Ladder to the Sky
John Boyne

Book cover image

Narrated By: Richard E. Grant, Richard Cordery, Nina Sosanya, Laurence Kennedy

Duration: 11 hours and 33 minutes

What to expect

Random House presents the audiobook edition of A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne, read by Richard E. Grant, Richard Cordery, Nina Sosanya and Laurence Kennedy.

A psychological drama of cat and mouse, A Ladder to the Sky shows how easy it is to achieve the world if you are prepared to sacrifice your soul.

If you look hard enough, you can find stories pretty much anywhere. They don’t even have to be your own. Or so would-be writer Maurice Swift decides very early on in his career.

A chance encounter in a Berlin hotel with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann gives him an opportunity to ingratiate himself with someone more powerful than him. For Erich is lonely, and he has a story to tell. Whether or not he should do so is another matter entirely.

Once Maurice has made his name, he sets off in pursuit of other people’s stories. He doesn’t care where he finds them – or to whom they belong – as long as they help him rise to the top.

Stories will make him famous but they will also make him beg, borrow and steal. They may even make him do worse.


Modern & contemporary fiction, Fiction: general & literary, Narrative theme: Sense of place

Listen to a sample

Maurice Swift, the novelist protagonist of John Boyne’s A Ladder to the Sky, is a bookish version of Patricia Highsmith’s psychopathic antihero Tom Ripley.

The Times

A dark morality tale in the mould of Patricia Highsmith . . . consistently intriguing

Daily Mail

A deliciously dark tale of ambition, seduction and literary theft . . . compelling and terrifying, powerful and intensely unsettling. In Maurice Swift, Boyne has given us an unforgettable protagonist, dangerous and irresistible in equal measure. The result is an ingeniously conceived novel that confirms Boyne as one of the most assured writers of his generation.


Gripping . . . John Boyne is a master storyteller and fans will doubtless be captivated by this chilling and darkly comic tale of unrelenting ambition

Daily Express

Everything the wonderful Irish novelist John Boyne writes is special . . . a highly entertaining read