, 2018 Peter rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves literary fiction, netgalley, favorites, top 10 MachiavellianAn amazing literary work immersed in ambition, infatuation, betrayal and narcissism John skillfully develops a character, Maurice Swift, who has an obsessive ambition to be a famous and accomplished author, with massive sales and literary glory The problem is that while he can form sentences with an acceptable level of skill, he possesses no imagination With this lack of creativity, he cynically hunts and forages for ideas and plots for his novel The fascination with Maurice is MachiavellianAn amazing literary work immersed in ambition, infatuation, betrayal and narcissism John skillfully develops a character, Maurice Swift, who has an obsessive ambition to be a famous and accomplished author, with massive sales and literary glory The problem is that while he can form sentences with an acceptable level of skill, he possesses no imagination With this lack of creativity, he cynically hunts and forages for ideas and plots for his novel The fascination with Maurice is that he is an extremely handsome man, and he will use his physical appeal and charisma in his unscrupulous parasitic strategy to glean as much from other writers or publishers as possible Erich Ackermann is an author that has had a series of unsuccessful books but finally receives recognition as a prize winner He is the first narrator of the novel and meets Maurice as a waiter in a restaurant and later invites Maurice on his US European book tour Erich s infatuation with Maurice is his weakness, and he recognises it so Sitting there that day on a bench in the Caffarella Park, this twenty two year old boy made me long to reveal my secrets in the most self destructive way imaginable I wanted to confide in him, to tell him my story The story Erich tells Maurice, in private, is about his young adulthood in Germany just before the second world war, where he meets Oskar G tt, and is captivated by this young man Their friendship grows with Erich developing deeper feelings for Oskar and they become and aware of secrets they each harbour, including their views of the Nazi s, their Jewish ancestry, their love of prohibited art and of course Erich s homosexuality When it s revealed that Oskar has a girlfriend he has fallen in love with, Erich is spiteful, having previously out of pure jealousy, discredited his nude painting of her as vulgar and mediocre The unbeloved Erich reacts to their leaving Germany in an atrocious fashion All this becomes the subject of Maurice s first book Two Germans.During Maurice s travels with Erich, he meets Dash Hardy, who is to become the next obsequious victim of Maurice s charms and the source of his next feeding ground You can see in the pointed dialogue and interaction between Maurice and his mentors the subtle swing from his position as prot g to a dominant role as they become less and less useful But once I had what I needed, why would I have stuck around Maurice will undertake this Machiavellian approach several times, cultivating relationships for his own gain, including a marriage to Edith with a son Daniel However, as time passes, looks fade, and the carnage becomes apparent in the rearview mirror, the carnage that may be exposed John Boyne has this exceptional ability to place words on a page with such soul and meaning, that immediately you re immersed in a delicately unwinding story Nothing is forced, everything flows naturally The characters are developed with marvellous believability whilst illustrating intriguing relationships and entertaining dialogue The dialogue provides so much animation, conveying that touch of humour, irony or jealousy, or sexual teasing.An amazing book with a wonderful engrossing storyline, characterisation and dialogue A book that is totally captivating and a literary masterpiece.I would like to thank Random House UK, Transworld Publishers and NetGalley, for an ARC version of A Ladder to the Sky in return for an honest review flag 162 likesLike see review View all 42 comments Sep 28, 2018 Debra rated it it was amazing Shelves netgalley Wowza John Boyne keeps getting better and better Each time he writes a book, he tops his last A ladder to the Sky has done just that This book is beautifully written, tragic, compelling and hard to put down Boyne has given me a character that I love to hate Maurice Swift is so deliciously amoral Maurice is willing to do whatever it takes to be a bestselling Author Armed with his youth and beauty, he sets out to achieve his goals, no looking back, no remorse and feeling justified with hi Wowza John Boyne keeps getting better and better Each time he writes a book, he tops his last A ladder to the Sky has done just that This book is beautifully written, tragic, compelling and hard to put down Boyne has given me a character that I love to hate Maurice Swift is so deliciously amoral Maurice is willing to do whatever it takes to be a bestselling Author Armed with his youth and beauty, he sets out to achieve his goals, no looking back, no remorse and feeling justified with his actions He uses what he has to his advantage all the while using the talent of others to further his own career He takes what he can and moves on He is ambitious, cunning, calculating, arrogant, and manipulative As the book progresses, the reader watches reads as Maurice moves from one person to the next, using that person, until that individual has nothing else to give and or Maurice feels he has taken all he can He will stop at nothing to succeed even if it means destroying lives, ruining careers or worse I enjoyed how this book delves into ownership There is plagiarism and then there is re writing someone s work and telling someone s life events For instance, if someone tells you about a specific time in his her life and you write about it have you stolen from them or just profited off their story To what lengths will someone go to achieve success When the gods with to punish us, they answer our prayers This book is not only a character study of the main character, Maurice, but to a small degree on the many people in his life Erich and Dash both came to realize that they were being used and both allowed it for his own reasons How incredibly sad is it when one knows they are being used and they allow it with the hope of love or companionship There were the tragic figures who were used by Maurice and had no idea until it was too late On the other hand, I absolutely loved the passages with Gore It was nice to see a character who saw right through him and called him on the carpet Those sections were bliss for me.This was a very enjoyable read which provides the reader with many characters POV and ending with Maurice s Will he ever stop in his quest for glory What happens when you lose your youth and beauty Will Maurice ever meet his match Is there a price to be paid for ambition Highly recommend Thank you to Crown Publishing and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review All the thoughts and opinions are my own.Read of my reviews at openbookpost flag 197 likesLike see review View all 62 comments Nov 16, 2018 Angela M rated it really liked it Shelves netgalley reviews 3.5 starsWhat do you do when you have the blind ambition to be a writer and while you can write, you just don t have a creative idea in you If you are the unscrupulous, narcissistic, slime ball named Maurice Swift you do anything that it takes steal their stories and their books and ruin their lives I wasn t going to read this, but 33 trusted GR friends gave it 5 stars and than a handful gave it 4 stars so how could I resist Besides, I really enjoy Boyne s writing and I loved his la 3.5 starsWhat do you do when you have the blind ambition to be a writer and while you can write, you just don t have a creative idea in you If you are the unscrupulous, narcissistic, slime ball named Maurice Swift you do anything that it takes steal their stories and their books and ruin their lives I wasn t going to read this, but 33 trusted GR friends gave it 5 stars and than a handful gave it 4 stars so how could I resist Besides, I really enjoy Boyne s writing and I loved his last book So I read this out of curiosity than anything else wondering what my thoughts would be because I don t usually like books where the main character is as despicable as Maurice Bottom line is that I couldn t stand him and what he does and than once I almost gave up, in particular after the middle section I continued reading because I hoped with every page that he would get his I m not going to spoil this for anyone who hasn t read this yet You ll have to find out for yourself The writing is as good as it always is in a book by Boyne The characterization is phenomenal not just of Maurice, but of Erich Ackermann and Dash Hardy, two men who are pathetically obsessed with Maurice and who fall prey to his devious schemes My favorite character and perhaps the only one I felt anything for is his wife Edith who definitely falls prey to Maurice I also was heartbroken for his son, Daniel My favorite part of the novel was the clever conversation and interaction between Gore Vidal and Maurice The discussions about who owns the ideas for a book in various places in the novel were food for thought I got through it in spite of my aversion, dare I say hate of Maurice, mainly because of Boyne s writing For that, I ll have to bump up to 4 stars.I received an advanced copy of this book from Hogarth Crown through NetGalley flag 153 likesLike see review View all 64 comments Aug 26, 2018 Paula Kalin rated it it was amazing review of another edition Recommends it for Literary fiction fans Recommended to Paula by Elyse Walters Shelves literary fiction, published 2018, contemporary, netgalley, read in 2018, favorite authors, favorite books, e book Irish author John Boyne has written a masterpiece A Ladder to the Sky is brilliant Maurice Swift, is a so so author who wants to succeed as a writer It s his lifetime ambition, and he doesn t care how he gets there Beautiful, charming, and ruthless, Maurice can t come up with his own stories so he steals them His first victim is Erich Ackermann who has received some literary fame After using Erich s personal story and destroying him, Maurice climbs the ladder to the powerful Maurice i Irish author John Boyne has written a masterpiece A Ladder to the Sky is brilliant Maurice Swift, is a so so author who wants to succeed as a writer It s his lifetime ambition, and he doesn t care how he gets there Beautiful, charming, and ruthless, Maurice can t come up with his own stories so he steals them His first victim is Erich Ackermann who has received some literary fame After using Erich s personal story and destroying him, Maurice climbs the ladder to the powerful Maurice is a user He is a sociopath and watch out if you get in his way Boyne s novel is about obsession, betrayal, and relationships secrets The dialogue is superb The book s character development is excellent.Read this book You will never forget it One of the best I have read this year 5 out of 5 starsThanks to NetGalley, Crown Publishing, and the wonderfully talented John Boyne for the ARC.Publication date November 13, 2018 flag 154 likesLike see review View all 72 comments Sep 24, 2018 Diane S rated it really liked it review of another edition Boynes, Hearts Invisible Furies turned out to be my favorite book of last year In that one he gave me a character I absolutely loved, in this one he does the opposite Here, he gives us a character one loves to hate, a young man devoid of any redeeming characteristics Maurice Swift, a man who thinks that anything he does is justified Nothing is his fault.Now I am the type of reader who enjoys being given a character who tugs at my heart, someone in which I can hope for, cherish But.I also Boynes, Hearts Invisible Furies turned out to be my favorite book of last year In that one he gave me a character I absolutely loved, in this one he does the opposite Here, he gives us a character one loves to hate, a young man devoid of any redeeming characteristics Maurice Swift, a man who thinks that anything he does is justified Nothing is his fault.Now I am the type of reader who enjoys being given a character who tugs at my heart, someone in which I can hope for, cherish But.I also say if you can t give me that, then give me some stellar prose, or a plot that is intriguing, pulls me into the story And.s that is definitely the case here, this plot pulled me in, like watching a train wreck I couldn t pull away Can beauty alone, present a blind that allows one to excuse another s actions Do those who are extremely good looking have an unfair advantage, treated differently than those who do not Apparently so This is a book where it would be so easy to give away part of the plot, so I will stop here The less said the better in this case.Boyne, to me is an amazing writer He writes so many different types of books, but though I have not yet read all of his, the ones I have, did not let me down I look forward to seeing where he takes me nextC from bookbrowse flag 151 likesLike see review View all 41 comments Oct 28, 2018 Liz rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves netgalley, best of 2018 What a fascinating premise Maurice is a con and a scammer He lacks imagination but not ambition He wants to be a successful writer at all costs The book starts with Erich, an aging author, finally finding fame in his sixties He falls for Maurice, who sees potential in playing to Erich s infatuation He steals Erich s story of himself as a young man in Nazi Germany And this is not a story that paints Erich in a positive light Each segment gives us another step in Maurice s trip up the ladd What a fascinating premise Maurice is a con and a scammer He lacks imagination but not ambition He wants to be a successful writer at all costs The book starts with Erich, an aging author, finally finding fame in his sixties He falls for Maurice, who sees potential in playing to Erich s infatuation He steals Erich s story of himself as a young man in Nazi Germany And this is not a story that paints Erich in a positive light Each segment gives us another step in Maurice s trip up the ladder another person misused and abused This book just immediately gripped me Maurice is truly a trip and a half The mind games he plays with Edith had me dropping my jaw at the audacity His willingness to use everyone who can further his ascent is admirable in its pure evilness He is literally deliciously despicable I have a huge fascination with psychopaths and Maurice totally fits the bill I spent the entire book waiting and hoping for Maurice to get his comeuppance But I m obviously not going to give away that spoiler I can t recommend this book highly enough for those that can handle horrible main characters I m adding this to my list of best of 2018 My thanks to netgalley and Crown Publishing for an advance copy of this book flag 144 likesLike see review View all 50 comments Nov 23, 2018 Susanne Strong rated it really liked it Shelves netgalley 4.5 Stars rounded down Proof Positive that an author can write a novel with a truly despicable main character and some less than likeable supporting characters and still write a brilliant novel All it takes is a fantastic storyteller John Boyne is that man When I read The Hearts Invisible Furies last year I fell in love With both Cyril Avery the main character, and with John Boyne Prior to that, I d only known Boyne through the movie The Boy in the Striped Pajamas A Ladder in th 4.5 Stars rounded down Proof Positive that an author can write a novel with a truly despicable main character and some less than likeable supporting characters and still write a brilliant novel All it takes is a fantastic storyteller John Boyne is that man When I read The Hearts Invisible Furies last year I fell in love With both Cyril Avery the main character, and with John Boyne Prior to that, I d only known Boyne through the movie The Boy in the Striped Pajamas A Ladder in the Sky showed me just how dynamic John Boyne is All I can say is bravo In A Ladder to the Sky he writes of Maurice Swift a man who wants to be a successful writer He needs it than anything else in this world Maurice is a man who will stop at nothing to get it The problem is simply that he lacks ideas He cannot come up with one iota to write about He does however have a plan on how to write successful novels, he either steals other people s ideas or their books and he writes them as if they are his own and he gets away with it Bold, right Wrong, yes Not to Maurice Shown to us through the eyes of many, we see a few different sides to Maurice Swift and none are pretty First up, is Erich Ackermann, a successful novelist in his own right, whose life Maurice all but destroys then we meet Edith, who becomes Maurice s wife she of course fares no better then, we meet Maurice himself The things he does to become successful are outrageous I laughed and then I shrieked out loud Though I immediately despised him, I couldn t help but be fascinated by his machinations, Tsk tsk, Maurice have you no soul Oh right, I know the answer to that question A Ladder in the Sky is a masterpiece plain and simple and I can t recommend it highly enough For me, it falls a tiny bit short of The Hearts Invisible Furies simply because I loved those characters with my whole heart The bottom line however is this John Boyne is brilliant and commanding To create a character as real and unappealing as Maurice Swift is a feat most authors are unable to achieve and here, the author does it with ease A huge thank you to NetGalley, Crown Publishing and John Boyne for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review Published on , NetGalley Twitter and Instagram on 11.23.18 flag 149 likesLike see review View all 84 comments Aug 03, 2018 Felicia rated it it was amazing review of another edition John Boyne could write a 500 page play by play account of the sleeping habits of the maned three toed sloth that inhabits the Atlantic Forest of Brazil using only words that start with the letter Q and I have no doubt that it would be anything less than a compelling example of literary excellence.As is the norm in Boyne s stories, this book features a captivating protagonist, this time his name is Maurice Swift, a narcissist and quite possibly a psychopath, as such, he is a man willing to go to John Boyne could write a 500 page play by play account of the sleeping habits of the maned three toed sloth that inhabits the Atlantic Forest of Brazil using only words that start with the letter Q and I have no doubt that it would be anything less than a compelling example of literary excellence.As is the norm in Boyne s stories, this book features a captivating protagonist, this time his name is Maurice Swift, a narcissist and quite possibly a psychopath, as such, he is a man willing to go to any lengths required to achieve his goal of becoming the most famous fiction writer in the world You see, while Maurice is indeed an incredible writer, he lacks one important prerequisite for attaining the notoriety he so desperately seeks, he can t come up with an interesting plot to save his life Being devoid of imagination, Maurice resorts to using the stories of others to achieve his goal, with no remorse for the lives he destroys along the way, and ultimately, including his own.I dare say that nobody develops a character as intimately as Boyne His protagonists are invariably so believable and relatable that you often feel like you are reading a biography rather than a novel If you ve never had the pleasure of reading a book by John Boyne, I cannot recommend enough that you remedy that situation immediately while you await the release of this gem He is, arguably, the best writer of his and mine generation and certainly my favorite.I was provided an ARC of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review flag 135 likesLike see review View all 37 comments Nov 12, 2018 Em Lost In Books rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves 2010 19, 2018, 5 star, stand alone read Maurice smiled Stealing is very bad, he agreed Only really bad people take things that don t belong to you So Maurice was an aspiring writer when he first met the famous author Erich Ackermann Young, beautiful, and a charm that was hard to ignore, Maurice was aware of all this about himself Poor old Erich didn t know that he was being until it was too late Living mostly by himself all his life Ackermann fell hard for Maurice and paid the price Maurice extracted a dark secret from Ack Maurice smiled Stealing is very bad, he agreed Only really bad people take things that don t belong to you So Maurice was an aspiring writer when he first met the famous author Erich Ackermann Young, beautiful, and a charm that was hard to ignore, Maurice was aware of all this about himself Poor old Erich didn t know that he was being until it was too late Living mostly by himself all his life Ackermann fell hard for Maurice and paid the price Maurice extracted a dark secret from Ackermann which old man would be so ashamed of telling anyone and yet he lost the battle when Maurice started giving him a cold shoulder So to keep Maurice tied to him Ackermann told him a story from his past that was his most ugliest secret Our aspiring writing remains with him for the story but leaves him as soon as he got this tale While this dark tale was rise of one man, it was also the downfall of other And this is just one of the story that Boyne told us about Maurice s rise and rise to the fame There are many other and one chilling than the other What this book is about, the blurb tells us everything On the surface it is just a story of a leach who live off on others Just sucking stories from them instead of blood I would have given it a pass had I not read Heart s Invisible Furies I knew there would be much to this story than stealing and Boyne did not disappoint In Maurice he gave us a deeply flawed human being who would do anything to succeed and won t regret his actions because in his mind he was right to do what he did Boyne through this story shows us the competitive, hungry for success, moral less world that we are living in Everyone wants to be on top and doing things to achieve that aim, without giving a second thought to how our action would effect others It is a race where everyone wants to be a winner A second or a third place are not good enough This story also reflects on how the writing and publishing works You could be a star, publicly appraised and but also can t deny the contempt of your contemporaries, calling you names when you are not around It is a stunning story with a twisted and a very cunning character at its center Love him or hate him but you won t stop until you know where he ends up in with all the atrocities that he has committed in his life Highly recommended flag 131 likesLike see review View all 17 comments Aug 29, 2018 Debbie rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves netgalley, lgbt, 2018 best reads, almost all time faves, writer character, favorite authors Grabbed my pogo stick at Part 2 and kept on hoppingThis is so weird I vigorously hated Part 1, yet I just as vigorously gave the book 5 stars What s up with THAT The book starts with an old writer man lusting over a young writer man who will stop at nothing to get ahead Scathing conversations, immoral acts, a cynical vibe, just nasty people doing and saying nasty things to each other in the publishing world it was all just too depressing and dark I realized, hey, I don t want to be aroun Grabbed my pogo stick at Part 2 and kept on hoppingThis is so weird I vigorously hated Part 1, yet I just as vigorously gave the book 5 stars What s up with THAT The book starts with an old writer man lusting over a young writer man who will stop at nothing to get ahead Scathing conversations, immoral acts, a cynical vibe, just nasty people doing and saying nasty things to each other in the publishing world it was all just too depressing and dark I realized, hey, I don t want to be around these people, really, I don t get me out of here, now Life is too short to be reading a book that makes me hate the human race So as I started Part 2, I was thinking of ditching the book I especially didn t like feeling this way because Boyne had wowed me with The Heart s Invisible Furies and I was expecting to be wowed again I trudged on nervously To my relief, Part 2 A whole different story, whole different tone Even a different narrator I got pulled in, and pulled in good And for the rest of the book I was a goner.In Part 2, it soon becomes clear that the main character of the book is the douche bag from Part 1 the young guy, Maurice, who will stop at nothing to get to the top And it s here that the genre sort of changes I m not going to explain because I don t want to give spoilers, but believe me when I say I just wasn t expecting THAT to happen I headed right to the closet to grab my pogo stick, because, well, it was time.This book is basically a character study of Maurice, who is one sick puppy He is brilliantly put together There are a couple of narrators so we get to see him from different perspectives He is eternally despicable but intriguing as hell With every new phase of his life, we cringe as we see what he is capable of Talk about no moral compass He wants to be a famous writer, period He destroys lives without a second s remorse We desperately want him to get his, but will he How can they possibly catch him Because really, he is awfully good at what he does.The thing about Boyne is that he doesn t let up The pace is perfect, the plot intriguing, the characters vivid, the language fantastic The last quarter of the book is especially brilliant It was edge of my seat time I think this would make a fantastic movie.Oh, and the dialogue wow I love talky books, and this book is chatty cathy Occasionally, the conversations seemed a little over the top and unbelievable, but they were so brilliant I didn t care They were like the zingers we spout in our heads after we ve safely left a bad conversation I wish I had said THAT, we think Why did I freeze So by reading the dialogue here, I was sometimes getting vicarious thrills Here s the weird thing Just now I went back to Part 1 Lo and behold, nothing seemed offensive, nothing made me feel awful The text was simply doing its job of setting up a good story it wasn t torturing me with its cynical tone How can that be I think it s that Boyne is a magician The good taste of the rest of the book not just made me forget the bad taste of Part 1, it permanently took it away Now that s magical storytelling I love books about writers, and I love it when craft and style are touched upon, which they are here The publishing world in this book is not a world anyone would want to live in, though it s painted as one scary place Here we have crimes, back biting, meanness, plagiarism, the worst of networking Makes you shiver Could anything like this happen in real life Maurice is extreme, sure, but do some of his tamer actions mimic what happens in real life God I hope not Writers who are paranoid about people stealing their work should not read this There s one small editing nit that bugged me Within a few pages, a character mentioned the age of a kid twice to the same person Super minor, but the editor gets a D for missing this one.This book reminds me a bit of Dear Mr M, by Herman Koch, a favorite author of mine Both books have a complex writer as the main character, and both have cynical and sinister tones even the writing styles seem a little similar And strangely, this book has the same exact theme as a great little short story I read earlier this year My Purple Scented Novel, by Ian McEwan another favorite author.Get your hands on this gem Expect an unforgettable, despicable character and tons of smart dialogue Boyne writes with such ease and art, I found it impossible not to be totally immersed in this story I can honestly say that not one sentence bored me and not one conversation was uninteresting So hell yes, I grabbed my pogo stick at Part 2 and kept right on going What a trip it was Thanks to NetGalley for an advance copy flag 121 likesLike see review View all 72 comments Jul 15, 2018 Amanda rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves netgalley I didn t realise just how good this book was going to be, this is my first John Boyne novel and to put it bluntly it blew my tiny mind away When novelist Erich Ackerman writes his 6th novel, Dread and is finally recognised for his work, he a meets handsome young waiter called Maurice, aged 22 and a wannabe writer, who he takes on as his personal assistant This is helped by the fact that he finds him attractive and less by the quality of his CV I ll do whatever it takes to succeed Mau I didn t realise just how good this book was going to be, this is my first John Boyne novel and to put it bluntly it blew my tiny mind away When novelist Erich Ackerman writes his 6th novel, Dread and is finally recognised for his work, he a meets handsome young waiter called Maurice, aged 22 and a wannabe writer, who he takes on as his personal assistant This is helped by the fact that he finds him attractive and less by the quality of his CV I ll do whatever it takes to succeed Maurice had said and he certainly does He is desperate to be a renowned published author and will go to any lengths to get the perfect story, even if it means he doesn t actually write it.Maurice is such a strong character, handsome, charming and manipulative I couldn t stop reading to find out what happens to Maurice and hoping that he gets his comeuppance.This book has to be read, it will stay with me for a long time and I can not recommend it highly enough My favourite book of 2018 so far I have just become a fan of John Boyne so excuse me whilst I look for another of his books flag 112 likesLike see review View all 20 comments Jul 17, 2018 Candi rated it really liked it Shelves contemporary literary 3.5 stars I m going to be the greatest novelist of my generation In The Heart s Invisible Furies I couldn t help but feel affection towards Cyril Avery, quirks and all He wasn t perfect by any means, but who is In this novel, John Boyne has managed to create a character with absolutely no redeeming qualities Well, okay, Maurice Swift may have been devastatingly handsome, but that is neither here nor there This guy is the ultimate creep His single minded ambition to write and be famous drov 3.5 stars I m going to be the greatest novelist of my generation In The Heart s Invisible Furies I couldn t help but feel affection towards Cyril Avery, quirks and all He wasn t perfect by any means, but who is In this novel, John Boyne has managed to create a character with absolutely no redeeming qualities Well, okay, Maurice Swift may have been devastatingly handsome, but that is neither here nor there This guy is the ultimate creep His single minded ambition to write and be famous drove every single action of his life Maurice is so despicable that do I dare say he s not really all that interesting not even close to Tom Ripley from Patricia Highsmith s novel The Talented Mr Ripley who somehow managed to make me nearly side with him and question my own sanity Maurice is like a conglomerate of all the bad guys from literature combined into one Now, Gore Vidal, who makes a cameo appearance in this book, is a character as drawn by Boyne that I could really believe He may have been an arrogant so and so, but he has some depth and it works I loved the scenes between Gore and Maurice personally, they made the book for me Gore is no fool and he sees right through Maurice There are people who will sacrifice anyone and anything to get ahead, after all They re rather easy to spot if you know the signs to watch out for Not you, dear boy I m sure you re a fellow of great integrity Poor Maurice There is one problem keeping him from his goal of becoming a renowned novelist He has no ideas He simply can t come up with his own plot for a book I feel like all the stories in the universe have already been told However, obstacles are meant to be surmounted, and a good measure of sex appeal combined with a heavy dose of manipulation will carry you far And as Gore Vidal predicts I don t doubt it for a moment The boy will be an extraordinary success Maurice is much like a catastrophic hurricane, destroying everyone and everything in his path So, although I missed that love to hate feeling with regards to Maurice, this book is admittedly unputdownable John Boyne is not lacking in ideas for plot The story will grab your attention and hold you throughout Mostly, you ll be crossing your fingers that Maurice will get what is coming to him After all, what goes around comes around, right You ll have to read this and find out.I recommend this to fans of John Boyne I can t say I liked it as much as the last, The Heart s Invisible Furies, but no doubt it s quite entertaining 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 There can be no discussion of morality when it comes to art A writer must tell the story that captures his soul But do novels really belong to any of us Other than to readers, I mean It s an interesting question, don t you think flag 120 likesLike see review View all 66 comments Jeannie Nice review Candi This is on my TBR Jan 31, 2019 12 48PM Candi Jeannie wrote Nice review Candi This is on my TBR Thank you, Jeannie Jan 31, 2019 02 51PM Nov 11, 2018 Jennifer TarHeelReader rated it it was amazing Shelves 2018 reads, arcs, kindle version 5 stars for rich storytelling at its best My first book by John Boyne, and I d say it s rather impressive Maurice Swift is at the center of this story He is a handsome fellow and people like him however, he only cares about success His own, as a writer At any cost.The story begins in West Berlin in 1988 Swift is a waiter in a hotel when he meets famous novelist Erich Ackermann While he makes fast friends with Ackermann, he takes advantage and lures a scandalous secret about his 5 stars for rich storytelling at its best My first book by John Boyne, and I d say it s rather impressive Maurice Swift is at the center of this story He is a handsome fellow and people like him however, he only cares about success His own, as a writer At any cost.The story begins in West Berlin in 1988 Swift is a waiter in a hotel when he meets famous novelist Erich Ackermann While he makes fast friends with Ackermann, he takes advantage and lures a scandalous secret about his behavior during World War II Swift sees this as free fodder for the book he wants to write That begins his path to success, and onwards and upwards he travels until he no longer knows the truth from fiction, or even who he is any Wow, Swift is a character you will quickly love to hate As much as I disliked him, completely abhorred him, I was entranced with his story and had to know how far he would go for his next story Boyne s writing is what everyone says it is Smooth, buttery, intricately detailed, smart, and completely absorbing Maurice Swift made my skin crawl with his hatred for humankind and probably himself and his complete moral disregard When a character turns your stomach in that way, you know you ve been on a powerful journey Thank you to Crown Publishing and Hogarth Books for the complimentary ARC All opinions are my own My reviews can also be found on my blog jennifertarheelreader flag 111 likesLike see review View all 37 comments Sep 29, 2018 Dorie Traveling Sister rated it really liked it Shelves mystery thriller, literature, netgalley feedback, netgalley books, traveling sister reads NOW AVAILABLE I am probably one of the only readers on this site that hasn t read John Royne before This was a Traveling Sister read and I thank them for bringing this book to my attention.This book is about writers, the publishing industry, how different people get their ideas to write a novel,etc, but it revolves steadily around the main character Maurice We are taken back to 1988 Berlin where an illustrious and recently well published author, Erich Ackermann is eating at a restaurant a NOW AVAILABLE I am probably one of the only readers on this site that hasn t read John Royne before This was a Traveling Sister read and I thank them for bringing this book to my attention.This book is about writers, the publishing industry, how different people get their ideas to write a novel,etc, but it revolves steadily around the main character Maurice We are taken back to 1988 Berlin where an illustrious and recently well published author, Erich Ackermann is eating at a restaurant and can t take his eyes off of a particular waiter, we later find out this is Maurice Swift Erich is a homosexual who hasn t had any physical relationships since he was young and apparently Maurice is extremely handsome Erich is so entranced with Maurice from the start that he asks him to travel with him on his book tour through Europe and Maurice accepts.Erich is no match for the manipulating, seducing Maurice who remains just out of reach physically to pretty much drive Erich crazy After the book tours are completed Maurice leaves Erich, he has gotten all he wants from Erich, basically his life story which he will turn into a well received novel.Next is Dash a much published author though some question his ability, whom he has met through Erich, he is also very attracted to Maurice is a homosexual and they do have a relationship, starting with Dash being a mentor to Erich until he is like a begging dog, completely manipulated by Maurice, it is not a pleasant thing to read about Are there really that many people out there that would give away their stories or ideas over an infatuation with a young man Is the author telling us through this story that there are a lot of homosexuals in the writing field, which I have no problem with but am just interested if this is his intent Maurice himself is a writing machine He knows the mechanics of writing and how to add to an exciting story once he has been given an idea, he basically has no imagination, another trait of sociopaths He cares not a bit if he hurts anyone psychologically or physically in the process Maybe some of you have encountered the type in the workplace, after all the Ladder to the Sky could be many professions besides writing, it could be banking, law, retail etc Maurice really is a sociopath, maybe a psychopath if his actions really killed someone.I felt as though the book lagged a bit in the middle, when the second narrator was introduced For quite a while we don t even know who this person is until her life and relationship with Maurice are revealed This is Edith, a fantastic but insecure writer who has married Maurice Two of Maurice s goals in life are to be a well reputed writer and to be a father, thus the marriage as Maurice has no real love for anyone Edith will become another of Maurice s targets, this one much worse than the last.The story goes on and has three basic points of view but with some interchanging at times We learn that Maurice gets that special little one only to find it not what he had hoped This comes to an unbelievable ending which made me really despise Maurice But he wasn t done yet,he manages to steal or re imagine books from others ideas, always changing them up just enough so that it couldn t be proven that he actually stole their ideas.The last chapter introduces us to Theo who has told Maurice that he wants to write a thesis on him and Maurice, always vain, agrees to the interviews This time, however, the tables are turned and what will we have here Very clever part of the novel.I will look forward to any authors reactions when they read this book The process of interns reviewing manuscripts possibly to discard a few because they were too good , better writers than themselves, was a really scary thought I hope that the book is exaggerating the general system I think someone has to be really mentally tough to put a book out there for someone to publish, I know several authors whom I ve corresponded with who have boxes full of rejection letters before they got their published best seller That is probably quite enough and maybe too much but I m hoping to get you interested in the book I was satisfied with the ending, although I had wished it would be a bit of a balance, equal punishment for what he had done and is about to do again This was a 4 1 2 star read for me just because the middle slowed down for a while, otherwise I do recommend this novel.I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley flag 107 likesLike see review View all 29 comments Sep 28, 2018 JanB rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves netgalley, traveling sister read There s a proverb that says ambition is like putting a ladder against the sky It s a pointless waste of energy Told in three parts, this book shows the complete degradation of a person when blind ambition is coupled with psychopathic tendencies An author must be a keen observer of people and events They can take a nugget of an idea, then use their imagination to turn it into a story But what happens when the only person you are interested in is yourself When your interest in people is on There s a proverb that says ambition is like putting a ladder against the sky It s a pointless waste of energy Told in three parts, this book shows the complete degradation of a person when blind ambition is coupled with psychopathic tendencies An author must be a keen observer of people and events They can take a nugget of an idea, then use their imagination to turn it into a story But what happens when the only person you are interested in is yourself When your interest in people is only a means to an end When you are a parasite, an empty shell of a man, without an original idea in your head How far will you go when your only goal in life is to become a celebrated novelist I won t give away the plot because it would ruin the delicious surprises in store for the reader The writing is stellar, and the character development is excellent Be prepared to be in the hands of a master wordsmith as you read this book Be patient as you read, and be prepared to be shocked The ending was simply brilliant I was left wondering if John Boyne is poking fun at himself and his fellow authors Is Maurice a composite of authors he has known Did he start out poking a little fun at himself and other authors, then took the character of Maurice to the extreme Know going into it that if you need your fictional characters to be sympathetic or likable, this isn t the book for you.This was my first Boyne book but his book, The Heart s Invisible Furies, is on my bookshelf and just made it to the top of my short list of books to be read.My recommendation Read it It would make a great book club book with much to discuss I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review to be published November 13, 2018 Thanks to the Traveling Sisters who joined me in reading and discussing this book flag 104 likesLike see review View all 82 comments Sep 21, 2018 Cheri rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves 2018, irish author, berlin, rome, madrid, arc, netgalley, england, usa NOW AVAILABLE Oh, got no reason, got no shameGot no family I can t blameJust don t let me disappearI mma tell you everything Tell me what you want to hearSomething that will light those earsSick of all the insincereI m gonna give all my secrets awayThis time, don t need another perfect lieDon t care if critics ever jump in lineI m gonna give all my secrets away Secrets, OneRepublic, Songwriters Ryan Tedder Will you walk into my parlour said the Spider to the Fly Mary Howitt NOW AVAILABLE Oh, got no reason, got no shameGot no family I can t blameJust don t let me disappearI mma tell you everything Tell me what you want to hearSomething that will light those earsSick of all the insincereI m gonna give all my secrets awayThis time, don t need another perfect lieDon t care if critics ever jump in lineI m gonna give all my secrets away Secrets, OneRepublic, Songwriters Ryan Tedder Will you walk into my parlour said the Spider to the Fly Mary Howitt That great poets imitate and improve, whereas small ones steal and spoil W H Davenport AdamsSecrets and Lies, Ambition, Lust and GreedAmbition can be a good quality within limits, but when it becomes the focus of a life, then it tends to consume anything and everything in its path, and when it is done consuming anything, everything and everyone in its path, it will turn on the one that is left the ambitious one In the spring of 1988, Erich Ackermann, now in his mid sixties, returns to Berlin on invitation, a book tour It is different now, Berlin, but that doesn t stop him from seeing the Germany of his youth everywhere he looks, and so the memories seep back in These are not altogether pleasant memories, and it has been taking a toll on his mood For now, he is seated in the hotel s bar, watching the beautiful young man bringing drinks to the tables, and believes the boy is glancing his way now and then, and he wonders if the boy is attracted to him, and contemplates his feelings on that for a while, setting his novel aside.This beautiful young man is Maurice Swift, a boy man who has aspirations to be a writer if only he had a story to tell, a story as shocking and compelling as Erich Ackermann, or even an idea for a story Will his ambition fuel his success or will his ambition prove to be his destruction There are other characters in this novel, Gore Vidal being one, a point in the novel where it moves to Vidal s home on the Amalfi Coast While the first part is told through Ackermann, the second part is narrated through Vidal As this story goes along, the tension builds, slowly at first, and by the time I reached the halfway point, I thought I knew where this was going, although I was not wrong, I never expected how this delightful, but disturbing, story would end Boyne s story flows effortlessly, the writing is lovely, and while I loved different sections with varying degrees of love, overall this was such an incredibly engaging story of a contemptible character that I will not soon forget Pub Date 13 NOV 2018Many thanks for the ARC provided by Crown Publishing Hogarth flag 112 likesLike see review View all 44 comments Dec 23, 2018 Lindsay Traveling Sister rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves netgalley, traveling sister read 4 stars Maurice you conniving, selfish scoundrel Never have I ever been so intrigued by such a nasty and repulsive main character Wow This novel follows Maurice Swift in his rise to fame We are introduced to Maurice as a handsome young man whose goal in life is to become a famous writer He will stop at nothing to get ahead, latching on to countless people to use them for all he can get As the story progresses, we witness just how greedy, manipulative and destructive he can be.This story 4 stars Maurice you conniving, selfish scoundrel Never have I ever been so intrigued by such a nasty and repulsive main character Wow This novel follows Maurice Swift in his rise to fame We are introduced to Maurice as a handsome young man whose goal in life is to become a famous writer He will stop at nothing to get ahead, latching on to countless people to use them for all he can get As the story progresses, we witness just how greedy, manipulative and destructive he can be.This story is unpredictable, outrageous, fascinating and jaw dropping I felt like I was in a constant state of shock, never knowing what to anticipate next The author, John Boyne, has such a unique and enthralling way with words He created a highly unlikeable main character with such an addictive and engrossing storyline that you can t help but be intrigued and curious throughout The writing is brilliant, the characters are unforgettable, the storyline is unique and shocking This is my second novel by John Boyne and I thoroughly enjoyed it I highly recommend checking out this book and author Thank you to NetGalley, Crown Publishing and John Boyne for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review A Ladder To The Sky is available now flag 120 likesLike see review View all 57 comments Dec 07, 2018 Kevin Ansbro rated it it was amazing Shelves favourites, human cruelty, human emotions, immorality, morality, spiteful humour, toxic relationship, wry humour Ambition is putting a ladder to the sky American proverbHaving fizzed like a seltzer all the way through John Boyne s The Heart s Invisible Furies, I already knew that I will happily read anything by this gifted author Boyne has that rare gift that so many modern authors lack the ability to create extraordinary characters who melt our hearts or rattle our cages.This is a breathtaking story of dangerous infatuation and sociopathic ambition And, in keeping with Boyne s default modus opera Ambition is putting a ladder to the sky American proverbHaving fizzed like a seltzer all the way through John Boyne s The Heart s Invisible Furies, I already knew that I will happily read anything by this gifted author Boyne has that rare gift that so many modern authors lack the ability to create extraordinary characters who melt our hearts or rattle our cages.This is a breathtaking story of dangerous infatuation and sociopathic ambition And, in keeping with Boyne s default modus operandi, there is a great deal of humour amid the spitefulness Erich Ackermann, a German author, has his consciousness stolen by Maurice Swift, a handsome bar waiter at the Savoy Hotel in Berlin He becomes infatuated by this sexually ambiguous young man who just happens to be a wannabe writer And so the scene is set for a tale of deviousness and cunning on a scale that Shakespeare himself would have been proud of Unfortunately for na ve, vulnerable Erich, Maurice is a fame hungry manipulative narcissist who would happily sell his grandmother to further his ambition.On a completely separate note, it pleased me no end that the second part of the story moved on to my home city of Norwich Hurrah Maurice s deviousness is so deliciously realised that you are entirely drawn in, as if he was someone you knew in real life You can anticipate his cunning plans a mile off but are nevertheless powerless to warn his victims I even set my book down and swore at him at one point You utter bastard I shouted into thin air I guarantee that you will do the same Despite being a total and utter bastard I said it again , Maurice is one of the greatest characters conceived in recent times the complete antithesis to honourable Count Alexander Rostov, from A Gentleman in Moscow, who is also one of the greatest characters in modern literature.You spend most of the book hoping that this snake will get his comeuppance And did he I couldn t possibly say Bastard.In my humble opinion, this book cannot be deserving of anything other than a five star rating, and all of those sterile authors out there need to raise their game flag 99 likesLike see review View all 67 comments Aug 18, 2018 Carol rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves can not wait, fiction, netgalley, published 2018, dark, read 2018, kindle, 2018 super favorite Oh Yes Another 5 Star Winner

    Oh the power of beautyd John Boyne s addictive writing.once again

    Meet Maurice Swift.you won t forget him He wants to be a famous author He s just a young man of 17 when first introduced, but is already hungry for attention and fame from the literary world AND, oh yeah, he is a downright heart throbbing, mesmerizing beauty of a mansired by both speciesd dam well knows it

    As this bloodsucking worm of a human being manipulates his way thr

    Oh Yes Another 5 Star Winner

    Oh the power of beautyd John Boyne s addictive writing.once again

    Meet Maurice Swift.you won t forget him He wants to be a famous author He s just a young man of 17 when first introduced, but is already hungry for attention and fame from the literary world AND, oh yeah, he is a downright heart throbbing, mesmerizing beauty of a mansired by both speciesd dam well knows it

    As this bloodsucking worm of a human being manipulates his way throughout his sorry life to get what he wants, many lives are ruined, devastating secrets revealed and horrors committed for the purpose of self achievement HE WILL DO ANYTHING LIE, CHEAT, STEAL, BETRAYd WORSE I once watched a movie with Julia Roberts where she said she was lower than pond scum, and her cohort said she was WORSEe was the pus that infects the mucus that feeds on the pond scum.or something like that Well, Maurice is even WORSE than thatMUCH WORSE

    A LADDER TO THE SKY is a shocking and sad story with many dark moments, but oh the writing and oh the characters My gosh, what Rebecca does, and poor Erich, what he did as a young teen was indeed horiffic, but I admit to feeling a bit sorry for him as an old man

    As the story moves along, the reader can feel what s coming as Maurice becomes the very WORST of himself.over and over But then we have the policewoman scene The dialogue here absolutely cracked me up

    And I must at least mention Theo and his thesisHA And oh boy the endingNo No No No No No No It just can t be

    Boyne s THE HEARTS INVISIBLE FURIES was by far my 2017 favorite read Will A LADDER TO THE SKY be my No 1 for 2018 Only four months to go

    Many thanks to Crown Publishing via NetGalley for the arc COMING NOVEMBER 13, 2018

    flag 102 likesLike see review View all 53 comments previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book topics posts views last activity Powells Indiespe A little behind 1 1 1 hour, 27 min ago Play Book Tag A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne 5 stars 6 18 Jan 30, 2019 12 17PM Play Book Tag Buddy Read Discussion Ladder to the Sky 55 49 Jan 29, 2019 09 38AM Play Book Tag Ladder to the Sky, by John Boyne, 4.5 stars Trim 1 9 Jan 29, 2019 08 55AM Maurice Swift 2 11 Jan 28, 2019 07 28AM More topics Share Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers Also Enjoyed Books by John Boyne More Trivia About A Ladder to the Sky 4 trivia questions More quizzes trivia Quotes from A Ladder to the Sky I ve known a lot of whores in my life, added Gore, Both men and women And in general, I ve always found them to be good company, with a highly evolved sense of honor A whore will never cheat you, they have too much integrity for that But you, Mr Swift, you give the profession a bad name 3 likes I think Maurice is whatever he needs to be, whenever he needs to be it He s an operator, that s for sure 1 likes More quotes renderRatingGraph 3058, 2549, 688, 197, 87 if rating_details rating_detailssert top rating_graph Company About us Careers Terms Privacy Help Work with us Authors Advertise Authors ads blog API Connect 2019 , Inc Mobile version

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    Ladders The Home Depot Double check that locks are secured on adjustable and extension ladders Regularly inspect ladders for loose rungs, dents, cracks or sharp edges Never use a ladder that has been damaged or appears unsafe Only use a ladder on a solid, level surface Do not use ladders on ice or snow, or if they are wet. Werner s Guide on How to Choose a Ladder Ladders are also built to handle the demands of various applications For example, a ladder used frequently on a construction site by rugged workers should typically be stronger and have a corresponding higher Duty Rating than a ladder used by a lighter How To Use A Ladder Safely A Complete Guide Extension Ladders An extension ladder is a ladder that is made from two sections which slide out to create a longer ladder These ladders must rest against another surface to stabilize them These ladders are perfect if you are climbing onto a roof, or painting part of a building that s high off the ground. A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne A Ladder to the Sky, by John Boyne, tells the story of Maurice Swift, a handsome Yorkshireman and son of a farmer who is determined to leave his upbringing behind and become a renowned author When the tale opens he is working as a waiter in West Berlin. How to Use a Bond Ladder The Motley Fool days agoA bond ladder can be an incredibly valuable tool in your investing arsenal once you reach the point of taking money out of your portfolio If you re preparing to retire, have kids on a path to A Ladder to the Sky A Novel A Ladder to the Sky is an entertaining, if deeply cynical portrait of the literary world Bookpage 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. A Homeowner s Guide to Ladders Hunker Apr , A ladder leaned against a roof line should extend to feet past that point no , no less An extension ladder should be to feet longer than the height you wish to reach This leaves enough ladder for the overlap and, when applicable, for the ladder to extend properly past the roof line. Ladders Scaffolding Lowe s Home Improvement Let Lowe s Meet Your Ladder and Scaffolding Needs When you need to take on new heights, take a step in the right direction with ladders from Lowe s Tackle any task from the top with our selection of step stools and step ladders , including folding ladders and folding step stools , attic ladders

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    About "John Boyne"

      • John Boyne

        John Boyne born 30 April 1971 in Dublin is an Irish novelist.He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where he won the Curtis Brown prize In 2015, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by UEA.John Boyne is the author of ten novels for adults and five for young readers, as well as a collection of short stories His novel John Boyne born 30 April 1971 in Dublin is an Irish novelist.He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where he won the Curtis Brown prize In 2015, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by UEA.John Boyne is the author of ten novels for adults and five for young readers, as well as a collection of short stories His novels are published in over 50 languages The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which to date has sold than 7 million copies worldwide, is a 1 New York Times Bestseller and a film adaptation was released in September 2008 Boyne resides in Dublin He is represented by the literary agent Simon Trewin at WME in London, United Kingdom.His most recent publication is the novel The Heart s Invisible Furies , published in the UK in February 2017 It will be published in the USA in August


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    1. Everyone has secrets, I had remarked There s something in all our pasts that we wouldn t want to be revealed. This book was extraordinary I can t think of a appropriate way to put it It s a story made up of fascinating characters, amusing literary criticism, fantastic dialogue, and moments of such terrifying desperation and horror that I sat staring wide eyed at my Kindle.And I wasn t sure about it at first, to be honest Books about writers, the publishing process and literary criticis < [...]


    2. I, personally, love reading books and straddling that fine line between loving the book and wishing you could unhinge your jaw and a swarm of locusts fly out of your mouth to attack the book My feelings for this book are still flashing like a flipped coin, end over end hate love hate love hate love endlessly combining and recombining in the ceaseless effort at making sense I feel morally and legally obligated to spread the good gospel about this story, but I don t want anyone to make the fa I, p [...]


    3. Masterfully manipulative Cunning Ingenious Exceptional. There are times when the sheer cleverness involved with what I ve just read requires time to ruminate before some semblance of coherent thought can be strung together So, here I sit two months post read hoping to express just how impressive I found this creative gem to be If the fact that this book is still lingering in the forefront of my mind after so long and a dozen other books in between isn t a testament to John Boyne s [...]


    4. It is a story that is as old as time itself, common in our human history and a major source of inspiration for writers, producing great literature, from the likes of Shakespeare to Patricia Highsmith s Tom Ripley, the unleashing of a ferocious, power hungry ambition, nakedly unfettered, ruthless as it wreaks tragedy and destruction in its wake, doing whatever is deemed necessary to achieve the sought after obsessive dream After the brilliance of The Heart s Invisible Furies, John Boyne gives us [...]


    5. THIS BOOK WOWED ME Meet Maurice Swift whose single purpose in life is to become a famous novelist Beware Maurice is a story thief He will steal your stories, and, in essence, your soul Maurice will do whatever it takes to get to the top but he was one major problem standing in his way he lacks creativity While he can write, his stories are boring.Ever the resourceful one, Maurice uses his physical beauty and charm to leach onto famous writers, not to learn from them but rather to ste THI [...]


    6. When you get ready to read a book by an author whose two previous books wound up at the top of your year end best lists and they re truly among some of the best books you ve read, at least in the last decade , you get a little nervous whether lightning will strike thrice, or whether you re putting too much pressure on the book I am the one who has preached measured expectations when reading new books by favorite authors, because each new book deserves to be weighed on its own merit, not comp


    7. A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne is a 2018 Hogarth Press publication And you ve heard the old proverb about ambition, haven t you He shook his head That it s like setting a ladder to the sky A pointless waste of energy Maurice Swift may be one of the most calculating literary characters in recent memory His goal is to be a great writer, to win the big literary prize However, he has no imagination of his own He can t outline a plot, or create characters, so he uses his good looks and A Ladder to [...]


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