The bestselling, Man Booker Prize-winning novel hailed as “a true achievement. Catton has built a lively parody of a 19th-century novel, and in so doing created. The Luminaries [Eleanor Catton] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Shipped from UK, please allow 10 to 21 business days for arrival. Fair, A. “The Luminaries,” Eleanor Catton’s remarkable second novel — the winner of this year’s Man Booker Prize — is a lot of things, and I mean a lot.

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And how elusive, motivation! Each knows at least one thing not at first disclosed to the others.

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, review – Telegraph

Catton matches her telling to her 19th-century setting, indulging us with straightforward character appraisals, moral estimations of each character along with old-fashioned rundowns of their luminariss attributes, 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. This world turned on its head is an eerie place.

Booker prize winner reads from book.

Who do I think I was? The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton: Enon by Paul Harding. The uneasiness of this initial scene is masterfully held, using very traditional tactics. At pages, it might seem like self-indulgence, especially in a market awash with historical novels, sometimes looser and baggier than the original novels that inspired them. But this is a paean to plot that needs space for its retellings. Catton has also absorbed the feel of detective fiction, where almost every sentence is feeding the plot quite a feat at pages.


At first it seems the 12 men are all being framed; the story comes to us second, sometimes third-hand. Most of the men are entangled, in some way, with Anna, the whore, who remains opaque until the end.

Is this then luminadies an achievement of plotting?

The novel has many attributes — excellent dialogue, humour, great observation, as when two acquaintances at a party share the same expression: But the things that most impress are the cunning withholding of information, the elegant foreshadowing, the skilful looping back on the narrative.

Just as the market seems saturated with Victorianaalong comes Catton and proves herself as entertaining a mistress of plot and pacing as Sarah Waters.

The Luminaries

Her novel makes ample use of those accoutrements of an old-fashioned plot that surely partly explain what motivates so many of our brightest writers today to set their fiction in the past: There is even a seance, admittedly somewhat hackneyed fare for a historical novel, but a good metaphor for how the plot reveals itself: But the little precis, which stand at the top of each chapter throughout in a slightly cutesy emulation of a Dickens or Eliot, start to compress the action so much they usurp its telling, so that all that are left in each of these final chapters are suggestive snatches, sometimes barely a paragraph.


The novel seems suddenly to acknowledge its postmodern vantage point.

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. Get the best at Telegraph Puzzles. A collection of the best contributions and reports from the Telegraph focussing on the cqtton events, decisions and moments in Churchill’s life.

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, review

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