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Winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize, a breathtaking feat of storytelling where everything is connected, but nothing is as it seems....
It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the stormy night of his 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 prostitute 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.
Eleanor Catton was only 22 when she wrote The Rehearsal, which Adam Ross in the New York Times Book Review praised as "a wildly brilliant and precocious first novel" and Joshua Ferris called "a mesmerizing, labyrinthine, intricately patterned and astonishingly original novel." The Luminaries amply confirms that early promise, and secures Catton''''s reputation as one of the most dazzling and inventive young writers at work today.
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Eleanor Catton’s debut, The Rehearsal — which Kate Atkinson called “compulsively good...it continually calls into question the relationship between so-called reality and fiction, and the very nature of truth itself” — won the 2009 Betty Trask Award, was short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize, and was long-listed for the Orange Prize. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and an MA in fiction writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand.Review:
“The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton is an entire narrative universe with its own mysterious cosmology. This exhilarating feat of literary design dazzles with masterful storytelling. Each character is a planet – complex and brilliantly revealed. Precise sensual prose illuminates greed, fear, jealousy, longing – all that it means to be human.”
—Jury citation, Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction
“A magnificent novel: awesome in its structural complexity; addictive in its story-telling; and magical in its conjuring of a world of greed and gold.”
—Robert Macfarlane, the Man Booker Prize Chair of Judges
“The type of novel that you will devour only to discover that you can't find anything of equal scope and excitement to read once you have finished. . . . Do yourself a favour and read The Luminaries. . . .”
“Irresistible, masterful, compelling. . . . The Luminaires 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. . . . [Catton is] a mistress of plot and pacing. . . .”
—The Telegraph (5-star review)
“Every sentence of this intriguing tale set on the wild west coast of southern New Zealand during the time of its goldrush is expertly written, every cliffhanger chapter-ending making us beg for the next to begin. . . . The consummate literary page-turner. . . .”
“Note-perfect. . . . [Catton’s] authority and verve are so impressive that she can seemingly take us anywhere; each time, we trust her to lead us back. . . . A remarkable accomplishment.”
—Globe and Mail
“The Luminaries is an impressive novel, captivating, intense and full of surprises.”
—Times Literary Supplement
“Beautifully rendered. . . . Momentous. An exquisite world unto itself.”
“A finely wrought fun house of a novel. Enjoy the ride.”
—Chris Bohjalian, Washington Post
“A remarkable achievement. . . . Intricate, painstakingly detailed and deliciously readable. . . . A novel that can be enjoyed for its engrossing entirety, as well as for the literary gems bestowed on virtually every page.”
—Quill & Quire (starred review)
“A dazzling knot of interwoven lives. . . . Heart-pounding . . . .”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“As beautiful as it is triumphant.”
“A tour de force of narrative control. . . . Catton does an incredible job of bringing to life the time and place and the utter ruthlessness that greed engenders in human beings. . . .”
“Falling in love with a fictional person is one of the greatest pleasures in life, Canadian-born writer Eleanor Catton believes. By the time readers have finished The Luminaries, they will have been enchanted by many of her characters, as they slowly reveal themselves through the novel’s intriguing web of interactions and relationships.”
—Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
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