A Ladder to the Sky Review

Paperback, 419 Pages
Adult/ Contemporary/ Lit-Fiction
By: John Boyne
Rating: ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 1/2

โ€œI had told the truth, or a version of it, anyway.โ€

I only read one Boyne book before I read this one which is his most famous work “The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas” and I wanted to discover more of his books ever since. A Ladder to the Sky just proved how good of an author he is and I am most certainly gonna read his other books soon!

This is a story about books, publishing and Plagiarism and the things people are willing to do to achieve their goals (in a mischievous way), it follows Maurice, who starts as an ambitious young writer with two dreams: Becoming a known author and having kids. The problem is that his writing abilities are not the best and so he does everything he can do to achieve his dreams!

The writing is very good, I think Boyne’s prose is excellent for contemporary stories because it can hold the reader’s attention from page one. It is not flowery but also not very simple, it takes experience to write in this way and Boyne has definitely got that! The story is told in parts and they all are connected but I felt the transition was a bit scabrous, at the beginning of every part it felt a bit like starting a new book and I was trying to get oriented again and again! The further we moved in the story, the better the transitions got but I think the earlier parts could have been slightly better!

Maurice is one of the most intriguing characters I ever read! he is morally grey, he is willing to do anything possible to achieve his dreams even if it involves hurting other people! Maurice is handsome (and asexual) and he knows that his looks give him power over people and he is willing to exploit this power to get what he wants! It is realistic because white men usually are privileged, so add some good looks and you have a dangerous weapon! Now although Maurice is the main character and we follow him in all parts, the other characters were also three dimensional and realistic, the writing changes between first and third person POV which was also a compelling choice! I should mention that it has m/m elements and that the author is queer himself so it is an own-voice story which is exciting!

โ€œThe more you read, the more you write, the more the ideas will appear. Theyโ€™ll fall like confetti around your head and your only difficulty will be deciding which ones to catch and which to let fall to the floor.โ€

The pacing is great and the plot is very gripping! Many topics are discussed when it comes to writing and publishing so I think it is a book that is even better if you’re into these things or of you have been in the bookverse enough to see stories of this kind! I know plagiarism is awful but I think in the modern days, it is hard to do something like this without being caught! I also loved the way Boyne ended the story in a kind of sarcastic manner!

Summary: An excellent story about the distances people are willing to go to achieve their goals. With an experienced prose, compelling characters and a fascinating protagonist! I loved this story and I am most definitely reading Boyne’s other books soon!

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3 Comments

  1. Iโ€™m so glad you discovered his other works too! He is one of my favourite authors ๐Ÿ™‚ strangely Iโ€™ve not read Boy in the Pyjamas but Iโ€™d read Heartโ€™s Invisible Furies and loved it! I loved A Ladder to the Sky as well.
    Next book of his that Iโ€™ll read is the one sitting on my shelf – A traveller at the gates of wisdom ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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