The Luminaries

The Luminaries

eBook - 2013
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Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2013. 'There was this large world of rolling time and shifting spaces, and that small, stilled world of horror and unease - they fit inside each other, a sphere within a sphere.' It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the West Coast 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 sum of money 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. From the author of the award-winning global phenomenon The Rehearsal comes a breathtaking feat of storytelling where everything is connected, but nothing is as it seems. 'Every now and then you get to read a novel that elevates you far beyond the bric-a-brac of everyday routine, takes you apart, reassembles you, and leaves you feeling as though you have been on holiday with a genius.' Paula Green, review of The Luminaries in NZ Herald, 28 July 2013. Eleanor Catton was born in 1985 in Canada and raised in New Zealand. Her debut novel The Rehearsal won the Adam Prize and was Best First Book of Fiction at the 2009 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. Internationally, it was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize, and longlisted for the Orange Prize, and won the 2009 Betty Trask Award. It has been published in 17 territories and 12 languages. Eleanor Catton holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she also held an adjunct professorship, and an MA in creative writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington. She lives in Auckland.
Publisher: Wellington :, Victoria University Press,, 2013.
ISBN: 9780864739469
Characteristics: 1 online resource (832 pages)
ePub
Additional Contributors: Wheelers Books

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From Library Staff

New Zealand

Set in the gold fields of West Coast NZ & linking with Otago in the 1800's - a great story from our own region

Winner of the Man Booker Prize in 2013, the Luminaries is a deftly crafted historical mystery set in Hokitika.

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DevilStateDan Jul 12, 2015

I was keen to read this from the start as it seemed to divide so many readers, produced one of the biggest library holds queues I've ever seen & of course, it won the big prize!
It did not disappoint, I really enjoyed the complex layering of characters & interweaving of storyline and all... Read More »

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Donna_R Sep 22, 2013

"'I suppose that to know a thing is to see it from all sides'. p. 502
This book absolutely deserves the hype. A full and satisfying read. While at 832 pages it is a stonker, it is a pageturner too. You will be swept along by the story/stories as they swirl and intersect. Fingers crossed tha... Read More »


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b
becker
Aug 25, 2017

I knew after the first few paragraphs that I was going to love this book. This is a big complex story that is incredibly well constructed. The characters are so well designed with each of them containing a unique voice and serving a specific purpose in the book. The ending was so clever right up to the last parargraph which was moving and beautiful. I listened to a portion of this book on audio and the narrator was amazing with the ability to switch back and forth between about half a dozen different accents in a dialogue. For me, it was the perfect book. I was very sad to finish it which says a lot about a 830 page book.

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EmilyEm
Jul 12, 2016

Walter Moody interrupts a meeting when he enters his hotel’s parlor on a stormy night in 1860s New Zealand’s Gold Rush town of Hokitika.

Very Dickens-like with multiple characters and character motives. No wonder the hype and awards. Reminded of David Mitchell’s and Kate Atkinson’s recent writing. Loved it.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 04, 2016

The Luminaries is a many-faceted and, in ways, complex book, but that doesn't mean the story is not enjoyable. For those willing to make the effort, it can be a wonderful read. Yes, it's saturated with cross-references to astrological charts, experimentation of form, and word play, all with the stylization of Victorian literature, but I wouldn't say the story is in any way bogged down by these elements. If anything, I'd say these elements are what lift this novel above other such tomes of historical mysteries.

p
paul_broomfields1
Jun 02, 2016

This really is an exquisitely written novel. Highly recommended for myriad reasons.

Do you love really long books? This is the one for you. It also happens to be a gorgeously written story full of complex characters set in the fascinating 1860's Gold Rush period in New Zealand. Read this delicious puzzle today. Recommended by Melissa

b
bookwormjeph
Feb 09, 2016

A great read though I did find it lost some momentum in the middle of it's more than 800 pages. A rollicking story set in Hokitika in the height of the gold rush. A complex cast of characters and the inter-relationships between them all is written with humour, pithiness and at times sadness and disappointment. Beautifully written and well deserving of it's award to Eleanor Catton.

d
doneschu
Jan 03, 2016

90% of the book is wonderfully descriptive. It's written as people might have talked in the 1800's: lots of words and phrases not in general use today. The last few chapters are horrible. It's almost as though the author got tired of writing and just jotted down a few thoughts to get it over with. Very disappointing, poorly written ending.

t
trixxstaar
Nov 21, 2015

Lived up to the hype, in my opinion.

f
Foxglen
Oct 23, 2015

This is not a book you can't put down. In fact I couldn't finish it. It's a long drawn out mistery that could have used half the words.

h
heinrij
Sep 22, 2015

This would have been a good story if it were 200 or 300 pages. If you get stuck, start at part 5 and go to the end. It explains everything. Some profanity, not much. Rate it PG

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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

Love cannot be reduced to a catalogue of reasons why, and a catalogue of reasons cannot be put together into love.

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