The Luminaries: A Novel (Man Booker Prize) [Eleanor Catton] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The bestselling, Man Booker Prize-winning . The Luminaries [Eleanor Catton] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Shipped from UK, please allow 10 to 21 business days for arrival. Fair, A. The bestselling, Man Booker Prize-winning novel hailed as “a true achievement. Catton has built a lively parody of a 19th-century novel, and in so doing created.

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The larger-than life characters and te sheer pointless fun of luminariws story do, for me, recall comics put into prose. Is this then purely an achievement of plotting? Everything fits perfectly, and this perfection entwines with the story which starts out as a confusing mess but ends with all the answers. Towards the end of the book, it’s possible to see the decreasing word-count become slightly burdensome as the “in which” chapter descriptions start to near the length of the text they precede.

A murder mystery, for example, traditionally relies on a pattern being imposed upon seemingly unconnected facts. And as I said it is lovely to have everything so detailed and described And how elusive, motivation! Or looked at slightly differently: I didn’t finish the book, but I’m hoping someone posts a spoilerish summary soon because in terms of plot lumianries setting, the story is great.

Not positive I got those numbers right, though.

When his fingertip returned to the place from which he had begun, he jabbed his finger, sharply, to mark the place of return. Catton was trying to be helpful, build up a picture in the reader’s mind, so that she would recognize the bank clerk, the commission merchant, the justice’s clerk when she meets them again. I understand the lack of respect coming from other characters, given the time and place.

That’s the point, in the end, I think, of The Luminaries. The Luminaries’ characters live under the shadow of their own pasts, they judge others by their past actions as well. View all 4 comments. The novel begins with a crowded, opulent jumble of characters and detail, like a sky full of dazzling stars. And there is much beauty within the pages of The Luminaries. Wow, I have never ever in my life read a book like this before!


We meet a large and colorful cast of characters. The Luminaries though, is from a writing perspective a fairly mind-boggling achievement that sounds almost as difficult,and almost as much a potential impediment to producing a good story, as do the letter-missing-out antics of Georges Perec.

But something is lacking here.

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton – review

Aquarius is well-represented by Sook Yongsheng, a Chinese hatter and lover of opium. Van Dyck’s Charles, though a good deal more striking. I raged a bit at the injustice of it all. Catton matches her telling to her 19th-century setting, indulging us with straightforward character appraisals, moral estimations of each character along with old-fashioned rundowns of their physical attributes, 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.

I really can’t see …more I’m struggling through it now – on page and I’m finding that I’m reading other books just to break up the boredom of it all. Many of the chapter titles are astrological, and have accompanying charts The story is quite convoluted. Walter Moody, trained as a lawyer in Scotland, comes to dig for gold. I am probably not a good judge I’m feeling pretty miserable about the fact that I couldn’t get into it, forced myself to read halfway, started again and then gave up in despair.


The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, review

Sagittarius the Archer shoots an arrow into catton future, his true place; Sagittarius the Centaur gallops quickly, heedless of those too simple and slow to keep his pace. This book won the Booker Prize in To ask other readers questions eleajor The Luminariesplease sign up. At pages, it might seem like self-indulgence, especially in a market awash with historical novels, sometimes looser and baggier than the original novels that inspired them.


I also felt the Scorpio influence upon this novel’s villain, the dark, manipulative, unknowable Francis Carver.

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton – review | Books | The Guardian

I’ve read that writers should show and not tell; and cut anything that doesn’t advance the story. Catton was born in Canada while her father, a New Zealand graduate, was completing a doctorate at the University of Western Ontario.

Though perhaps it’s only if one’s had much familiarity with astrology that it doesn’t seem off-key to see it applied to non-adherents, to things and people which seem unrelated to the subject. Scorpio is the Scorpionand the Eagle as well.

For a lover of historical fiction this book was a real treat! Elusive Pisces, the sign of self-undoing! But Catton does not stop there. A three-stairs-in-one-stride step up in intricacy from the use of playing cards in The Rehearsal. As Mark comments, the structure is a gimmick but one which creates a sense of urgency especially when you approach the end of the book.

But this is a framing device well cloaked in the Victorian story-telling style. The faux 19th century style felt slightly forced and the sentences were, for me, indigestible. We encounter most of them in Hokitika, although many have come there from elsewhere.

Most of the men are entangled, in some way, with Anna, the whore, who remains opaque until the end. The essential gift book for any pet lover – real-life tales of devoted dogs, rebellious cats and other unforgettable four-legged friends. We never develop a true sense of who these people are.

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