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The Luminaries [Anglais] [Broché]

Eleanor Catton
3.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
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Description de l'ouvrage

3 avril 2014
The bestselling, Man Booker Prize-winning novel hailed as "a true achivement. Catton has built a lively parody of a 19th-century novel, and in so doing created a novel for the 21st, something utterly new. The pages fly."--New York Times Book Review

It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to stake his claim in New Zealand's booming gold rush. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: a wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous cache of gold has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky.

Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, THE LUMINARIES is at once a fiendishly clever ghost story, a gripping page-turner, and a thrilling novelistic achievement. It richly confirms that Eleanor Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international literary firmament.
--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"The Luminaries is a true achievement. Catton has built a lively parody of a 19th-century novel, and in so doing created a novel for the 21st, something utterly new. The pages fly, the great weight of the book shifting quickly from right hand to left, a world opening and closing in front of us, the human soul revealed in all its conflicted desperation. I mean glory. And as for the length, surely a book this good could never be too long."—Bill Roorbach, New York Times Book Review

"Catton provides descriptions of her characters that are meticulous and precise...The result is a finely wrought fun house of a novel. Enjoy the ride."—Chris Bohjalian, Washington Post

"Irresistible, masterful, compelling...The Luminaries has a gripping plot that is cleverly unravelled to its satisfying conclusion, a narrative that from the first page asserts that it is firmly in control of where it is taking us...[Catton is] a mistress of plot and pacing..."—The Telegraph (5-star review)

"The type of novel that you will devour only to discover that you can't find anything of equal scope and excitement to read once you have finished...Do yourself a favour and read The Luminaries."—The Independent

"Note-perfect... [Catton's] authority and verve are so impressive that she can seemingly take us anywhere; each time, we trust her to lead us back ... A remarkable accomplishment."—Globe and Mail

"A very clever, absurdly fun novel that reads like a cross between a locked-room mystery, a spaghetti Western, a game of Sodoku, and Edwin Drood."—New York Magazine

"To say that The Luminaries is daringly ambitious in its reach and scope doesn't really do it justice."—The Wall Street Journal --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Biographie de l'auteur

Eleanor Catton holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and an MA in fiction writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand.

--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 848 pages
  • Editeur : Granta Books (3 avril 2014)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 184708432X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847084323
  • Dimensions du produit: 19,8 x 12,8 x 5,4 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 2.902 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Un texte excellent 10 décembre 2013
Format:Format Kindle|Achat authentifié par Amazon
Chaque phrase est superbe, chaque mot est parfaitement choisi, un délice. Et l'histoire retrace tellement bien qui étaient les premiers habitants de Nouvelle Zélande et ce qu'était leur vie, Maoris et les immigrants.
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1 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 très vieilllot 27 janvier 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat authentifié par Amazon
curieux ces critiques dithyrambiques pour ce bouquin au style vieillot, démodé, que j'ai lâché au bout de 20 pages. Je regrette de les avoir suvies.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 étoiles sur 5  833 commentaires
1.208 internautes sur 1.285 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 A Commitment - Not For Everyone 15 octobre 2013
Par Mary Lins - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Gushing reviews are easy to write, (so are pans), but what to say when you know that a book is well written, innovatively and creatively structured, and is destined to be loved by many, but it just didn't appeal to you? "The Luminaries" by Eleanor Catton, is such a book. Short-listed for the Booker Prize, this novel, that weighs in at over 800 pages, takes a bit of a commitment to get into and, once invested, it must "grab" you to continue. I got half-way through and then had to have a "talk with myself" about continuing. It just isn't my kind of novel and continuing was going to take too much of my precious reading time. Yet, I was far enough in to see that its innovative style of folding back in on itself will appeal to many readers. It's like a complicated pastry; the plot is kneaded and folded to produce the confection intended. This is not a novel for readers who like their plots to be linear.

Catton's writing style is beautifully lush and vividly descriptive. Her descriptions of the myriad characters are wonderfully rendered both in the descriptions of their physical selves and of their inner selves. Catton also creates a unique and interesting setting of a New Zealand gold mining town in the mid-nineteenth century.

I'm posting this candidly honest review to help other readers ascertain if they are the type of reader who will enjoy this unique novel, or not.
334 internautes sur 359 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A brilliant historical novel that could win this year's Booker Prize 25 août 2013
Par Darryl R. Morris - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This astonishing historical novel opens in Hokitika, New Zealand in 1866, a gold mining town along the West Coast of the South Island. Founded two years previously, Hokitika is in the midst of a population boom, as prospectors, hoteliers and other businessmen have flocked there after news of its vast riches and promise of easy wealth has reached people living within and outside of New Zealand. One of those men is Walter Moody, a young Englishman who is trained in law but seeks gold to provide him with material comfort and the start of a new life. He arrives in town after a harrowing and emotionally distressing voyage at sea, and after he checks in at a local hotel he proceeds to its smoking room, where he hopes to unwind with a pipe and a stiff drink. Upon his arrival he notices that 12 men are already there, who appear to be from different backgrounds but also seem to have gathered in secret for a particular reason. The atmosphere in the room is tense and troubled upon his entry, but in his agitated state Moody doesn't sense that he has disturbed them. He is approached by one of the men, while the others appear to direct their attention toward their conversation, and after slowly gaining their confidence the men begin to share their intertwined stories with Moody, and the reason for their confidential meeting.

The story is centered around several mysterious and apparently interconnected occurrences that took place two weeks previously on a single night, including the death of a hermit in a shack overlooking town, the disappearance of a young man who has struck it rich in a gold mine, and the apparent near suicide of the town's most alluring prostitute. Every man in the room claims to be innocent of any direct involvement, yet they all appear to share some responsibility in the events that led up to these crimes, and each one fears that he may be accused and held accountable.

The reader learns more about these 12 men, Moody, and several other key players, as the story takes on a more defined shape. However, just as it seems to become more clear new twists arise and relationships emerge between previously unconnected characters, which made the tale more compelling and delightfully puzzling. I exclaimed out loud numerous times at various points ("Wait, what?" "Whoa!", etc.), and except for one relatively dead spot near the novel's midway point I was captivated from the first page to the last.

No review could adequately convey the intricacy and complexity of this novel, along with its numerous subplots and themes, and Catton's ability to maintain its momentum through 832 pages was akin to a performer riding a fast moving rollercoaster while juggling various objects of different sizes for hours on end. My biggest critique is its ending, which felt rushed and overly tidy, and despite its length I would have preferred for it to have been extended by another 50-100 pages.

"The Luminaries" is a masterful literary symphony, and a work of historical fiction that compares favorably with similarly superb novels such as The Children's Book, The Stranger's Child and The Glass Room. There are few books of this size that I would love to start reading again immediately after finishing it, but this is one of them, and young Ms Catton is to commended for a brilliant novel that should be a strong contender for this year's Booker Prize.
142 internautes sur 156 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Solid Gold 15 octobre 2013
Par "switterbug" Betsey Van Horn - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat authentifié par Amazon
Twelve men meet at the Crown Hotel in Hokitika, New Zealand, in January, 1866. A thirteenth, Walter Moody, an educated man from Edinburgh who has come here to find his fortune in gold, walks in. As it unfolds, the interlocking stories and shifting narrative perspectives of the twelve--now thirteen--men bring forth a mystery that all are trying to solve, including Walter Moody, who has just gotten off the Godspeed ship with secrets of his own that intertwine with the other men's concerns.

This is not an important book. There is no magnificent theme, no moral thicket, no people to emancipate, no countries to defend, no subtext to unravel, and no sizable payoff. Its weightiness is physical, coming in at 832 pages. And yet, it is one of the most marvelous and poised books that I have read. Although I didn't care for the meandering rambling books of Wilkie Collins, I am reminded here of his style, but Catton is so much more controlled, and possesses the modern day perspective in which to peer back.

I felt a warmth and a shiver at each passing chapter, set during the last days of the New Zealand gold rush. Catton hooked me in in this Victorian tale of a piratical captain; a Maori gemstone hunter; Chinese diggers (or "hatters"); the search for "colour" (gold); a cache of hidden gold; séances; opium; fraud; ruthless betrayal; infidelity; a politician; a prostitute; a Jewish newspaperman; a gaoler; shipping news; shady finance; a ghostly presence; a missing man; a dead man; and a spirited romance. And there's more between Dunedin and Hokitika to titillate the adventurous reader.

Primarily, THE LUMINARIES is an action-adventure, sprawling detective story, superbly plotted, where the Crown Hotel men try to solve it, while sharing secrets and shame of their own. There's even a keen courtroom segment later in the story. And, there are crucial characters that are not gathered in the Crown that night who link everyone together. The prostitute and opium addict, Anna Wetherell, is nigh the center of this story, as she is coveted or loved or desired by all the townspeople.

The layout of the book is stellar: the spheres of the skies and its astrological charts. You don't need to understand the principles and mathematics of astrology (I don't), but it is evident that knowledge of this pseudoscience would add texture to the reading experience, as it provides the structure and frame of the book. The characters' traits can be found in their individual sun signs (such as the duality of a Germini). The drawings of charts add to the mood, and the chapters get successively shorter after the long Crown chapter. The cover of the book illustrates the phases of the moon, from full moon to sliver, alluding to the waning narrative lengths as the story progresses.

"But onward also rolls the outer sphere--the boundless present, which contains the bounded past."

Take note of the cast list at the beginning, which is quite helpful for the initial 200 or 300 pages. With so many vivid characters coming at you at once, it is difficult at first to absorb. However, as the pages sail (and they will, if this appeals to you), you won't even need the names and professions. The story and its striking, almost theatrical players become gradually and permanently installed, thoroughly and unforgettably. From the scar on Captain Francis Carver's cheek, to the widow's garment on Anna Wetherell's gaunt frame, the lively images and descriptions animate this boisterous, vibrant story.

Catton is a master storyteller; she combines this exacting 19th century style and narrator--and the "we" that embraces the reader inside the tale--with the faintest sly wink of contemporary perspective. Instead of the authorial voice sounding campy, stilted, and antiquated, there is a fresh whiff of nuanced canniness, a knowing Catton who uncorks the delectable Victorian past by looking at it from the postmodern future.

You will either be intoxicated by this big brawl of a book, or weighed down in its heft. If you are looking for something more than it is, then look no further than the art of reading. There's no mystery to the men; Catton lays out their morals, scruples, weaknesses, and strengths at the outset. The women had a little poetic mystery to them, but in all, these were familiar players--she drew up stock 19th century characters, but livened them up, so that they leaped madly from the pages. There isn't much to interrogate except your own anticipation. If you've read COLOUR, by Rose Tremain, don't expect any similarities except the time, place, setting, and the sweat and grime of the diggers. Otherwise, the two books are alike as fish and feathers.

The stars shine bright as torches, or are veiled behind a mist, like the townspeople and story that behave under the various constellations. Catton's impeccably plotted yarn invites us to dwell in this time and place. At times, I felt I mined the grand nuggets of the story, and at other times, it blew away like dust.

"But there is no truth except truth in relation, and heavenly relation is composed of wheels in motion, tilting axes, turning dials; it is a clockwork orchestration that alters every minute, never repeating never still...We now look outward...we see the world as we wish to perfect it, and we imagine dwelling there."
138 internautes sur 153 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 As if written by a Victorian David Mitchell - Catton strikes gold of her own 7 septembre 2013
Par Ripple - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
Eleanor Catton's "The Luminaries" is set in the New Zealand gold rush of the late 1860s. It's a story about greed, power, gold, dreams, opium, secrets, betrayal and identity, but most of all, it's a celebration of the art of story telling, both in terms of Catton's book and the stories her characters have to tell. It's the kind of book that is perfect escapism and which wraps you up in its world. If you like big, chunky books that you can get lost in for hours, then this is one for you.

Second novels are notoriously tricky, especially when they follow one that has received the critical acclaim that Catton had for her debut, "The Rehearsal". Fortunately, no one seems to have told Catton this and "The Luminaries" is a very different style of book but one that is an even more remarkable and memorable achievement. Also notable is Catton's writing style. This was the standout feature of her debut novel and this is equally stylish but in a very different way. There are hints and nods to some great writers both period and more modern throughout, notably a touch of Charles Dickens, a splash of Wilkie Collins, a smidgeon of Robert Louis Stevenson, a dash of Salman Rushdie and a hint of David Mitchell, yet all combined in a freshness that is uniquely Catton's. It's more homage than a plagiarism of style. The one element that is common to both this and "The Rehearsal" is what comes over as the author's sheer love of story telling - there's a constant sense of fun in her descriptions and she writes as if she has a smile on her face and is as entranced by the story that is being set down as her readers are.

The opening scene accounts for the first 300 pages as the story is introduced from different perspectives, but essentially Walter Moody arrives in the small gold rush town of Hokitika and settles into one of the more basic hotels only to find that he has interrupted a clandestine meeting of twelve very different people who are all in some way linked to the death of a local hermit, the apparent suicide attempt by the local "lady of the old profession" as the judge will later term her and the disappearance of a young, successful and very rich prospector on one eventful night.

The webs of relationships between these twelve men and the victims are complex and at first take a bit of concentration but Catton is alert to this and offers frequent summaries and in particular a rather fuller précis towards the end of this first part to make sure that the reader has picked up on all the salient relationships. The web of intrigue is part of the joy of the book and some you won't fully discover until much later on.

The book then jumps forward a month for a couple of parts before moving back to the past. The past chapters are much, much briefer and this change of style is one that you will either love or hate I suspect. It's one of the more modern touches to what otherwise feels like a very traditional narrative voice.

Although I absolutely loved the book, this was despite two aspects that might prove more of an obstacle for other readers. Firstly, while Catton's descriptions of people's characters are an absolute joy, she is guilty of telling the reader rather than showing. In many ways this is unavoidable with the size of her cast and this is very much an ensemble piece so to show each character trait would be challenging and slow the plot down.

The other aspect that failed to really gel with me is the astrological framework of the book which frames each part. Catton explains that she is more interested in this as a device for exploring character traits rather than any form of belief in determinism, but the device is so subtle that the reader is largely unaware of the relevance. I can see the use of the framework to the writer but I'm less convinced about the need to make this element so explicit, but that's down to my own personal taste.

The quality of the Booker long list seems to have become more erratic in recent years, but "The Luminaries" would not look out of place on the short list of even the vintage years. Definitely recommended. (I still think Harvest will win though).
20 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent Doorstop. 23 janvier 2014
Par Sarah Skoletsky - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Was there an editor involved? For those who start this book and don't finish, don't worry. The beginning is the end, and the end comes at least 600 pages too late. Even after reading all of those pages it's still unclear to me who is dead, who might be dead but is walking around in an opium haze, and who is alive. And I don't care. I only kept going because I thought, being a Booker winner, something worthwhile would happen. When I finished I didn't think "Oh, what a great story", I thought "If someone recommends this book to me I will immediately disregard anything they ever say to me again."

Here's my takeaway - gold mining is terrible work, opium seem pleasant, a dress weighing over 5 pounds should be looked into and it rains a lot in New Zealand.
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