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The Luminaries : Winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize - Eleanor Catton

The Luminaries

Winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize

Paperback

Published: 1st October 2013
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Published: 29th July 2013
Format: ePUB
$15.80

The astonishing and epic second novel from the prize-winning author of The Rehearsal - a sure contender for every major literary prize.

It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.

The Luminaries is an extraordinary piece of fiction, which more than fulfils the promise of The Rehearsal. Like that novel, it is full of narrative, linguistic and psychological pleasures, and has a fiendishly clever and original structuring device. Written in pitch-perfect historical register, richly evoking a mid-19th century world of shipping and banking and goldrush boom and bust, it is also a ghost story, and a gripping mystery. It is a thrilling achievement for someone still in her mid-twenties, and will confirm for critics and readers that Eleanor Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international writing firmament.

About the Author

Eleanor Catton was born in 1985 in Canada and raised in New Zealand. She completed an MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University in 2007 and won the Adam Prize in Creative Writing for The Rehearsal. She was the recipient of the 2008 Glenn Schaeffer Fellowship to study for a year at the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop in the US and went on to hold a position as Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing there, teaching Creative Writing and Popular Culture. Eleanor won a 2010 New Generation Award. She lives in Wellington, New Zealand.

BOOKTOPIA INTERVIEW: ELEANOR CATTON ANSWERS BOOKTOPIA'S TEN TERRIFYING QUESTIONS - CLICK HERE

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
The Luminaries
 
3.1

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

44%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well written (6)

Cons

  • A bit slow (6)
  • Difficult to follow (4)
  • Not what I expected (4)
  • Disappointing (3)

Best Uses

  • Older readers (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Bookworm (5), Everyday reader (3)

Reviewed by 9 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-9

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5.0

Brilliantly Written!

By zippey

from Sydney, AU

About Me Casual Reader

Staff Reviewer

Pros

  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Classic Fiction Readers

    Comments about The Luminaries:

    I have not even finished this book, but I can truly say that this book is captivating, brilliantly written - a delight for any classic fiction fan!

    Comment on this review

     
    2.0

    Didn't live up to expectations

    By Al

    from Brisbane

    About Me Everyday Reader

    Pros

      Cons

      • A Bit Slow

      Best Uses

        Comments about The Luminaries:

        Defintely not a page turner, excellent for maintaining good sleep habits as you can easily turn off the light after a couple of pages. Just held my interest enough to make it to the end to see how everything fitted together.

        Comment on this review

         
        2.0

        Disappointing

        By a

        from sydney, AU

        About Me Everyday Reader

        Pros

          Cons

          • A Bit Slow
          • Difficult To Follow
          • Disappointing
          • Not What I Expected

          Best Uses

            Comments about The Luminaries:

            Very slow and wordy, uninteresting characters, set in an uninteresting time and place. Gave up at 180 pages.

            Comment on this review

             
            2.0

            Just didn't get it

            By Cindy

            from Perth, AU

            About Me Bookworm

            Pros

            • Descriptive
            • Well Written

            Cons

            • A Bit Slow
            • Difficult To Follow
            • Disappointing
            • Not What I Expected

            Best Uses

              Comments about The Luminaries:

              I struggled with this for the first 100 pages but stuck with it to the end and the middle was easier to read but overall the story was convoluted and I didn't even understand the ending. Interesting history about the New Zealand goldfields

              Comment on this review

               
              4.0

              What is this book REALLY about?

              By Jenny the Challenged

              from Perth, Western Australia

              About Me Bookworm

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Engaging characters
              • Good Research
              • Unusual Format
              • Well Written
              • Wonderful Prose

              Cons

              • A Bit Slow
              • A Very Big Book
              • Complex Structure
              • Confusing Additions
              • Difficult To Follow

              Best Uses

              • Audio Book Helps
              • Literary Bookclubs
              • Older Readers

              Comments about The Luminaries:

              Be aware that, as you read the story in this book, there is a subplot there that is asking you, the reader, if your reading - any of your reading - actually has meaning for you. This is subtle and you may only realise it as you come to the end of the book. The end is not as satisfying as you may want, it wafts out rather than tying up ends, and, after so much reading it is easy to feel disgruntled. But don't let that be your response. Think about your expectations when you opened the book - a really big book, lots of characters, a murder, a mystery, great historical information about goldmining - the list goes on. But does it all matter? And if it does. why does it matter to you? A big ask!

              Comment on this review

               
              1.0

              Disappointed

              By Calvin

              from Brisbane

              About Me Bookworm

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Well Written

              Cons

              • A Bit Slow
              • Difficult To Follow
              • Disappointing
              • Not What I Expected

              Best Uses

              • Older Readers

              Comments about The Luminaries:

              Could not get into the story. Way to much in depth description of the characters feelings and so it was a ver slow moving story...boring!

              Comment on this review

               
              2.0

              Hard going

              By Baguette

              from Sydney

              About Me Everyday Reader

              Pros

              • Engaging characters

              Cons

              • A Bit Slow
              • Not What I Expected

              Best Uses

              • Older Readers

              Comments about The Luminaries:

              Found this difficult to get into, and basically lost interest after about 100 pages. I am sure, if I had stuck with it, I would have better things to say, but unfortunately it didn't hold my interest enough to go any further.

              Comment on this review

               
              5.0

              THE LUMINARIES

              By castaways-mate

              from Wollongong

              About Me Bookworm

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Deserves Multiple Readings
              • Page-Turner
              • Well Written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Older Readers

                Comments about The Luminaries:

                Great book, good price, arrived very quickly. Thoroughly recommend

                Comment on this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Luminaries

                By Ruth the reader

                from Sydney

                About Me Bookworm

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Well Written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Gift
                  • Older Readers

                  Comments about The Luminaries:

                  I was really sorry when I finished this novel because it was by far the best book I have read in a long time. I found it hard to put down. Every chapter was about a character and their place in the story.

                  Comment on this review

                  Displaying reviews 1-9

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                  ISBN: 9781847088765
                  ISBN-10: 1847088767
                  Audience: General
                  Format: Paperback
                  Language: English
                  Published: 1st October 2013
                  Publisher: Granta Books
                  Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3  x 5.2
                  Weight (kg): 0.95
                  Edition Number: 1