Ladder to the Sky (Boyne) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
I’m embarrassed by how much I enjoyed John Boyne’s wicked new novel, A Ladder to the Sky. It’s an addictive Rubik’s Cube of vice that keeps turning up new patterns of depravity. By the time every facet clicks into place, the story feels utterly surprising yet completely inevitable.
Ron Charles - Washington Post

Take Meg Wolitzer's novel (now also a film) called The Wife, about a brazen case of literary ghostwriting, and cross it with Patricia Highsmith's classic Ripley stories, about a suave psychopath, and you've got something of the crooked charisma of John Boyne's new novel, A Ladder to the Sky.… Maliciously witty, erudite and ingeniously constructed A Ladder to the Sky explores the cold outer limits of ambition.

A darkly funny novel that races like a beating heart.

Maurice Swift may not be much of a novelist, but he inhabits a literary tradition going to back to Patricia Highsmith. Boyne’s protagonist is Tom Ripley as literary climber.… Boyne’s novel is about high literature but has lower, juicier ambitions, at which it wildly succeeds.

A taut and gripping novel… as craftily written as Swift himself.

A Ladder to the Sky is clever, chilling and beautifully paced; a study of inner corrosion that Patricia Highsmith herself could not have done better.… wickedly astute.
Times (UK)

Maurice Swift is a literary Tom Ripley.… [A] first-class page turner.
Guardian (UK)

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.
Observer (UK)

Deliciously venomous.… A Ladder to the Sky is an entertaining, if deeply cynical portrait of the literary world.

(Starred review) [E]evocative…. Boyne’s fast-paced, white-knuckle plot, accompanied by delightfully sardonic commentary on the ego, insecurities, and pitfalls of those involved in the literary world, makes for a truly engrossing experience.
Publishers Weekly

(Starred review) Boyne expertly explores notions of originality and authorship through multiple first-person accounts of the despicable Swift. As a result, his latest novel is absorbing, horrifying, and recommended.
Library Journal

Well-crafted.…The novel unfolds in an extremely layered manner, but what Swift’s story slowly reveals says much about publishing, pride, deceit, and plagiarism—and worse, much worse.

(Starred review) An all-consuming ambition to be a successful writer drives a young man down unusual paths to literary acclaim in this compelling character study…. Boyne's singular villain and well-sustained tension merit a good audience.
Kirkus Reviews

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