'A deliciously dark tale of ambition, seduction and literary theft . . . an ingeniously conceived novel that confirms Boyne as one of the most assured writers of his generation.' Hannah Beckerman, Observer
You’ve heard the old proverb about ambition, that it’s like setting a ladder to the sky. It can lead to a long and painful fall.
If you look hard enough, you will find stories pretty much anywhere. They don’t even have to be your own. Or so would-be-novelist Maurice Swift decides early on in his career.
A chance encounter in a Berlin hotel with celebrated author Erich Ackerman gives Maurice an opportunity. For Erich is lonely, and he has a story to tell; whether or not he should is another matter.
Once Maurice has made his name, he finds himself in need of a fresh idea. He doesn’t care where he finds it, as long as it helps 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.
This is a novel about ambition.
'Maurice Swift, the novelist protagonist of John Boyne’s A Ladder to the Sky, is a bookish version of Patricia Highsmith’s psychopathic antihero Tom Ripley' The Times
'A dark morality tale in the mould of Patricia Highsmith . . . consistently intriguing' Daily Mail
"A deliciously dark tale of ambition, seduction and literary theft . . . compelling and terrifying, powerful and intensely unsettling. In Maurice Swift, Boyne has given us an unforgettable protagonist, dangerous and irresistible in equal measure. The result is an ingeniously conceived novel that confirms Boyne as one of the most assured writers of his generation." (Hannah Beckerman Observer)
"Maurice Swift, the novelist protagonist of John Boyne’s A Ladder to the Sky, is a bookish version of Patricia Highsmith’s psychopathic antihero Tom Ripley." (The Times)
"A dark morality tale in the mould of Patricia Highsmith . . . consistently intriguing" (Daily Mail)
"Everything the wonderful Irish novelist John Boyne writes is special . . . a highly entertaining read" (Jake Kerridge S Magazine, Sunday Express)
"Gripping . . . John Boyne is a master storyteller and fans will doubtless be captivated by this chilling and darkly comic tale of unrelenting ambition" (Daily Express)
About the Author
John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. He is the author of ten novels for adults, five for young readers and a collection of short stories. Perhaps best known for his 2006 multi-award-winning book The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, John’s other novels, notably The Absolutist and A History of Loneliness, have been widely praised and are international bestsellers. In 2015, John chaired the panel for the Giller Prize, Canada’s most prestigious literary award.