Read The Vertical Ladder by William Sansom Online


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Title : The Vertical Ladder
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780701004002
Format Type : PDF
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Vertical Ladder Reviews

  • Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
    2019-04-22 10:01

    He still hangs there, Flegg. Long after I've finished reading this I still see him there, this young man, his legs jammed in the lower rungs of the top portion of that rusty iron ladder, his arms past the elbows to the armpits in through the top rungs. He cannot go further up. The topmost of this iron ladder he clings to is five feet away from the platform of the gasometer he had climbed, in this isolated place, on a dare by the boys and a pretty girl he fancies.Neither can he go down by the route he had earlier taken going up. The iron ladder attached to the gasometer ends at a drop of 30 feet to the ground. Letting go from there would be like jumping down from the rooftop of a 3-storey building. The boys, laughing, had removed the wooden ladder which earlier had connected the iron one to the ground at the moment they saw him lose courage and started to inch his way downwards. Then they shepherded the girl home. They had assumed, of course, that he'll be able to reach the platform at the top of the gasometer and then go down by the other available stairs.The language stings, chills and horrifies: something which you wouldn't have thought possible without monsters, killers or ghosts. The author takes you there up with Flegg and makes you feel like a forgotten bottle of water made of glass, hanging out of Flegg's trouser pocket, fearful of the wind, or a jerky movement, anything, that can nudge it out of the pocket and hurl it towards its violent crash to the ground--"But they were wandering away. There was no retreat. They did not even know he was in difficulties. So Flegg had no option but to climb higher. Desperately he tried to shake off his fear, he actually shook his head. Then he stared hard at the rungs immediately facing his eyes, and tried to imagine that he was not high up at all. He lifted himself tentatively by one rung, then by another, and in this way dragged himself higher and higher ... until he must have been some ten rungs from the top, over the fifth storey of a house, with now perhaps only one more storey to climb. He imagined that he might then be approaching the summit platform, and to measure this distance he looked up."He looked up and heaved. He felt for the first time panicked beyond desperation, wildly violently loose. He almost let go. His senses screamed to let go, yet his hands refused to open. He was stretched on a rack made by these hands that would not unlock their grip and by the panic desire to drop. The nerves left his hands so that they might have been dried bones of fingers gripped round the rungs, hooks of bone fixed perhaps strongly enough to cling on, or perhaps at some moment of pressure to uncurl their vertebrae and straighten to a drop. His insteps pricked with cold cramp. The sweat sickened him. His loins seemed to empty themselves. His trousers ran wet. He shivered, grew giddy, and flung himself froglike on to the ladder."The sight of the top of the gasometer had proved endemically more frightful than the appearance of the drop beneath. There lay about it a sense of material danger, not of the risk of falling, but of something removed and inhuman--a sense of appalling isolation. It echoed its elemental iron aloofness, a wind blew round it that had never known the warmth of flesh nor the softness of green fibres. Its blind eyes were raised above the world. It was like the eyeless iron vizor of an ancient god, it touched against the sky having risen in awful perpendicular to this isolation, solitary as the grey gannet cliffs that mark the end of the northern world. It was immeasurably old, outside the connotation of time; it was nothing human, only washed by the high weather, echoing with wind, visited never and silently alone."Everyone who has read and rated this here at goodreads had given this 5 sparkling stars. I certainly find no reason to disagree with this.