The Luminaries (Paperback)
  • The Luminaries (Paperback)

The Luminaries (Paperback)

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Paperback 848 Pages
Published: 03/04/2014
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Waterstones Says

Recently adapted as a sumptuous BBC drama, the Booker Prize winning The Luminaries is a staggering feat of relentlessly sustained narrative tension. Set in nineteenth-century gold rush New Zealand, it is a labyrinthine crime thriller, a period ghost story and immersive character study all rolled into one exquisitely constructed masterpiece.

Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2013

It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On 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. 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 and will confirm for critics and readers that Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international writing firmament.

Publisher: Granta Books
ISBN: 9781847084323
Number of pages: 848
Weight: 578 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 50 mm

Irresistible, masterful, compelling. It has a gripping plot that is cleverly unravelled to its satisfying conclusion, a narrative that from the first page asserts that it is firmly in control of where it is taking us... The things that most impress are the cunning withholding of information, the elegant foreshadowing, the skilful looping back on the narrative An immense feat of structuring and plotting which means that this novel starts as a gentle stroll and ends with the exhilarating sense of running downhill... Ambitious, intricate, spectacular A breathtakingly ambitious mystery... Catton's playful and increasingly virtuosic denouement arrives at a conclusion that is as beautiful as it is triumphant Remarkable... A true achievement. Catton has built a lively parody of a 19th-century novel, and in doing so created a novel for the 21st, something utterly new. The pages fly, a world opening and closing in front of us, a human soul revealed in all its conflicted desperation [and] glory... Dazzling Every sentence of this intriguing tale is expertly written, every cliffhanger chapter-ending making us beg for the next to begin. [It] has been perfectly constructed as the consummate literary page-turner... Extraordinary The Luminaries blew me away. Such a wild, strange world, such unforgettable characters, all brought together with such devilish charm and ingenuity. A novel like this from a writer so young gives me hope for the future of the artform. Stellar in every sense of the word Sometimes - rarely - a novel arrives that is so good all you can do is shake your head in wonder. Brilliant in design, masterful in execution, and intensely pleasurable to inhabit, The Luminaries is a masterpiece, the work of a writer of apparently limitless range and talent A bold mixture of Victorian sensation novel and avant-garde constraint... Even on a fourth reading it still delivers Carefully executed, relentlessly clever, easy to read... Catton sustains a human comedy that sweeps through the hope, the mud, the lies and the secrecy underlying gold fever. It is not so much a morality play as an astute celebration of the power of the story [A] sweeping, sprawling tale... a triumph from a phenomenally talented young writer A dense, intricate historical saga, criss-crossed with literary eccentricities... Wonderfully inventive [A] cunningly design[ed] mosaic of tales Slowly reveals a complex structure raising questions about fate, free will and the human search for meaning Intricately constructed... An accomplished work of traditional storytelling Incredible... virtuoso... You will devour [this book], only to discover that you can't find anything of equal scope and excitement to read once you have finished. Sheer rip-roaring readability A virtuoso performance... [It] is resplendent: a twenty first century Victorian novel that couldn't be more original... Steeped in history, The Luminaries feels completely fresh... The literary firmament has birthed a new star Quite unlike anything I've ever come across, so graceful is its plotting and structure... A dazzling feat of a novel A dream novel: stellar in every way Expansive and quite superb... Catton writes with real sophistication and intelligence This epic novel of light and shadow affirms the radiant talent of its author With astonishing intricacy and patient finesse, Catton brings to life the anomalous nature of 19th-century New Zealand An impressive novel, captivating, intense and full of surprises A gorgeously elaborate fabrication Brilliant... wonderfully intricate All really good books shatter their generic origins, becoming a thing unto themselves. But rarely has this axiom held more firmly than in [this] thrilling novel... [Catton] is among the finest of storytellers... Time falls away in her writing, and the mystery of creation shimmers through the cracks in the story. I didn't want this novel to end, and - in a sense - it doesn't. Catton's illuminations last 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. Eleanor Catton's astonishing new novel does just that... Essential reading Irresistible... The kind of book that really doesn't come around often. Everyone should read it The reviewer says it's so good he's been unable to read another book since A great addition to my impressive pile of great novels A rollicking mystery... rivals almost any Victorian triple-decker... Fascinating It is a pacey and beautifully written tale of love, lust, greed and murder... It could well be regarded as the first great New Zealand novel A remarkable tour de force... Breathtaking Wonderfully vivid... The characters are so lush and the mystery is so complex... Exceptional Highly original, meticulously constructed, thematically convincing, this is a richly evocative mystery It might be the Great New Zealand Novel Addictive [and] very clever Irresistible and gripping... the things that most impress are the cunning withholding of information, the elegant foreshadowing, the skilful looping back on the narrative Remarkable... I found myself frequently slowing down to savour Catton's characterisations and gentle wit. The Man Booker judges have really struck gold For the scale of her ambition and the beauty of its execution, somebody should give that girl a medal A book to curl up with and devour, intricately plotted and extravagantly described, a pastiche of the Victorian sensation novel in the same smart yet playful vein as Sarah Waters One of the most purely enjoyable novels to have appeared in recent years... [It] offers large rewards for the reader's diligent attention. It dividends are both narrative and linguistic... Remarkable 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 A tremendously technically accomplished piece of work A highly innovative, structurally experimental project that tells a captivating story Experimental [and] bold... A gripping read... Catton's star is definitely on the ascendant Utterly immersive reading Fine storytelling, plenty of plot twists and a colourful cast of characters Perfect Mesmerising A beautifully-wrought minuet A fantastic achievement and a gripping read Ingeniously arranged Spin for a while in this novel's orbit, then return to terra firma with a tighter grip on your own resolve Here is a book to lose yourself in... If you haven't yet succumbed to the hype of this huge saga, don't resist. A delight from start to finish Every sentence of this intriguing tale is expertly written, every cliffhanger chapter-ending making us beg for the next to begin. Great With patient finesse, Catton brings 19th-century New Zealand to life Intricate... On every page you are aware of minute design Exceptional and phenomenal... As gorgeous and complex as an orrery A page-turner Truly dazzling Catton's irresistibly intricate plot makes the pages fly by. Snappy dialogue, crisp humour and grand vision sets this far above its rivals Big, bold and beautiful... A literary thriller that keeps you hooked A carefully crafted door-stopper of a novel [It] has got me gripped Daring and colourful A modern masterpiece... Catton deserves her praise I enjoyed The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton's game of literary Cluedo, so much I had to ration myself to 50 pages a day The Luminaries portrays the lush landscapes of New Zealand in exquisite detail

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“An absorbing saga”

At the beginning of THE LUMINARIES, a new arrival stumbles into a meeting of 12 local men, assembled to discuss recent strange events in their town. As each man tells his side of the story, the intrigue builds. The... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 108

“A Real Treat.”

I have to admit, I bought this on impulse. When I saw the sheer size of it, my will wobbled. But, faint hearts etc. I pressed on. To say I enjoyed it, just doesn't say it. I almost ate it; I have never devoured a... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 71

“Captivating, intricate and a darn good read!”

This is one of the most immersive novels I have read for a long time. Catton has created a world which is completely absorbing, centered around believable characters connected by intriguing and detailed... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 70

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