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A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne
Literary fiction

A Ladder to the Sky

Repeat Author
John Boyne is back at Book of the Month – other BOTMs include The Heart's Invisible Furies.

by John Boyne

Quick take

From our 2017 Book of the Year winner, a literary drama about a young writer willing to do anything to attain his place among the greats.

Good to know

  • LGBTQ+ friendly

  • Unreliable narrator

  • Literary

  • Unlikeable narrator


  • Dark and cynical tone
  • Unreliable narrator

Why I love it

Nothing can stop a ruthless writer hellbent on success in this suspenseful literary drama—John Boyne’s first offering since the 2017 Book of the Year, The Heart’s Invisible Furies!

After decades of obscurity, author Erich Ackermann is finally earning his rightful acclaim. While in Berlin, he meets a handsome struggling writer named Maurice Swift. Longing for a companion after so many years alon...


Maurice Swift is handsome, charming, and hungry for success. 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 Acke...


Get an early look from the first pages of John Boyne's A Ladder to the Sky.

Read a sample →

Member thoughts

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2344 ratings
  • 66% Love
  • 25% Like
  • 6% Dislike
    November 2018