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.
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 Berlin hotel with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann gives him an opportunity to ingratiate himself with someone more powerful than him. For Erich is lonely, and he has a story to tell. Whether or not he should do so is another matter entirely.
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.
To my shame I have to confess that around 15% I even considered to DNF it – in spite of being even a little overenthusiastic at the beginning. I snobbishly presumed I recognized what this book would be about and I wasn’t sure that I wanted to devote so much time to a particularly loathsome example of a wannabe writer (Maurice) to see how he would destroy and ruin human fates to achieve his ambitions.
John Boyne is an extraordinary story-teller. Yes, somehow, I wasn’t wrong at all in regard of human fates and Maurice’s ambitions that, quoting the old proverb, like setting a ladder to the sky. But the way John Boyne tells us this magnificent and terrifying story about how far one can go for his ambitions, for his idea of himself, is fascinating and captivating.
One said that literature was more important than human life so what was the problem if a few people had died in the pursuit of excellence? (Maurice)
This book goes directly to my favorite shelf. That is for sure one of the best books I read in the last few years.
I can’t recommended it highly enough.
Title: A Ladder to the Sky
Author: John Boyne
Publisher: Lee Boudreaux Books
Release Date: August 9th, 2018
Genre(s): LGBTQ Fiction, Psychological Drama
Page Count: 368
Reviewed by: LenaRibka
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5