Sunday, 14 September 2014

To Read or Not to Read? That is the Question.

  This week I met a former colleague.  Our paths had not crossed for possibly 19 years.  Of course, our conversation turned to books.  She told me about this book that she has started reading.  I was fascinated, but when I picked up a copy, I discovered that it is 832 pages long- and heavy!
  So I began to read the reviews.
  The reason that I didn't dismiss it immediately is that I do enjoy a good challenge.  Getting involved in a well-written story can fill my thoughts and control my life.
The Luminaries
  What a compelling cover!  I love the phases of the moon and this looks like a fascinating twist.
And so I began to research.  If I am going to give hours and hours of reading and more hours of preoccupation to this book, I had better check to see if it is worth it.
  The internet said:
"The plot follows Walter Moody, a prospector who travels to the fledgling West Coast of the South Island settlement of Hokitika, near New Zealand's goldfields in 1866 to try and make his fortune. Instead he stumbles into a tense meeting between twelve local men, who draw him in to the complex mystery behind a series of unsolved crimes."
  Throughout the book are charts of the signs of the zodiac.  I did not understand them and thought perhaps that is a sign that this book is not for me.
But, but, but.  I have travelled the length of New Zealand and loved it.  I have not read much from that country.  And this book did win the Man Booker Prize last year.
Here are some comments by readers
- story leaps around through time sequences (NOT GOOD)
- long-winded and repetitive (NOT GOOD)
- too many characters (NOT NECESSARILY GOOD)
- the only luminous thing is the title, which doesn't suit (OOPS!)
- why did it win the Man Booker Award anyway?
To Read or Not to Read?  That is the Question.


  1. Did you decide? I am interested to know because like you I am fascinated by the synopsis/reviews/comments I have read but repelled by the shear size of this novel. Gayle

  2. Hi Gayle,
    I would need a couple of weeks on a deserted island. I'm afraid that it won't happen any time soon.