A Ladder to the Sky

A Ladder to the Sky

A Novel

Book - 2018
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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.

If you look hard enough, you can find stories pretty much anywhere. They don't even have to be your own. Or so would-be writer Maurice Swift decides very early on in his career. A chance encounter in a West Berlin hotel with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann gives him an opportunity to ingratiate himself with someone more powerful. For Erich is lonely, and he has a story to tell. Whether or not he should do so is another matter.

Once Maurice has made his name, he sets off in pursuit of other people's stories. He doesn't care where he finds them--or to whom they belong--as long as they help him rise to the top. Stories will make him famous but they will also make him beg, borrow and steal. They may even make him do worse.

A psychological drama of cat and mouse, A Ladder to the Sky shows how easy it is to achieve the world if you are prepared to sacrifice your soul.
Publisher: Toronto : Bond Street Books/Doubleday Canada, ©2018.
ISBN: 9780385692915
Characteristics: 362 pages ;,25 cm

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imaryg
Mar 27, 2019

Excellent book. It poses numerous moral issues. Great for a book club selection, so much to discuss in terms of ethics and character. Interesting twists with some real life individuals introduced in the fiction book. Also, an interesting take on how the story is told, through multiple personalities and not exactly in the 1st person or 2nd or 3rd.
It also provides an insider view of the book publishing business and how success is created.
A bit too pat of an ending though. I sort of wished the author had not done that. Life doesn't always work that way.

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lukasevansherman
Mar 06, 2019

"I just need to be a writer, that's all. It's all I've ever needed to be."
I had somewhat low expectations for this novel by Irish writer John Boyne, partly because of the forgettable title and partly because of the awful cover, although that's not his fault. But the novel, split into three sections and two interludes, really surprised me. It's protagonist, who has been compared to Tom Ripley, is a writer who avoids the usual struggles of a writer by stealing stories and ideas from other people, starting with an acclaimed German writer with a dark past. It's best not to go in without knowing too much of the plot. It gets quite dark, which I liked and though the protagonist is despicable, he's compelling. Gore Vidal appears as a character in one part. Boyne's better know for the very successful children's book "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas."

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