The main character, Maurice Swift, dreams of being a famous writer and will do anything to achieve it. He steals other writer’s ideas, rough drafts and friendships, and the cost to the people he steals from is lethal. Swift is a handsome, glib psychopath who feels practically nothing for other human beings. In A Ladder to the Sky, words can prove deadly. Although Boyne’s prose is humorous and ironic, some of the issues he raises are serious and thought-provoking.
A Ladder to the Sky is the kind of novel where the reader knows what is going to happen, but still has a strong desire to continue reading. John Boyne has written a good novel about fame at any cost; however, I didn’t find it as fine a work as his last one, The Heart’s Invisible Furies.