North Shore Page Turners Bookclub: A Ladder to the Sky

There is a $5.00 charge to participate in our book groups, fully redeemable for merchandise in the store. 

The North Shore Page Turners Bookclub at The Book Stall is open to the public. The club votes to decide what books to read and discuss.

Led by Kelly Malitz, The North Shore Page Turners Bookclub at The Book Stall meets this month to discuss A Ladder to the Sky, by John Boyne.  This title will be out in paperback on Tuesday, August 6th. Call us at 847-446-8880, and we are happy to reserve a copy for you.

About the book:

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.

"Boyne's mastery of perspective, last seen in 2017's 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 dark it seems almost impossible to enjoy reading A Ladder to the Sky as much as you definitely will enjoy reading it." -- NPR

"John Boyne's delicious new novel A Ladder to the Sky... 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

"Maurice has the heart of a sniper... marvelously engaging, barbed and witty." -- New York Times Book Review

"A darkly funny novel that races like a beating heart." - People

"Maurice Swift may not be much of a novelist, but he inhabits a literary tradition going to back to Patricia Highsmith. Boyne's protagonist is Tom Ripley as literary climber... Boyne's novel is about high literature but has lower, juicier ambitions, at which it wildly succeeds." - Vulture

"For Patricia Highsmith fans, thriller aficionados, writers, publishers, literary wannabees, scoundrel sympathizers, John Boyne offers the perfect entertainment for dark winter days." - Boston Globe


Event date: 

Monday, August 19, 2019 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm

Event address: 

The Book Stall
811 Elm Street
Winnetka, IL 60093
A Ladder to the Sky: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984823021
Availability: On Our Shelves to call before coming in to pick up.
Published: Hogarth - August 6th, 2019

“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