Review: The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton.

It seems like this took far longer than most books to read, but that’s because I kept it as my travel book. Every time I went away, I’d read it on the plane, and it’s sat about half done for the last month, so I decided to finish it (and stop kidding myself that I’ll ever finish Infinite Jest and remove it from my Currently Reading list).

And it’s hard to explain why I liked it because I didn’t actively enjoy it. What I mean by that is that I wasn’t swept up in adventure, but I was kind of intrigued by it all? Something so old fashioned that isn’t off-putting peaked my interest, and even though I didn’t feel bored at all while reading it, I wasn’t actively excited by it? I don’t know.


It’s 1866, and Walter Moody has come to New Zealand to make a fortune on goldfields, only to stumble across twelve men having a secretive chat: a man has vanished, a prostitute attempted suicide, a fortune has been found, and the mystery unravels, slowly but surely.

For those who like Victorian/Austen-esque eras, I’d hazard a guess this would be enjoyable. As someone who generally doesn’t like those things, this worked where it would usually be off-putting. It’s been such a long read I can’t do specifics like I usually do but I will say that I liked Anna the most throughout, and found the book pretty good. Whether I could tell you anything of detail afterwards, on the other hand, is debatable.


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