The Luminaries

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McClelland & Stewart, Sep 3, 2013 - Fiction - 832 pages
109 Reviews

Winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize and Governor General’s Award for Fiction, and set during the heady days of New Zealand’s Gold Rush, The Luminaries is a magnificent novel of love, lust, murder, and greed, in which three unsolved crimes link the fates and fortunes of twelve men. Dickens meets Deadwood in this internationally celebrated phenomenon.

In January 1866, young Walter Moody lands in a gold-mining frontier town on the west coast of New Zealand to make his fortune and forever leave behind a family scandal. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men who have met in secret to investigate what links three crimes that occurred on a single day: the town’s wealthiest man has vanished. An enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. A prostitute has supposedly tried to end her life. But nothing is quite as it seems. As the men share their stories, what emerges is an intricate network of alliances and betrayals, secrets and lies, that is as exquisitely patterned as the night sky.

Part mystery, part fantastical love story, and intricately structured around the zodiac and the golden mean (each chapter is half the length of the preceding one), The Luminaries weaves together the changing fates and fortunes of an entire community, one where everyone has something to hide. Rich with character and event, it is a gripping page-turner – and a unique, atmospheric world – in which readers will gladly lose themselves. It confirms Eleanor Catton’s reputation as one of the most exciting and innovative novelists writing today.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - hardlyhardy - LibraryThing

Eleanor Catton's massive 2013 novel "The Luminaries" manages to be both hard to hold for long and hard to put down. Set in New Zealand in 1865 and 1866, the novel blends a Victorian style of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - clq - LibraryThing

It's hard to overstate how technically impressive The Luminaries is. It's over 800 pages of a complicated, intentionally disjointed, ambitious story which is told in a consistent old-English style ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

ELEANOR CATTON was born in 1985 in London, Ontario, and raised in New Zealand. Her internationially celebrated first novel, The Rehearsal, won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, the Betty Trask Award, and the NZ Society of Authors' Best First Book Award, was a finalist for the Guardian First Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Writers Prize, and longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Orange Prize. She holds an MFA from the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was also an adjunct professor. She currently lives in Auckland, New Zealand.

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