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The Luminaries by Elaenor Catton

 
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peter
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:10 am    Post subject: The Luminaries by Elaenor Catton Reply with quote

By and large I'm not drawn to reading 'Booker Prize' winners, because historically the ones I've tried have not served to 'float my boat'. But this one has a different feel to it. Concerning the mystery surrounding two crimes in a South-Island [New-Zealand] gold prospecting settlement, it follows the fortunes of a young newly-arrived prospector who stumbles across a nocturnal meeting between twelve men and is thereby drawn into the complex events surrounding said crimes.

I haven't decided yet whether to read the book and was hoping to canvas a bit of oppinion here in case anyone has, or knows anyone who has, done so. It's big and heavy and thus I'll have to spring for a paperback copy [my arthritic wrists struggle in bed with too heavy tomes], but don't want to do so if the book is generally regarded as a turgid bore Wink [and I don't trust reviewers; I never seem to agree with them].
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apologies for the egregious 'bump'; I've just purchased my copy and wondered if anyone else had read [or planned to read] the book. Each time I read 'the blurb' it appeals to me a little more so I finally bit the bullet and 'sprung' for a second hand paperback from e-bay. 2.85 [inc p&p] for what, if I like it, will provide what, ten...fifteen hours of entertainment; can't be bad.........if I like it Wink .
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't heard of it before, sorry. Let us know what you think!
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will do Ali. The book actually won the Booker Prize in 2013 so it has some serious pedigree behind it. [nb I've not always 'got on' with Booker Prize winners by any means so that carries little weight with me.] Ilike the idea of the books structure, the luminaries of the title being the Sun and the Moon, and the book being divided into 12 sections, each shorter than the last, to reflect the moon as it passes through it's phases [or something]. That and midnight meetings in cemetaries [which also seems to be a bit of a theme in my current reading Wink ].
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't know where I got the cemetary meeting thing from; there is a clandestine meeting - but not in a cemetary.

I'm now half-way through the book and am bowled over. The book rattles along and keeps you interested and turning pages waaay more than any Booker Prize winner deserves to. The story [told in flashbacks from the various perspectives of the atendees of above said clandestine meeting] focuses on the events of one day and the days leading up to it, the day in question being that of the arrival of the story's principal charachter Walter Moody in the New-Zealand gold-rush town of Hokitika. I'm not 'up' on astrology enough to get all of the astrological references in the book, but I believe that each charachter of the twelve atendees represents a different birth sign and exhibits the charachteristics most associated with that sign. The book appears to be constructed as a literary orrery, but not so much as to be in your face with it all the time. Even were this not the case the story would stand alone as a damn fine read!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha, I usually have a similar opinion of the Booker winners. Very Happy I always wonder why the hell they won.

Sounds like you may have found an exception. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok - I finished the book; quite a rare thing for me with a work of fiction - few hold my attention well enough to make me slog it out to the end - so that is a good thing in itself! The story holds you fast right up to the end - but at that end, is oddly flat. Not dissastrously so, but it was definitely the journey rather than the destination that made the trip worthwhile. I think I probably did not 'get' much of the books planatary/astrological allusions - I know naff all about the subject - and I'm guessing that for someone who understands the subject this book would make rich reading indeed. Even without however, it was a damn good tale and highy reccomended.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll keep it in mind if I ever see it. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It'd make a good days reading for you Av. Laughing
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