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The Luminaries Audiobook

The Luminaries

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Publisher's Summary

Longlisted – Baileys Women’s Prize 2014

Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2013

Canadian Governor General's Literary Award, 2013.

It is 1866 and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore 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 patterned as the night sky.

The Luminaries is an extraordinary piece of fiction. 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 for someone still in her mid-20s, and will confirm for critics and listeners that Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international writing firmament.

Eleanor Catton was born in 1985 in Canada and raised in New Zealand. She completed an MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University in 2007 and won the Adam Prize in Creative Writing for The Rehearsal. She was the recipient of the 2008 Glenn Schaeffer Fellowship to study for a year at the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop in the US and went on to hold a position as Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing there, teaching Creative Writing and Popular Culture. Eleanor won a 2010 New Generation Award. She now lives in Wellington, New Zealand.

©2013 Eleanor Catton (P)2013 Audible Ltd

What the Critics Say

"The Luminaries is an impressive novel, captivating, intense and full of surprises.” (Times Literary Supplement)
“The Luminaries is a breathtakingly ambitious 800-page mystery with a plot as complex and a cast as motley as any 19th-century doorstopper. That Catton's absorbing, hugely elaborate novel is at its heart so simple is a great part of its charm. Catton's playful and increasingly virtuosic denouement arrives at a conclusion that is as beautiful as it is triumphant.” (Daily Mail)
“It is awesomely - even bewilderingly - intricate. There's an immaculate finish to Catton's prose, which is no mean feat in a novel that lives or dies by its handling of period dialogue. It's more than 800 pages long but the reward for your stamina is a double-dealing world of skullduggery traced in rare complexity. Those Booker judges will have wrists of steel if it makes the shortlist, as it fully deserves.” (Evening Standard),br />“Eleanor Catton is nothing if not ambitious. Her latest novel, longlisted for this year's Man Booker prize, is an 828-page blockbuster. With astonishing intricacy and patient finesse, Catton brings to life the anomalous nature of 19th-century New Zealand.” (Sunday Times)
“Expansive and quite superb. Catton writes with real sophistication and intelligence... with intricate plotting and carefully wrought scenes.” (Scotsman)
“Every sentence of this intriguing tale set on the wild west coast of southern New Zealand during the time of its goldrush is expertly written, every cliffhanger chapter-ending making us beg for the next to begin. The Luminaries has been perfectly constructed as the consummate literary page-turner.” (Guardian)
“For the scale of her ambition and the beauty of its execution, somebody should give that girl a medal.” (Lucy Daniel, Daily Telegraph)
“a truly exciting new writer” (Kate Atkinson)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (1730 )
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4.2 (1499 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Colleen Calvert 10-09-16 Member Since 2016

    Lover of historical fiction. I have turned to audiobooks to supplement scare reading time, amidst a busy job and parenting.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
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    "A rare, rich tale of 1860s New Zealand"

    I love historical fiction so this was a great find. The tale is complex. I recommend having both the audio and print versions on hand. At times I needed to refer back to the print text when I'd not grasped the intricacies of the plot. The diversity of characters is brought alive by the outstanding narration by Mark Meadows. I would put this book among my top ten favourite works of historical fiction. This gem stands out against the predictable and too often sentimental books which populate the best seller lists. Sit back and enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Harrison toronto, canada 09-20-16
    M. Harrison toronto, canada 09-20-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    27
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    "Excellent performance by the narrator!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Luminaries to be better than the print version?

    I loved the story, which dips forward and backward. It is exceptionally well-written, authentic language for the time period. Good story, unusual. I am not sure what I liked more the story or the narration. Mark Meadows has an incredible back for changing accents! Thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining.


    If you could take any character from The Luminaries out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    If I were to take a character out to dinner I think it would have to be Emery Staines. He sounds like a charming, inquisitive young man.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MarkotheBeast 08-09-16 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Spellbinding performance, profoundly complex story"

    Firstly, I loved the performance of the reader. In concert with the rich depiction of such a foreign time and place, I was truly and wholly transported.

    I do understand that the author was aiming for telling the tale on a variety of levels. Some of those levels will be forever obscure to me, and that is my fault, not the author's. Some plot points, however, have been obfuscated so completely, that I find myself, at the conclusion of the book, thinking "ok. Wait. What?" I guess I'll have to take the blame for that too; but if the plot is lost, and I have to consider re-listening to a book that took me 30 hours, I'm sorry to say that probably won't happen, and I may never know everything the author wanted me to know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ljcoug 07-29-16
    ljcoug 07-29-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    14
    3
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    Story
    "All the accents"

    As this is quite a long book with many new characters thrust upon you at the beginning (think Game of Thrones), I found it helpful that the reader skillfully adopted different voices/accents to distinguish the characters. However, when he was doing a female voice, I found that I wanted to punch him in the face as it always came out like some bizarre, whining female caricature. I guess you win some, and you lose some.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ginger R 06-23-16
    Ginger R 06-23-16

    Ginger Rotan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    10
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    "I thought this book would never be over"

    No question this is masterful. But it was so boring and endlessly drawn out. Phew!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alye Hannum 06-02-16
    Alye Hannum 06-02-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    49
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    Story
    "Wonderful Narration"

    Mark Meadows is a fantastic narrator! His differing voices for each character were remarkable and made for a splendid listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George Lober 05-28-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    5
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    Story
    "Agatha Christie Meets Charles Dickens Meets Emily Bronte"

    What starts out as a gentle 19th century novel turned mystery quickly gathers continuing and irresistible momentum. It's an engaging, literary work posing as a modern page turner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roman Turner 05-16-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
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    "Amazing."

    Mark Meadows deserves an award for this performance. Absolutely brilliant. His accents and pacing are spot-on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-10-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Loved the book and the narration"

    i cannot imagine a better narrator for this beautiful, intricate jewel of a book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rohanna 04-17-16
    Rohanna 04-17-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    10
    9
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    Story
    "great historical fiction!"

    When I first listen to this story, I want site if I'd enjoy it. There's a lot of characters (hard to keep track of in the beginning) and they plot seemed dry... but as I kept listening the more intricately the plot began to unfold. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the narration. The plot is slowly peeled away in layers, from the perspectives of numerous characters. Very interesting and highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Simon
    8/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Certainly clever (and long) but was it good?"

    I really really wanted to love this book. It's so cleverly structured and the premise is excellent, but it was so so long (with some extremely flabby parts) that I really found the second half a chore. I am left wondering whether it was worth it out not....
    However, the narration was first class, so if you've got the time, go for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Yoyo
    8/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Definitely worth persevering"

    I have read this book once, listened once, and will go through it again for the pleasure of exploring a few of the many vistas of knowledge it opens up. Once I had reconciled myself to the fact the book offers a spare and dispassionate account, rather than inducing emotional connections, I loved the structural intricacies of the story and the galactic dance of the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • markusace
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring"
    What would have made The Luminaries better?

    Interesting story and better narration


    What will your next listen be?

    The Olive Tree


    How could the performance have been better?

    Inject some interest with voices


    What character would you cut from The Luminaries?

    The weer all very uninteresting


    Any additional comments?

    I listened to 5 hours of this with my wife on a long car journey. we both could not get into the story it was like a boring life story. The voicing was monotonous two and nothing seemed to happen just strange characters encountering other strange characters. I thought 5 hours was long enough .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. S. M. Bebbington
    Stockport
    7/13/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story."

    Great story made all the more enjoyable thanks to excellent narration. would recommend this to anyone who is struggling to find time to read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • searls
    6/19/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Long and unnecessarily confusing."

    Found very hard to get into it. Comes right in the end but it's a big commitment. The narrator is superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    UK
    5/13/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Overly complicated"

    I found the story to be overly complicated and too long. At the end i didn't get a feeling of satisfaction from all the loose ends being tied up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Taylor H
    5/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One heck of a performance!"

    So many characters convincingly voiced by one man- incredible!

    The story was very long but held my attention throughout - I do feel like I missed something though, the ending didn't tie everything up neatly enough!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • mitchell
    4/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Almost regretted, now repent!"

    I read alot of the reviews even though this book was recommended by my dad. I initally was gutted I had bought it as the reviews were not all that good complaining of mixed up timeline, too many names etc. Tosh! Its a brilliant book. Its a convoluted story I grant but as it ties up its delicious nuggets of fun info that makes the beginning even better than it was first time. Its a murder mystery, a history of mining and a look at the late 1800's. I love it, super characters and each one is recognisable by the voice they are given. Excellent narration he's a real gem!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs Sarah Kruschandl
    4/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Confusing starter but such a clever plot"
    What made the experience of listening to The Luminaries the most enjoyable?

    I would have given up on this book had I been reading it. The plot is so cleverly constructed that it is only near the end that the novel feels satisfying. Upon finishing it I wanted to start again - i don't feel like that about many books. A work of genius.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It took a while to warm to many of the characters. I don't want to say who my favourite character was - it would be a spoiler.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    On reflection the first scene is the one that is most interesting. All the characters are together. As you get to know their secrets throughout the novel, it was this first scene I came back to.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    There is more hidden in the New Zealand mines than gold.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • lara
    3/30/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story and historical insight"

    Excellent book and a magnificent, consistent reading. Quite unusual mystery with some wonderful insight into the New Zealand goldfields on the remote west coast of the south Island.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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