The Luminaries - Eleanor Catton
Author: Eleanor Catton
Challenges: Chunkster, Historical Fiction
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction
Description: It is 1866, and young Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand 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 unexplained events: 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 ornate as the night sky. (via Goodreads)
Thoughts: I had a bit of difficulty getting into this book, but I ended up actually enjoying the book. I think if there had been a little bit more editing to the book (the first section should have been cut maybe by about 100 pages), I think that I may have enjoyed the book a little bit more than I did. Overall, it is a pretty good read and once I was able to get more into the book, I was able to enjoy a little more than I had. It is one of those books that the payoff comes later on in the book, as you are given so much information in the first section that I felt that there was too much to digest.
Bottom line: Overall, the book is pretty good and definitely does deserve its nominations, but having not read the other nominations for the Booker Prize, I can't say if it deserved to win the prize, nor can I say if it deserve to win the Governor General's award for literary award for Fiction (she holds a Canadian passport and therefore is eligible for Canadian literary prizes, even though she hasn't lived in Canada for over 20 years; personally it should be awarded to those only that make their primary residence in Canada, but I digress), as I haven't read those books either. To put it concisely, I didn't exactly love it, but I didn't exactly dislike it either. I haven't read other Booker winners, but I am hoping that Wolf Hall is a bit better. Recommended.
Pages for 2014: 3200