Eleanor Catton

Book review: The Luminaries

The Luminaries The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I lived in New Zealand for a couple of years, so I am pretty positively-disposed towards the book, which reminds me very well of the shape of the country. Catton has constructed a great portrait (albeit historical) of the goldfields. Think Deadwood, bro: there’s Celestials and whores, scarred bastards and scheming brothel-keepers, proud proprietors and prospectors lacking a clue. There’s often a sense of style over substance – motivations for some characters’ actions are often considered to be an adequate portrait, leaving some appearing a little one-dimensional – but the ambition is huge, and the story well-told. (more…)