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The Luminaries (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)
     

The Luminaries (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

3.4 63
by Eleanor Catton
 

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The bestselling, Man Booker Prize-winning novel hailed as "a true achivement. Catton has built a lively parody of a 19th-century novel, and in so doing created a novel for the 21st, something utterly new. The pages fly."— New York Times Book Review. It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to stake his claim in New Zealand's booming gold rush. On the stormy night

Overview

The bestselling, Man Booker Prize-winning novel hailed as "a true achivement. Catton has built a lively parody of a 19th-century novel, and in so doing created a novel for the 21st, something utterly new. The pages fly."— New York Times Book Review. It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to stake his claim in New Zealand's booming gold rush. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: a wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous cache of gold has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky. Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, The Luminaries is at once a fiendishly clever ghost story, a gripping page-turner, and a thrilling novelistic achievement.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780606358804
Publisher:
Turtleback Books
Publication date:
10/07/2014
Edition description:
THIS EDITION IS INTENDED FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY
Pages:
864
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.70(d)

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The Luminaries 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
eagle3tx More than 1 year ago
A remarkable book both for the thoroughly engaging story and for the amazing use of the English language. Though the story could have been told in far fewer pages, it would have been a completely different and diminished reading experience. The plot is so well-conceived and so imaginatively presented that it is impossible not to be caught up. Twelve diverse men, each implicated in events surrounding a recent death and disappearance, meet to share information in hopes of determining the actual culprit, as well as what actually happened that night. A hermit and former gold-miner is found dead in his mountain cabin. On the same night the mining town’s wealthiest young man disappears, and the miners’ favorite whore is found senseless from opium overdose in the middle of the road. In the hermit's cabin is found a fortune in retorted gold. And so the story unfolds as each tells what they did and know, each agreeing to honor the secrets of the others. At the meeting’s end, each goes forth to use the information gained to further their joint purpose. As new facts come to light, and old relationships are likewise revealed, the depth of the deceit evolves and the web becomes more tangled. The characters of these men, and the other interrelated townspeople, are meticulously explored and revealed, in language so perceptive and expressive, that the reader knows each, his character, motivations, and goals, intimately. Mystery readers who are unaccustomed to this lavish writing style will still thoroughly enjoy the book, even if they are reduced to skimming. B&N please remove the unrelated reviews . . .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Deserved the Man Booker very much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully written, thrilling plot, engaging story. Excellent. Absolutely love submerging in this unique universe of poetry, emotion and profoundly described characters. Could not put it down. And not at all too long. Didn't want it to end
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can see why it won the Man Booker Prize. I took off early from work and stayed up past midnight to finish. Very creative book and beautifully written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An absolutely wonderful book. The review by eagle3tx states it perfectly. I was completely enthralled throughout. Beautifully written and creatively told. Yes, it is long, but I wouldn't strike a word from the pages. I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully engaging story!  Kept me enthralled the whole way through - couldn't put it down!  The writing is superb and evocative.  Yes, it is long, but not a word of text is wasted.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The language is beautiful and poetic but in the style it's written the story is J-U-S-T...T-O...S-L-O-W. I hung in for 267 pages (out of more than 750) and then had to bail.
puzzleman More than 1 year ago
The Luminaries is nothing more than a very good down under Western. Complete with a madam like Gunsmoke's Kitty, The Luminaries has Lydia Wells, a far more menacing and conniving woman. We also have the goaler Shepard, basically a sheriff. He would be the not so kind Matt Dillon. He had a bit of the roughness of Rooster Cogburn from 'True Grit'. Then there's an assortment of at least 18 other characters, from the doctor, the druggist, the Chinese, the Maori, the politician, the hotelier, and so on. This story is a bit long, and the plot is very complex. It requires a second reading to get a good grip on what is going on. If you have the patience it is worth the time. The many interrelated stories are entertaining, and the flow is good. Reading many pages in one sitting is hard only because one needs time to savor the meal and digest the events. There is much conversation, and it is excellent. We understand the thinking and mindset of the interlocutors. I can see this being made into a miniseries, much like 'Lonesome Dove'. It would be great. Learned a bit about the gold rush of New Zealand in the 1860s. A map of the South Island would have been an excellent addition. The zodiac connection seems contrived and unneeded. But it does lend a bit of the occult to the story. I'm still a bit muddled about the gold, but I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The travails of the prospectors of New Zealand and the supernatural interconnections of souls are beautifully detailed in a novel of cross purpose and hoped for redemption. The prose is cinematically engrossing, the characters notorious.
supercricket More than 1 year ago
Well, this book prompted a whole lot of late night writings and rantings as my diary/notebook/sketchbook ran out. I am sure I missed some key points in the reading, however, when the book started to reach the end, I couldn't put it down and I didn't want it to stop. Favorite reading place/drawing place/writing place?? Bathroom....only time I get to myself!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ms. Catton, while a promising young author, has bitten off more than the reader can chew. I hung in until the bitter end enjoying the language but never quite getting through the characters' surfaces, nor understanding point of the zodiac references, and bitterly disappointed in the lack of resoluntion. I think the Booker Prize judges may have quit before they got to the ending, too.
19306291 4 months ago
Incredible book. Catton will make you question your knowledge of the English language in the best of ways.
Melissa11 More than 1 year ago
At 800 and some odd pages, this novel may seem daunting and frighten people off; but If you can push through the first section of this book, I found this to be quite an interesting historical mystery. I must admit though that I didn't entirely understand the star charts, and parts of the plot were hard to keep track of. But for the most part that fact didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book too badly. It starts with 12 men gathered in the crown hotel working to investigate the death of a man, an attempted suicide of a prostitute and the random disappearance of third man. It is interesting how it works backwards. The different parts of the story working together to fit into the puzzle. As someone who doesn't know a lot about the beautiful country of New Zealand, I found I learned a bit about the country's history. Particularly in regards to the gold rush and the city of Hokitika. Admittedly, I am still quite confused about how this book ended, I may have to reread this one in the future. But for what it is worth, it is a book I recommend. That is if you have the patience to push through a somewhat lengthy and overly descriptive first section. However, once you get past the first section the continued unraveling of the mysteries will keep you too drawn in to quit. My Rating: 3.5
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Long and ponderous
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I looked forward to reading this book long before I actually read it, and I had high expectations. I must admit that the book was a big letdown. It was an interesting story and time period, but there were way too many characters and plot lines to remember. I think the author could have trimmed the story way down and achieved the same end result.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it