To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The Luminaries: A Novel (Man Booker Prize) Hardcover – October 15, 2013
|New from||Used from|
2016 Book Awards
Browse award-winning titles. See all 2016 winners
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
"A finely wrought fun house of a novel. Enjoy the ride."- Chris Bohjalian, The Washington Post
"An 848-page dish so fresh that one continues to gorge, long past being crammed full of goodness. Nearly impossible to put down, it's easily the best novel I've read this year." - Mike Fischer, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Go ahead and call Eleanor Catton a prodigy. At 28, she's the youngest author ever to win Britain's prestigious Man Booker Prize for THE LUMINAIRES, which warrants every one of its imposing - yet surprisingly breezy - 848 pages." Stephan Lee, Entertainment Weekly
"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." --The Independent
"Irresistible, masterful, compelling...The Luminaries 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."
"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
"Beautifully rendered...Momentous. An exquisite world unto itself."
"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)
"As beautiful as it is triumphant."
"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."
To call it "daringly ambitious in its reach and scope doesn't really do it justice... There is a ludic quality in all this that is infectious: You pick up the author's joy in her enterprise." -Martin Rubin, The Wall Street Journal
"Several of the characters... are moving and even heartbreaking." She continues, "There will no doubt be readers who will nestle voluptuously into its 19th-century voice and think no more of larger matters...There are others who will treat The Luminaries like the fantastic puzzle it most certainly is. This is the rare novel that works beautifully on both levels, and that understands that each of these aspects is like a magnetic pole: The field between them is where all the power lies." - Laura Miller, Salon
Selected as one of the "100 Notable Books of 2013" by The New York Times.
"A historical mystery unlike anything else." -- The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Catton's writing style is beautifully lush and vividly descriptive. Her descriptions of the myriad characters are wonderfully rendered both in the descriptions of their physical selves and of their inner selves. Catton also creates a unique and interesting setting of a New Zealand gold mining town in the mid-nineteenth century.
I'm posting this candidly honest review to help other readers ascertain if they are the type of reader who will enjoy this unique novel, or not.
The story is centered around several mysterious and apparently interconnected occurrences that took place two weeks previously on a single night, including the death of a hermit in a shack overlooking town, the disappearance of a young man who has struck it rich in a gold mine, and the apparent near suicide of the town's most alluring prostitute.Read more ›
This is not an important book. There is no magnificent theme, no moral thicket, no people to emancipate, no countries to defend, no subtext to unravel, and no sizable payoff. Its weightiness is physical, coming in at 832 pages. And yet, it is one of the most marvelous and poised books that I have read. Although I didn't care for the meandering rambling books of Wilkie Collins, I am reminded here of his style, but Catton is so much more controlled, and possesses the modern day perspective in which to peer back.
I felt a warmth and a shiver at each passing chapter, set during the last days of the New Zealand gold rush. Catton hooked me in in this Victorian tale of a piratical captain; a Maori gemstone hunter; Chinese diggers (or "hatters"); the search for "colour" (gold); a cache of hidden gold; séances; opium; fraud; ruthless betrayal; infidelity; a politician; a prostitute; a Jewish newspaperman; a gaoler; shipping news; shady finance; a ghostly presence; a missing man; a dead man; and a spirited romance. And there's more between Dunedin and Hokitika to titillate the adventurous reader.
Primarily, THE LUMINARIES is an action-adventure, sprawling detective story, superbly plotted, where the Crown Hotel men try to solve it, while sharing secrets and shame of their own.Read more ›
Second novels are notoriously tricky, especially when they follow one that has received the critical acclaim that Catton had for her debut, "The Rehearsal". Fortunately, no one seems to have told Catton this and "The Luminaries" is a very different style of book but one that is an even more remarkable and memorable achievement. Also notable is Catton's writing style. This was the standout feature of her debut novel and this is equally stylish but in a very different way. There are hints and nods to some great writers both period and more modern throughout, notably a touch of Charles Dickens, a splash of Wilkie Collins, a smidgeon of Robert Louis Stevenson, a dash of Salman Rushdie and a hint of David Mitchell, yet all combined in a freshness that is uniquely Catton's. It's more homage than a plagiarism of style. The one element that is common to both this and "The Rehearsal" is what comes over as the author's sheer love of story telling - there's a constant sense of fun in her descriptions and she writes as if she has a smile on her face and is as entranced by the story that is being set down as her readers are.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I disliked this book. All the men had sections devoted to them but the woman never did. She just got called whore over and over again. Read morePublished 1 day ago by fmd
Catton has assembled a host of engaging characters who become increasingly entangled right to the last page. Fantastic read.Published 5 days ago by Francis P. Abercrombie
Turgid, difficult to get into, boring talk fest! I just couldn't make myself do this book! Lucky to get a star!Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
I’ve had this author-signed copy of The Luminaries, winner of the 2013 Man Booker prize on my bookshelf waiting to be read for a couple of years. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Catherine F Hanrahan
Difficult read. The reviews were glowing - and I would probably agree with many of them if I was an book critic who appreciated the finer details of the trade, however I am someone... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Dr A. Fitzgerald
Looked forward to this book, but found it excruciatingly boring. I think I read about 1/3 of it, waiting for something to happen. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Joyce Hanes
loved the writing...made me feel the whole atmosphere of the settingPublished 23 days ago by sandra hendricks
This is a convoluted story that needed full attention, but as it unfolded I enjoyed the plot. Character development was interesting but not deep. Read morePublished 26 days ago by reader