A Ladder to the Sky

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Author(s): John Boyne
Original Publish Date: Nov 13, 2018
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (11.53 hours)
Product Number: Z100140298
Released: Nov 13, 2018
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781984846204
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Description

"A satire of writerly ambition wrapped in a psychological thriller . . . An homage to Patricia Highsmith, Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allan Poe, but its execution is entirely Boyne's own."—Ron Charles, The Washington Post NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE Maurice Swift is handsome, charming, and hungry for fame. The one thing he doesn't have is talent—but he's not about to let a detail like that stand in his way. After all, a would-be writer can find stories anywhere. They don't need to be his own. Working as a waiter in a West Berlin hotel in 1988, Maurice engineers the perfect opportunity: a chance encounter with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann. He quickly ingratiates himself with the powerful – but desperately lonely – older man, teasing out of Erich a terrible, long-held secret about his activities during the war. Perfect material for Maurice's first novel. Once Maurice has had a taste of literary fame, he knows he can stop at nothing in pursuit of that high. Moving from the Amalfi Coast, where he matches wits with Gore Vidal, to Manhattan and London, Maurice hones his talent for deceit and manipulation, preying on the talented and vulnerable in his cold-blooded climb to the top. But the higher he climbs, the further he has to fall. . . . Sweeping across the late twentieth century, A Ladder to the Sky is a fascinating portrait of a relentlessly immoral man, a tour de force of storytelling, and the next great novel from an acclaimed literary virtuoso. Praise for A Ladder to the Sky "Boyne's mastery of perspective, last seen in The Heart's Invisible Furies, works beautifully here. . . . Boyne understands that it's far more interesting and satisfying for a reader to see that narcissist in action than to be told a catchall phrase. Each step Maurice Swift takes skyward reveals a new layer of calumny he's willing to engage in, and the desperation behind it . . . so dark it seems almost impossible to enjoy reading A Ladder to the Sky as much as you definitely will enjoy reading it."—NPR "Delicious . . . spins out over several decades with thrilling unpredictability, following Maurice as he masters the art of co-opting the stories of others in increasingly dubious ways. And while the book reads as a thriller with a body count that would make Highsmith proud, it is also an exploration of morality and art: Where is the line between inspiration and thievery? To whom does a story belong?"—Vanity Fair

All formats/editions

eBook
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Author(s): John Boyne
Product Number EB00727444
Released: Nov 13, 2018
Business Term: 2 Year
Publisher: Hogarth
ISBN: #9781984823038

Professional reviews

"Listeners are in for a masterfully written story, powerfully performed. Handsome, manipulative, ambitious Maurice Swift is set on becoming a famous novelist and a father--no matter what it takes. The narration is so arresting that one feels like a voyeur while hearing Maurice manipulate, through seduction, his first victim, aging author Erich Ackermann. From there, listeners observe Maurice's life and career by hearing from Ackermann; Maurice's wife, Edith; his son; a literary biographer; and others, including Gore Vidal. The trio of narrators does an exceptional job of voicing Maurice--young and old, sober and drunk--and his victims--the innocent and the ruthless. Listeners will find themselves challenged by the question of who owns story ideas and left with a rather grim view of the publishing world. E.Q. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine"

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