WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE FOR FICTION 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The Luminaries is an epic novel about a series of interconnected, mysterious events in a 19th-century gold rush town. New Zealander Eleanor Catton weaves her intricate plot with awe-inspiring historical detail and lovely small moments of humanity. Catton is the youngest writer ever to win the Man Booker, which makes The Luminaries’ authentic details, phrasing and dialogue all the more remarkable.
The joy of reading
The Luminaries is worth every page of its intertwined story. Eleanor Catton managed to use the language to transport the reader into a different time and feel part of an environment surrounded by the newness of a world discovered by Europeans in New Zealand.
Beautifully written. Engaging and informative about history, gold and the nature of human beings. Also plays with ideas of romance and astrology. Loved it all.
Brilliant, original, stylistic, historically informative and an ingenious, gripping story line. Loved it from page 1.