One Chapter More book blog > Posts > A ladder to the sky by John Boyne
June 19
A ladder to the sky by John Boyne

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Maurice Swift is an aspiring young writer who will stop at nothing to gain success and status in the literary world. He is simply waiting for the right set of circumstances and an opportune moment. Both present themselves in the form of an older lonely gay writer called Erich who would enjoy the male companionship on an imminent literary tour.  Add to this the fact that Erich finds Maurice “a powerful blend of vitality and impulsive sexuality” and is somewhat enthralled by Maurice.

As the tour progresses and both men are comfortable in each other’s company Maurice manages to extract from Erich a secret he has held on to for over 40 years. He then uses this secret as the subject for his own first published novel and the ensuing launch of his own career.

This is only the start of the story and to say more would spoil the tension.  Generally, with Boyne, himself a gay writer, there is humour amid the darkness. Some novelists are social commentators and John Boyne always has something of interest to say. I enjoyed how he gently satirises the publishing world, not least the vagaries of prizes, the insincerity of writers meeting on the festival circuit, and the endless array of new books requiring endorsements.

Maurice Swift is a compelling character, and  a master at deception, John Boyne is a master at character detail, and creating a tense storyline.


Submitted by Paula


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