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Sometimes our customers sell US on a book, and that’s what happened to me the other day when one of our regulars came in, picked up Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries (2013 Man Booker Prize winner) and said, “I just loved nibbling away at this.” The Luminaries, now out in paperback, follows Walter Moody, who has arrived in New Zealand’s during its mid 1800s goldrush. Moody stumbles upon a tense meeting of twelve men in his hotel, each of whom Catton has attributed characteristics of the twelve zodiacal signs. Moody gets caught up in their discussion of local mysteries, including a missing wealthy gold miner, a suicidal prostitute, and a dead hermit. Yes, The Luminaries is a bit of a tome, but it’s a fun, beautiful read with many enjoyable knots to untangle. My highest recommendation. - Mary
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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 a novel for the 21st, something utterly new. The pages fly."--New York Times Book Review
It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to stake his claim in New Zealand's booming gold rush. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: a wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous cache of gold has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky.
Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, THE LUMINARIES is at once a fiendishly clever ghost story, a gripping page-turner, and a thrilling novelistic achievement. It richly confirms that Eleanor Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international literary firmament.