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The Luminaries

A Novel
Catton, Eleanor (Book - 2013 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Luminaries
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This novel is a murder mystery set in a remote gold-mining frontier town in 19th-century New Zealand. Arriving in New Zealand in 1866 a weary Englishman, Walter Moody, lands in a gold-mining frontier town on the coast of New Zealand to make his fortune and forever leave behind his family's shame. 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, events in which each man finds himself implicated in some way. Moody finds himself drawn into a series of unsolved crimes and complex mysteries.
Authors: Catton, Eleanor, 1985-
Title: The luminaries
a novel
Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown,, 2013.
Edition: First United States edition.
Characteristics: 834 pages :,illustrations ;,25 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Notes: "Originally published in Great Britain by Granta Books, August 2013."--Verso of title page.
Contents: A sphere within a sphere
Auguries - The house of self-undoing
Paenga-wha-wha
Weight and lucre
The widow and the weeds
Domicile
The truth about Aurora
Mutable Earth
Matters of succession
Orion sets when Scorpio rises
The old moon in the young moon's arms.
Summary: This novel is a murder mystery set in a remote gold-mining frontier town in 19th-century New Zealand. Arriving in New Zealand in 1866 a weary Englishman, Walter Moody, lands in a gold-mining frontier town on the coast of New Zealand to make his fortune and forever leave behind his family's shame. 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, events in which each man finds himself implicated in some way. Moody finds himself drawn into a series of unsolved crimes and complex mysteries.
Awards & Distinctions: Man Booker Prize, 2013
Local Note: 6 9 15 16 17 18 29 33 35 37 53 57 97 109 118 127 133 138 143 148 151 152 159 167 172 173 182 188 203 210 211 216 222 224 226 231 243 244 263 264 268 272 276
Master record variable field(s) change: 100, 505, 650 - Master record encoding level change WorldCat Holdings
ISBN: 0316074314
9780316074315
Statement of Responsibility: Eleanor Catton
Subject Headings: Trials (Murder) New Zealand Fiction. Prostitutes Fiction. New Zealand Gold discoveries Fiction. New Zealand History 1853-1876 Fiction. Criminal investigation New Zealand Fiction. Immigrants New Zealand Fiction.
Genre/Form: Historical fiction.
Suspense fiction.
Topical Term: Trials (Murder)
Prostitutes
Criminal investigation
Immigrants
LCCN: 2013941814
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Jul 28, 2014
  • 671books rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Loved this book. Absolutely loved it. The characters, the plot, everything about the book was great.

Full review here: http://www.671books.net/fiction/the-luminaries/

Jul 14, 2014
  • julia_sedai rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed this book. Eleanor Catton is a brilliant writer. She writes from the point of view of multiple characters and does an amazing job. It is long, but I liked reading it so much that it was worth it. This book takes place during the gold rush in New Zealand in the 1860s. I didn't know anything about the setting at all but it was easy enough to follow. I also do not know anything about astrology which is how she divides the chapters / time, but I found it didn't matter to the overall plot that I didn't understand that. I recommend this to anyone who is not put off by a heavy book, who likes historical fiction, and who likes intriguing books.

A patron review from the Adult Summer Game: "This is a hefy read but amazing and from such a young author! It is like this generations Charles Dickens.The story is set at the turn of the century New Zealand and it is a mystery with a large cast of characters that are intertwined in their fates.It is such an amazing story that involves history, goldfields, murder a ghost story;you will not be able to stop turning the pages!"

May 27, 2014
  • mcmullensh rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Over long and over rated

Apr 22, 2014
  • paulbifford rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

It's a pretty amazing achievement. I had to start it twice (Burial Rites inspired me to try again), got lost in the middle, but I loved the way it was written. It doesn't really resolve, but it picked up at the end and I loved Moody's court arguments. It did remind a little of reading Wolf Hall, although I preferred the style of Luminaries.

This was a marathon book for me but when I got to know the characters I started to really enjoy it and I couldn't believe at first how someone so young could produce such a work of art.

One of the best books I have read and I would recommend to anyone but stick with it it's worth it.

Apr 14, 2014
  • Smartjanitor rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I could not get excited about this. The opening was at once overwritten, stultifying, and lugubrious.

Perhaps if I had taken a powerful stimulant I may have lasted longer.

I felt so guilty about being somewhere between uninspired and repulsed about a book that had gotten such plaudits that I contacted my brother for solace.

"Life is too short to read anything that doesn't grab you," he said, and gave me a list of books that turned out to be much better.

I'm sorry. It's blah. I'd rather read Brideshead Revisited again--and am doing so.

Apr 06, 2014
  • ravensview rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Well recommended by some, panned by others. I'll try it.

Apr 06, 2014
  • macierules rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Engages the mind with all the layered details, however, it fell flat for me on an emotional level.

Mar 17, 2014
  • vickiz rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Although it is an immense novel - an initially but only briefly daunting 832 pages - The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton is a book I'm keen to revisit. Not only is the storytelling utterly engrossing - again, initially but only briefly intimidating in its complexity - and the individual character development rich and intriguing, but all of that was so absorbing that I confess I paid little attention to the novel's meticulous construction. That is, it's built on a precise astrological framework, whereby the main characters represent signs of the zodiac or pairings of planetary bodies, and their respective stories and how they intersect (or do not) correspond to the movement of the heavens. I tried to stick with that for approximately the first quarter of the book, but then got swept into action, mystery and romance of the story, set in the latter half of the 1800s in New Zealand during that country's wild west goldrush era. By the halfway point, I was also so captivated by the well-rounded characters and their fascinating interactions and motivations that I was much more interested in their respective fates than Catton's estimable structural feats. I know that a return visit to this book will likely be an even more powerful experience, melding the compelling story more consciously with the literal and figurative constellation of characters.

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Eleanor Catton reads from 'The Luminaries'

Eleanor Catton reads from 'The Luminaries' ; winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize; PBS Newshour

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