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.
I normally read at least 40+ books a year. This year as Shelfari helpfully tells me "I'm behind my pace". This is the book that did that to me, it took soooo long to read.
I know it is an awarding winning book - however IMO....
This book is so long that I nearly gave up on reading it to the end. The first half is the retelling of the same story from the different viewpoints of each of the characters, which I don't think quite works in a book of this length. If you could read it over a few days then you would remember who said what, also, reading it on the kindle meant I couldn't retrace what I had read easily either.
The beautiful writing is what kept me going, akin to Wilkie Collins. After I reached half way I couldn't put it down as the story had picked up by then.