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The Luminaries Paperback – October 7, 2014

3.6 out of 5 stars 2,658 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Luminaries is a true achievement. 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, the great weight of the book shifting quickly from right hand to left, a world opening and closing in front of us, the human soul revealed in all its conflicted desperation. I mean glory. And as for the length, surely a book this good could never be too long."―Bill Roorbach, New York Times Book Review

"Catton provides descriptions of her characters that are meticulous and precise...The result is a finely wrought fun house of a novel. Enjoy the ride."
Chris Bohjalian, Washington Post

"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)

"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

"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

"A very clever, absurdly fun novel that reads like a cross between a locked-room mystery, a spaghetti Western, a game of Sodoku, and Edwin Drood."―New York Magazine

"To say that The Luminaries is daringly ambitious in its reach and scope doesn't really do it justice."―The Wall Street Journal

About the Author

Eleanor Catton was awarded the 2013 Man Booker Prize for The Luminaries. Her first novel, The Rehearsal, won the 2009 Betty Trask Award and the Adam Prize in Creative Writing, and was long-listed for the Orange Prize and short-listed for the Dylan Thomas Prize. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and an MA in fiction writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters. Born in Canada, Catton was raised in New Zealand, where she now lives.

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Customer reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5
2,658 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on December 1, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on October 3, 2015
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Top international reviews

Helen
2.0 out of 5 stars The Emperor’s New Clothes......
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 1, 2020
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Client d'Amazon
4.0 out of 5 stars After all that detail it seems to collapse completely with endless summaries of what happened –really poor. Also
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 12, 2017
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Pannonia
4.0 out of 5 stars ... which needs 100% concentration all the time - not easy with a novel of 800 pages written in a ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 25, 2017
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frenchfreddie
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard work
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 13, 2020
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3.0 out of 5 stars Swept away by the hype
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 19, 2019
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ARCubitt
4.0 out of 5 stars It's All In the Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 7, 2015
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L. Hutt
3.0 out of 5 stars and pretty boring. Characters were introduced with long winded descriptions ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 5, 2017
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Anna Jones
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull - and heavy in both weight and content!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 5, 2015
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Simon
1.0 out of 5 stars Life is just too short to even bother reading this dull, dull
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 26, 2017
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Michelle Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 18, 2016
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GO
2.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious in scope, but long-winded and lacking both narrative clarity and emotive characterisation
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 17, 2019
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joyfrankie
3.0 out of 5 stars Improves after first section
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 9, 2015
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Hodgeheg
4.0 out of 5 stars Intruige in a gold rush town in New Zealand. An enjoyable read, but I expected a bit more from the plot...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 25, 2014
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JC of MK
1.0 out of 5 stars Staggeringly dull
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 15, 2017
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Grey & Astute
4.0 out of 5 stars Challenging but intriguing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 18, 2014
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