Jabob’s Ladder – A Review

“There are a million ways to find yourself at the bottom of Jacob’s Ladder, but only one way to reach the top….”

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Jacob’s Ladder by Brian Keaney
(young adult book review)

Jacob’s Ladder is a YA book that I was lucky enough to find in a charity shop for 50p. I read it in one sitting and enjoyed it so much I decided to write this short little review just to sing its praises and to recommend. It’s like, the perfect YA book. A little bit weird, a little bit mysterious, a little bit dark.

The story begins with our young protagonist waking up in a deserted field with no memory of anything except his name – Jacob. 

Jacob has no choice but to basically make his way through this mysterious place where he finds himself, striving to discover his lost memories – find out where he comes from and of course more importantly – how to get back there.  

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I can’t say too much about the plot because it’s best not to know too much. The book is very strange, but at the same time extremely easy to read and a real page turner. Granted it’s a YA book, hence easier to read and finishing it is one setting but I still couldn’t wait to read more about Jacob’s journey, find out why he was in the field – and the places beyond – and what might be about to happen. For a YA book it’s a very dark story and some scenes wouldn’t have been out of place in a horror movie. Though along with this dark terror there is also a sparkling originality and something, that somehow, worked its way into my (stone cold) heart.

And perhaps an even easier way of saying it would be – listen, if you liked The Maze Runner, you’ll probably like this. Jacob’s Ladder is a brilliant read, extremely well written and full of adventure, curiosity and originality. Top marks!

About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
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10 Responses to Jabob’s Ladder – A Review

  1. robbinsrealm says:

    Well written review!

    I never knew that “Jacobs Ladder” was a book before it was a movie, not only a book, but a YA one at that. Thanks to you, I just learned something new for the day.

    I can’t speak to my feelings regarding the book, because I’ve never read it, but I’ll be putting it on my reserve list at the library, and hopefully changing that soon.

    The movie, from what I remember is a real mind trip. I can picture Tim Robbins’ character waking up in the jungle, of what I think I remember being Vietnam. I can recall, or at least I believe I can, his fellow soldiers calling him professor. At the time, I thought the start of the movie was trying to tell the viewer that Robbins’ character died in Vietnam, so I was curious to see where the filmmaker was going to take the story next.

    I know that once he is back in America, he portrays a mail man, and begins to experience all of these hallucinations that mess with his head. I kept thinking perhaps he had been exposed to something over in Vietnam, that he never got treated, and that was what was causing him to think he was seeing things. Another part of me felt, that maybe because he had been a soldier, and even though he was just following orders, probably had killed people, that he needed to go through some sort of purgatory before he could get into heaven, or a more pleasant place of existence. As I stated at the outset, I find the movie to be a real mind trip, and having only watched it once, my memory, when it comes to what happened during the film, is not the greatest. I think I also need to put the film on the reserve list at the library or check for it on Netflix, so I can attempt to figure out more of what is really going on with his character.

    I love to read, but unless a book is on the super short side, I usually can’t read anything in one sitting, so way to go on that one; especially since you enjoyed it, as you stated in your blog.

    The plot of the book from the short amount you describe, which I certainly understand (I hate when people give away too much of a book I haven’t read or a movie I haven’t watched) but from what you did write, it sounds captivating. I look forward to reading it, and after I do, I’ll come back and compare notes with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmakwall says:

      Thanks so much for another brilliant comment! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      I’ve never actually seen the movie Jacob’s Ladder but I know the premise and I was surprised to see this book with that title too.

      I know what you mean about reading I can lose patience really quickly and I have a habit of re-reading old favourite books rather than reading new ones!

      If you like the idea of this book and you also enjoy short stories check out ‘Skin’ by Roald Dahl – lots of strange short tales! 🙂

      You should write a review or essay on Jacob’s Ladder the movie you have interesting ideas about it and I’d love to read more of your thoughts!

      I would love to compare notes 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • robbinsrealm says:

        Thank you very much for such a kind compliment in regard to my comments. Additionally, I very much appreciate your recommendation regarding the Dahl book. I am familiar with a number of things he has written, but not that particular collection, so I am definitely going to check it out.

        Sadly, my local library doesn’t have the film Jacob’s Ladder. If they don’t have it, they are always willing to get the specific item from another branch, but it seems none of the libraries in South Florida, where I live, have it. I also went onto Netflix instant streaming, to see if they have it up, but they don’t. I am going to see if I can find it on-line somewhere, which shouldn’t be too difficult. I would like to write a blog on it after I watch it again. All I remember from it, was that it was real mind trip of a film. I look forward to comparing notes with you after I finish.


        • emmakwall says:

          Thank you for such great comments! You really put the effort in and I appreciate it so much.

          I hope you like the book Skin, it’s just a collection of odd short stories, you may find a copy in a charity shop quite easily.

          I hope you find a copy of Jacob’s Ladder. Perhaps Ebay or Amazon may have a cheap second-hand DVD copy? Some films are really hard to get hold of though, I waited literally years to get a DVD copy of In the Mouth of Madness, I finally got one this year! It’s in Korean haha but luckily has English audio too 🙂

          South Florida! Is that near Disneyland? 🙂

          Yes I would love to compare notes and opinions!

          Liked by 1 person

          • robbinsrealm says:

            Thank you for such great comments! You really put the effort in and I appreciate it so much.

            You’re very welcome! I greatly appreciate the time you take to read and comment on my blog.I will let you know how I like the book “Skin,” but it appears as if we have similar tastes when it comes to many things, so if you recommend it, I have a feeling I am going to enjoy reading it.

            I think eBay is the route I am going to take, when it comes to Jacob’s Ladder, if I can’t find it on-line. I know what you mean, some films, I loved when I was younger, are either hard to track down, even on auction sites like eBay, or if I do find a copy, the film is out of print, so the bidding on the movie is astronomical. I bite the bullet and pay the price sometimes, and occasionally I say: not this time. I am glad you got a hold of the John Carpenter film you were searching for. I haven’t seen that movie in a really long time. Good thing it had the English subtitles.

            I live about three and half hours away from Disney World.

            Liked by 1 person

            • emmakwall says:

              So how many times have you been to Disney World? Even though I’m from England I have been twice!! Maybe I saw you but didn’t realise 🙂

              I was so pleased when I finally got In the Mouth of Madness on DVD. It became an obsession haha. I had it on VHS when I was younger as well but now I have rather a hefty DVD collection so it needed to be a part of it.

              I hope you can find Jacob’s Ladder!! It’s a shame we’re so far away from each other or else I could lend you mine! We have very similar taste don’t we, I’m getting the feeling we’re going to get on so well! Hope you feel the same 🙂

              Thanks for all your lovely comments. The effort you put into your comments is just like the posts on your blog – so much effort.

              Liked by 1 person

            • robbinsrealm says:

              I have actually only been to Disney World, once since I moved to Florida. I had been a few times with my parents, when I was a kid. I think I have been there four times altogether. That would have been something if we were there at the same time. The last time I was there was 2011.

              Obsession, huh? Lol. I have had a few of those with some of the movies I have liked, and that I had trouble finding, in any kind of format. Usually, after I have spent time on eBay, or elsewhere, looking for the film and get it, the movie inevitably winds up being released a week later, on a special edition DVD. I do, however, know exactly what you mean in regard to getting it for your collection.

              I am going to do my best to find it. I am sure I can track it down on eBay, or on-line somewhere, at least an old VHS copy. Yes, we absolutely do have very similar tastes. Agreed, I think we will. I certainly do feel the same way.

              You’re more than welcome. I am glad you like both the comments and my blog.


  2. I think I read this. It sounds/looks really familiar. Hmm… Hugs for Auntie Emma 🙂 🙂 🙂


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