A Ladder to the Sky
Maurice Swift is handsome, charming, and hungry for success. The one thing he doesn't have is talent - but ...more
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 more 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 ...more
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 ...more
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
“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 ...more
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. The entomologist E. O. Wilson has characterized parasites as "predators that eat prey in units of less than one" - WikipediaWell, 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 ...more
An 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 ...more
What 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 more than a handful gave it 4 stars so how could I resist? Besides, I really enjoy Boyne’s writing and I loved his la ...more
What’s wrong with that?
Well, a lot, but then th ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 more powerful. Maurice i ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
This 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 ...more
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 more 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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
” Oh, got no reason, got no shame
Got no family I can't blame
Just don't let me disappear
I'mma tell you everything
”Tell me what you want to hear
Something that will light those ears
Sick of all the insincere
I'm gonna give all my secrets away
This time, don't need another perfect lie
Don't care if critics ever jump in line
I'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
Maurice Swift is highly ambitious in his quest to be a great writer... so ambitious, that he really becomes one of the most despicable characters that I’ve ever encountered in a novel!
This is a dark story of seduction and literary theft, that will keep you reading to find out what this guy will do next!
Read it and enjoy!
Thank you to Netgalley and Random House for the ARC!
Oh the power of beauty....and 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 man....desired by both species....and dam well knows it!
As this bloodsucking worm of a human being manipulates his way thr...more
After reading the blurb of this novel I wasn't too sure if I wanted to read this one or not as the story line just didn't appeal to me but John Boyne writing always lures me in and I just had to purchase a copy as I figured this one wou ...more
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 ...more
Having 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 ...more
In this cleverly structured novel we first observe an ageing writer who is visiting Berlin as part of a European tour to discuss his work. The writer reflects on his life of celibacy – he being a homosexual who, it seems, has never found the courage to act on his inborn predilection – when ...more
My reviews can be seen here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...
I have always been enamored with John Boyle's novels. He constantly is upping his game as he flirts from the compassionate, sad moving characters in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, to the beloved characters in The Heart's Invisible Furies, to the devious, cunning narcissist in A Ladder to the Sky. This multi talented author managed to once again enthrall me with his ability to entrap the reader into the l ...more
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 ...more