'A deliciously dark tale of ambition' Observer
'Gripping ... chilling and darkly comic tale of unrelenting ambition' Daily Express
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.
What readers are saying:
***** 'A breath-taking story of dangerous infatuation and sociopathic ambition'
***** 'A beautifully written, genre defying novel that I couldn't help gobbling up in a couple of days.'
***** 'Dark comic humour ... fascinating and gripping storytelling.'
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.
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.
A dark morality tale in the mould of Patricia Highsmith . . . consistently intriguing
Everything the wonderful Irish novelist John Boyne writes is special . . . a highly entertaining read
Gripping . . . John Boyne is a master storyteller and fans will doubtless be captivated by this chilling and darkly comic tale of unrelenting ambition
From John Boyne to Jan Carson, here are four books the Penguin Ireland team can’t wait to start reading this Spring.
John Boyne’s A Ladder to the Sky tells a timely tale of the lies, ambition and manipulation of a ruthless writer with great talent but no imagination. Maurice Swift, a would-be author who befriends an older novelist to further his career is the main character. Here, John Boyne introduces an extract by explaining his motivation.