Eleanor Catton becomes the youngest Booker Prize winner. The New Zealander’s 832-page book, The Luminaries, is also the longest novel ever to win the literary prize. She also becomes an “end of an era” winner: the last recipient of a Booker prize which, for 45 years, has only allowed Commonwealth and Irish writers—next year, the Americans are coming.
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. Each of its 12 parts has a word count exactly half that of its predecessor. I’m intrigued. Are you?