Melissa Rochelle's Reviews > A Ladder to the Sky

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne
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it was amazing
bookshelves: arc, read-2018

The first novel I read by John Boyne was last year’s The Heart’s Invisible Furies. I don't know if you all remember, but it was one of the books I raved about last fall. A Ladder to the Sky is just as good, if not a tiny bit better.

In Mr Boyne’s latest novel, we follow the career of aspiring author Maurice Swift. We first meet Maurice when he’s a humble waiter that catches the eye of award winning novelist Erich Ackerman. Maurice quickly realizes the hold he has on Erich and uses it to his full advantage. Overtime, Erich shares stories with Maurice from his life in Germany in the years leading up to World War 2. Maurice – who is struggling to come up with his own story – simply takes Erich’s life and turns it into a smashing debut novel. The repercussions for Erich are terrible, but Maurice doesn’t seem to mind as long as he has his taste of fame. You shouldn't be surprised to hear that Maurice isn’t happy with just a taste – he wants to devour fame and he will do anything to climb his way to the top.

Maurice is a character that will stick with you. He is diabolical. I cannot wait for others to read this book so I can FINALLY talk about how awfully good it is and all of the juicy topics it brings up – especially the cost of ambition. Written through a variety of perspectives, we see Maurice from many angles – from those who love him to those who see through him – Boyne does an incredible job of making each voice distinct. For fans of psychological dramas and real life monsters – this is a book you can sink your teeth into.

Thanks to the publisher for the advance reading copy.

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So how about that Dan Mallory/A.J. Finn expose in The New Yorker?! If you haven't read it, GO: A Suspense Novelists Trail of Deceptions. I've heard that Boyne says his character is not based on Mallory...but I mean.... WOW.

From an interview with John Boyne in The Irish Times:
A look of boyish mischief passes over Boyne’s face, making him seem much younger than his 47 years. “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.”
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Reading Progress

July 30, 2018 – Started Reading
August 2, 2018 – Finished Reading
August 7, 2018 – Shelved
August 7, 2018 – Shelved as: arc
August 7, 2018 – Shelved as: read-2018

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