At 848 pages, The Luminaries
is the longest book I've ever read. And possibly the most complicated besides. There is a large cast of central playersnineteen live ones, one deadas well as additional supporting characters, each one contributing a crucial part to this lively and entertaining story, a mystery charged by all the deadly sins; most particularly greed and lust. Storylines are not always told in a linear fashion; we shift back and forth in time. Written in exquisite prose, Eleanor Catton weaves together many individual stories to paint a rich picture at a pivotal moment in history.
It is January 1866 in Hokitika, New Zealanda newly booming gold-mining townwhen Walter Moody, an upper-class, twenty-eight year old Englishman, steps into the smoking room of the Crown Hotel. He has just arrived in town after a harrowing journey aboard the...
Beyond the Book
is set in the New Zealand town of Hokitika during the nineteenth century gold rush. Hokitika is located on the west coast of New Zealand's South Island, which is one of three areas in the country where gold was found to be in sufficient quantity to mine.
Rumors of gold in a small part of New Zealand's North Island surfaced in the 1820s, but it wasn't until the first substantial discovery in 1852 in the center of the South Island that the search for gold began in earnest. The majority of New Zealand miners were Britishcoming most recently from the goldmines of the southern Australian state of Victoria. Chinese immigrants participated in the exploration as well as native Maoris.