The first thing I noticed after taking the book The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton in my hands was the weight of this epic book. It is of mammoth novel with 834 pages. Last I’ve read only Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows and Breaking Dawn with that size. By the way this epic size novel has won the Man Booker Prize 2013. It was hot favorite among the shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013.
Congratulations to Elenor Catton and despite the number of pages once you get hooked to the mysterious plots and puzzles of The Luminaries weight and size doesn’t matter. Time fly. Catton plants and seeds of mysteries and successfully keeps the readers fully engrossed not disclosing the secrets and solving the puzzle till the end.
The Luminaries will take you to the 19th century New Zealand where Walter Moody has come to make his fortune in the goldfields. On the stormy night of his 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 prostitute 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.
What follows is the series of very complex melodrama and suspense which deepens further with the turn of each page. Catton uses each of the characters as narrators so the details are not missed out. Each has a secret to hide, inner struggles to harbor and a role to play. Their confessions and revelations further adds intensity to the novel. So much so the book is completely unputdownable.
Verdict: The winner of Man Book Prize 2013, The Luminaries is a must read. Someone wrote that there are so many modern devises invented like kindle, ebook readers that you will not feel the weight of the book. But I feel when an excellent book is in your hand and your mind fully devoted to it then the body cannot feel any thing. GO FOR IT.
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