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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

3.9 out of 5
5 Stars
92 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
85 reviews have 4 stars
3 Stars
32 reviews have 3 stars
2 Stars
17 reviews have 2 stars
1 Star
19 reviews have 1 stars

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All Book Reviews

  • Ms

    Loved this book. The writing was really beautiful. The story is basically a murder mystery with 13 people trying to solve it. The author has so well fleshed out the protagonists that it is easy to follow their individual stories, while the reader has an overview of what each person knows. This is a Tour de Force of a book and I highly recommend it

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    7 person found this review helpful

    7 people found this review helpful

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • So many hours of my life I'll never get back

    This book is just FAR TOO LONG. Took me months to finish it and at the end it wasn't worth it. The astrological stuff is completely baffling and pointless, not helped by the fact that on Kobo the star charts are too small to read. There are serious problems with the structure of the novel as it only gets interesting near the end. I can't even remember what the mystery was I was supposed to want to know the solution to, and I'm not sure if I ever found out the answer. I was so happy that a New Zealand author had won the Booker prize, but this did not deserve it. The 19th century style is never better than pastiche. What redeems the novel is the historical detail of a fascinating time and place, but I think my time would have been better spent reading the non - fiction study Catton acknowledges as her main source.

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    4 person found this review helpful

    4 people found this review helpful

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Jump the first milestone: persevere

    Don't let its sheer volume and first impression of a highfalutin attempt at academia and intellectual superiority deceive you. Once you've got through the first 20-40 pages, it becomes captivating and intriguing. Catton seamlessly transitions from present to near distant past and distant past. Elements of the supernatural prevail and connections between characters are subtly revealed. Some questions are left unanswered. A veritable enigma.

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    4 person found this review helpful

    4 people found this review helpful

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overrated

    Overlong, overblown, overdone, overrated.

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    3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Loved it

    But now I must read it again with the astrology clear in my mind, so I can remember who is who and get more out of the charts and chapter headings!

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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