‘A deliciously dark tale of ambition, seduction and literary theft . . . an ingeniously conceived novel that confirms Boyne as one of the vital 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 may end up in a long and painful fall.
If you look hard enough, you’re going to find stories pretty much anywhere. They don’t even need to be your own. Or so would-be-novelist Maurice Swift comes to a decision early on in his career.
A chance encounter in a Berlin hotel with celebrated writer Erich Ackerman gives Maurice a possibility. For Erich is lonely, and he has a story to tell; whether or not he will have to 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, so long as it helps him rise to the top. Stories will make him famous, but they’re going to 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