#Ireland John Boyne
- Author: John Boyne (1971)
- Title: A Ladder to the Sky
- Published: 2018
- Trivia: shortlisted 2019 Kerry Group Irish Novel of the year
- List of Challenges 2019
- Monthly plan
Shortlisted books: read 3/5
- The story of one man’s cut-throat path to literary stardom
- starts impressively but then the author loses his way.
- BEST QUOTE:
- “When the gods wish to punish us
- …..they answer our prayers.” (pg 124)
Part One: Before the Wall Came Down:
- Maurice’s journey through 8 cities
- …with mentor Erich Ackermann (66 yr)
Interlude: The Swallow’s Nest
- Maurice’s vist with Gore Vidal.
- The title of this chapter refers to Gore Vidal’s villa in Ravello ‘La Rondinaia’
- The Swallow’s Nest’ was built in 1925 on the Amalfi coast
- Vidal bought the villa 1972.
Part Two: The Tribesman (best-seller)
- Maurice’s marriage to Edith and the 8 months
- leading up to the publication on his best-seller.
Interlude: The Threatened Animal
- 10 years later
- …1 child (Daniel), 2 new books published
- Maurice is founder and editor-in-chief
- …of a NYC literary magazine.
- Backstory: Maurice’s childhood
- The story kicks into high gear!
- This chapter is the turning point!
- Maurice has married Edith
- ….but she is about to tell him the ugly truth!
- Can Maurice find redemption
- …or does he continue with his relentless pursuit of fame?
Part Three: Other People’s Stories
- Maurice’s meetings in 6 pubs
- with the thesis student,Theo Field
- …and Daniel’s ghost. (his son)
- Part 3: “Other People’s Stories” was a tour de force!.
- John Boyne uses a clever maneuver (technique)
- in handling a difficult situation
- while giving the novel a satisfying ending
- ….a sense of justice.
- Title: A Ladder in the Sky is a metaphor for the
- Main theme: ambition
- “…it’s like setting a ladder to the sky
- …pointless waste of energy.” (pg 304)
- Boyne developed a complex, ambitious writer…Maurice Swift.
- Boyne creates a push and pull in the story.
- Maurice bounces off characters
- …who are generous and loving.
- This is the tension that starts the problems
- …drives the plot with twists and turns
- …and makes this book a page-turner!
- The ultimate resolution…a feeling of closure.
- This book WILL WIN the prize
- ….Kerry Group Irish Novel of 2019!
- I am a difficult reader to please when it
- comes to contemporary fiction.
- But I did NOT SKIM one word of the story.
- The reader will be mesmerized by
- …devastating effects of ambition.
- This book is absolutely brilliant!
- John Boyne is the discovery of my #ReadingIrelandMonth19.
- He wrote the best-seller Boy in the Striped Pyjamas in 2006
- …but I was more impressed by the story
- instead of investigating the author.
- Boyne has continued to write 5 star books!
- The Ladder to the Sky was excellent
- …my best 2019 read so far.
- Pay close attention to what you’re reading
- …and even closer attention
- …to what you may be missing.