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Ratings and Book Reviews (49 353 star ratings
49 reviews
)

Overall rating

3.7 out of 5
353
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  • 16 person found this review helpful

    16 people found this review helpful

    16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    Whilst I always make sure I read the Man Booker prize winner I find they often vary significantly in their readability - and this no exception. A great concept but it's tedious to get through all the layers, many of which are occurring concurrently! I felt as though I needed a whiteboard to track what was happening to whom and where it fitted into the timeframe. The author seemed to enjoy taking 2000 words to make a point when 200 would have done nicely. I understand she studied Victorian language use and nuance before she wrote this tome - and it shows - but oblique references and coy descriptions piled one on top of another to slowly (and I mean very slowly) provide us with knowledge of the characters and their actions - let alone understand their motivations - as the 'story' is told, had me frustrated and even angry as I yelled at her to "get to the point" more often than I care to remember. And the ending does't alleviate this frustration. So would I recommend it? After you've cleaned out your sock and underwear drawers, then counted out the grains of rice needed for your next risotto…. perhaps you can set aside several months to wade through it! But try finding a few more interesting compelling reads to drop into whenever you need to wake up your brain and revive your energies?? One for those without a life!
  • 5 person found this review helpful

    5 people found this review helpful

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    I took awhile to sort all the characters out as they were a devious lot. The story was full of intrigue and so well crafted that it held my attention from start to finish. I could not guess how it would finish, but the end was just as it should be. A very interesting story, and having been in the area the story was based in, I could imagine the setting very well. It did not lack credibility. I will read it again.
  • 6 person found this review helpful

    6 people found this review helpful

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    Technically perfect, but a slog to get through. I am happy I kept at it as parts charmed me. Other chapters bored me. I am definitely glad I didn't try to figure out the astrological references.
  • 5 person found this review helpful

    5 people found this review helpful

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    A gorgeous read , beautiful prose. A really interesting telling of a significant time in New Zealands history . Colourful , intriguing , informative and a highly recommended read.
  • 3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    It is rare that a book written in a style deliberately evocative of 19th century prose is able to grab and hold the reader's attention. "The Luminaries" does this by a combination of brilliant characterisation and careful narrative construction. In both its almost-photorealistic attention to detail in evoking the strange combination of Victorian civilisation and the raw wildness of New Zealand's South Island, and in its ability to hint, suggest, and confound, making the impossible seem possible and vice versa, "The Luminaries" is a classic for our time. I read it while flying to the UK, economy class. It made the horrific leg between Sydney and Dubai totally bearable.
353

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