A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court....
Anna Kerrigan, nearly 12 years old, accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family....
This book, a triumphant fruit of careful research, wide reading and judicious assessment, was an unprecedented best-seller from the time of its first publication in 2003....
A moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln....
When, in 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, he is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across from the Kremlin....
In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thailand - Burma Death Railway in 1943, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife....
On December 3, 1976, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert, gunmen stormed his house, machine guns blazing....
A profound, startling, and beautifully crafted debut novel, The Sympathizer is the story of a man of two minds, someone whose political beliefs clash with his individual loyalties....
The Finkler Question is a scorching story of friendship and loss and of the wisdom and humanity of maturity....
The author of the classic best-sellers The Secret History and The Little Friend returns with a brilliant, highly anticipated new novel....
It's 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson - college professor, stalled writer - has a Nix of his own: his mother, Faye. He hasn't seen her in decades, not since she abandoned the family....
From prize-winning, best-selling author Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom....
In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life....
After a violent coup in the United States overthrows the Constitution and ushers in a new government regime, the Republic of Gilead imposes subservient roles on all women....
This extraordinarily accomplished debut novel is a brilliantly plotted story of forbidden love and piercing political drama, centered on the tragic decline of an Indian family....
Two brown girls dream of being dancers - but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe....
One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny's mother, Beverly....
In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel....
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.
i cannot imagine a better narrator for this beautiful, intricate jewel of a book.
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.
I am not sure I would have actually read this book. Much of it is dialogue and there are many characters to keep straight. The skillful narration & spot-on accents however, transformed this story into a mesmerizing tale. I recommend the audible version of this book to everyone I know!
This was a fantastic story brought to life by an incredible performance. I can't remember the last time I was so thoroughly drawn into a story.
Mark Meadows is the best narrator I have heard ever (I go through about 3-4 books/month). He does accents and voices like I have never heard anywhere else. From brittish upper and working class, french, german, irish, scottish, chinese and maori to women and men with soft or strong or shrude voices - it is a pure joy to listen to nearly 30 hours of fictional tale.
The era, world and ambience that Eleanor Catton creates as the backrop for her story through an abundance of detail and use of old language and interesting charactees and dialogue kept me enchanted. How can someone write this well in their 20's, I wonder?
The only thing I struggled with was the slow pace of the story, and my own need to try to figure out how to categorize this book. I never really figured out how the title, coordinates, planets and signs fit into the plot...and was this a murder mystery, treasure story, love story, new age stuff...? Still, cudos to both Eleanor and Mark. Good job.
Faux-Victorian gold rush story that's not so much a mystery, but an artfully complex and tight story about something like 20 characters that revolve, as do celestial bodies around a Sun, around a pair of unlikely protagonists. It's not primarily a love story, as I was led to believe, in the same way that Susanna Clarke's Strange and Norrell contains lovers, but is decidedly not romantic.
Literary amateur astrologists will adore this book; as will anyone with a soft spot for mild magic and mild romance. Living in this world was very, very fun.
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
I don't know who would enjoy this book. I can usually find some reason to finish a book but I was unwilling to commit any more time to the book.
What could Eleanor Catton have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
Fewer characters with better character development. The plot seemed mired in muck and unable to move forward. Perhaps more editing to reduce the length.
How could the performance have been better?
I think the performance suffered more from the content.
I gave this book four hours of my time, the first hour I found myself nodding off. I quit listening,because I wasn't giving the book a fair shake if I was that sleepy, I tried again later for another three hours. I quit, the story line wasn't bad, but it was really boring, maybe because it was set in one room, with people recounting what had happened. More of a play, certainly not fast paced.
This book sounded great but I feel like it could have been told in a third as many pages and it would have been much better. The way the story was finally all out together at the end was not great either. Listening to it probably made it more difficult because I couldn't skim over parts that weren't important. I still feel like some of the story is completely unresolved.
What an epic tale! I feel the need to listen again to capture all I missed!
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.
Found very hard to get into it. Comes right in the end but it's a big commitment. The narrator is superb.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
The narrator was very dry and read with very little character. It was difficult to listen to him for any length of time as his voice was quite boring. Because of this (and because it was such a long story) I struggled to finish the book and didn't follow the plot well at all.
What didn’t you like about Mark Meadows’s performance?
Women's voices in particular were almost pantomine in this performance.
Beautifully written but too long. Still unsure of the bearing of the star signs on the story. Great narration however.
Meadows' performance was excellent, with clear delineation of characters and a wide range of accents sustained throughout. The plot ultimately disappoints, as the astrological conceit is the driving force.