Book on a train – ‘The Luminaries’ by Eleanor Catton

Winner of the 2013 Man Booker prize ‘The Luminaries’ had to be a great book for me to carry it back and forth to work each day and for me, a very slow reader, to actually finish it. You’d never know by looking head-on at the cover

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but turn it about….

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and  you can see this is a sizable tome. ‘The Luminaries’ is 832 pages long… DSCI0226

That’s 832 pages. Yet each word has earned its place in this wonderful novel. Despite its length its depth makes it a modern classic, every page a pleasure to read. I was completely awestruck by Eleanor Catton’s word-craft. What a talented woman.

Set in the gold-fields of nineteenth century New Zealand Catton’s story revolves around the death of hermit Crosbie Wells, the mysterious disappearance of handsome young prospector Emery Staines and the apparent suicide attempt of prostitute Anna Wetherell. The tale delves into the dark worlds of prostitution, opium addiction, violent crime and racism and tackles all these issues without the need for graphic detail but by the use of erudite prose. The characters and the settings are so well drawn I could perfectly envision them.

I would recommend it, especially for holidays. With plenty of time to sit and read this is a page turner. For me it made all those train journeys pass too quickly. I’m returning my copy to the library, get down there quick and borrow it yourself.

Until next we meet, Moke.

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