The Luminaries (Paperback)
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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.
"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