With A Ladder to the Sky, John Boyne is now one of my favorite authors and now has a place on my auto-buy list. His talent and creativity blow me away. Each of his novels that I have read is distinctively different, and he is just as comfortable and successful narrating from a little boy’s perspective from the 1940s as he is from a woman’s in the present day. All of his characters are alive in a way that makes them more real than your neighbor, and his stories are always compelling regardless of complexity.
The main character in A Ladder to the Sky is completely unlike any of his previous characters by the mere fact that he is more the villain than the hero. You find yourself loathing Maurice Swift even though he has a tendency to raise good questions about intellectual property and ownership. Yet, for all your dislike of Maurice, the story is compulsively readable. You want to find out how he could possibly become an even more deplorable human than he has already revealed himself to be all while anticipating the moment when his peers realize the truth. It is a novel which makes you question the answer to the age-old question of how authors come by the ideas for their stories just as it makes you wonder about the veracity of the picture of the publishing world Mr. Boyne, through Maurice, presents. I loved every minute of it.