The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (paperback)
Recently adapted as a sumptuous BBC drama, the Booker Prize winning The Luminaries is a staggering feat of relentlessly sustained narrative tension. Set in nineteenth-century gold rush New Zealand, it is a labyrinthine crime thriller, a period ghost story and immersive character study all rolled into one exquisitely constructed masterpiece.
Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2013
It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On 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 whore 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.
The Luminaries is an extraordinary piece of fiction. It is full of narrative, linguistic and psychological pleasures, and has a fiendishly clever and original structuring device. Written in pitch-perfect historical register, richly evoking a mid-19th century world of shipping and banking and goldrush boom and bust, it is also a ghost story, and a gripping mystery. It is a thrilling achievement and will confirm for critics and readers that Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international writing firmament.
Number of pages: 848
Weight: 578 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 50 mm