Jaidee's Reviews > The Luminaries

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
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it was amazing
bookshelves: five-stars-books

5 "superlative, intricate and fascinating" stars !!

4th Favorite Read of 2015

Wow just wow. This is a very long book and so I developed a quiz to see if you are a potential reader of this most amazing tome.

1. Did you love "The Alienist" by Caleb Carr?
2. Did you adore "Wolf Hall" by Hilary Mantel?
3. Do you like your mysteries intelligent, complex and compelling?
4. Do you like stories with elements of the supernatural, murder, blackmail and intrigue?
5. Do you like your women wicked and your men wickeder?
6. Do you like writing that is formal, elegant and with a systematic style that ties in
brilliantly to both plot and character?
7. Are you fascinated by New Zealand or the chaotic wild west?

If you answered yes to two or more of these questions then what are you waiting for...giddyup to your nearest bookstore or library and pick this up as it will take you many hours to finish.

On a more serious note- this book is absolutely exquisite and perfect in every way. Ms. Catton at the age of 28 has written a novel that will stand the test of time.

This book reminded me of a complex mandala ....broad at the outside and like a whirlpool draws you in quicker and quicker so that you are immersed in a world that you never want to leave. This novel is systematic, mystical and endlessly fascinating. She uses astrological charts and also personality traits to predict the futures of her fifteen or so main characters. One could easily do a PHD thesis on this work and believe me I'm sure there are people at it right now.

Ms. Catton...thanks so darn much...I'm mighty obliged ma'am :)
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Reading Progress

October 16, 2013 – Shelved
October 16, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
May 8, 2015 – Shelved as: jaidee-s-next-three-reads
June 12, 2015 – Started Reading
June 12, 2015 –
1.0%
June 13, 2015 –
2.0%
June 14, 2015 –
3.0%
June 14, 2015 –
6.0%
June 15, 2015 –
7.0%
June 15, 2015 –
9.0%
June 15, 2015 –
10.0%
June 16, 2015 –
12.0%
June 16, 2015 –
13.0%
June 16, 2015 –
15.0%
June 17, 2015 –
16.0%
June 17, 2015 –
17.0%
June 17, 2015 –
18.0%
June 17, 2015 –
19.0%
June 18, 2015 –
20.0%
June 19, 2015 –
21.0%
June 19, 2015 –
23.0%
June 19, 2015 –
25.0%
June 19, 2015 –
27.0%
June 19, 2015 –
28.0%
June 20, 2015 –
30.0%
June 21, 2015 –
31.0%
June 22, 2015 –
32.0%
June 22, 2015 –
34.0%
June 22, 2015 –
36.0%
June 23, 2015 –
37.0%
June 23, 2015 –
38.0%
June 24, 2015 –
39.0%
June 25, 2015 –
40.0%
June 25, 2015 –
41.0%
June 25, 2015 –
42.0%
June 26, 2015 –
43.0%
June 26, 2015 –
44.0%
June 27, 2015 –
45.0%
June 29, 2015 –
46.0%
June 29, 2015 –
47.0%
June 30, 2015 –
48.0%
June 30, 2015 –
49.0%
July 2, 2015 –
50.0%
July 2, 2015 –
52.0%
July 2, 2015 –
53.0%
July 3, 2015 –
55.0%
July 4, 2015 –
56.0%
July 4, 2015 –
57.0%
July 4, 2015 –
61.0%
July 5, 2015 –
64.0%
July 6, 2015 –
6.0%
July 6, 2015 –
66.0%
July 7, 2015 –
67.0%
July 7, 2015 –
68.0%
July 8, 2015 –
70.0%
July 9, 2015 –
73.0%
July 13, 2015 –
75.0%
July 14, 2015 –
77.0%
July 14, 2015 –
79.0% "I can't stand how bloody stellar this is!!!!"
July 15, 2015 –
80.0%
July 16, 2015 –
81.0%
July 17, 2015 –
82.0%
July 18, 2015 –
86.0%
July 18, 2015 –
92.0%
July 19, 2015 –
95.0%
July 19, 2015 – Shelved as: five-stars-books
July 19, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 78 (78 new)


message 1: by Squire (new) - added it

Squire You convinced me. Again. 2666 is on my agenda soon and now this one.


Jaidee Squire wrote: "You convinced me. Again. 2666 is on my agenda soon and now this one."

Bloody good choice Squire :)


message 3: by Squire (new) - added it

Squire Why don't I just let you make my TBR?


message 4: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Great review, Jaidee. Great quiz too!


message 5: by Cindy (new) - added it

Cindy Newton "This book is absolutely exquisite and perfect in every way." How can I not read it after that? It sounds absolutely wonderful--I'm adding it right now!


message 6: by Agnieszka (last edited Jul 19, 2015 11:34PM) (new) - added it

Agnieszka Great review , Jaidee ! And thanks for the quiz . Now I see this novel is somehow destined to me ... We'll see ...


message 7: by Dolors (new)

Dolors Great, straight-to-the-point review, Jaidee! If your well aimed questions were not enough I loved the image of the mandala and the implications of that metaphor enlightened me completely about what to expect from this book. Another intuitive, refreshing review! Thanks for sharing.


message 8: by Seemita (new) - added it

Seemita Lazor-sharp, precise review, Jaidee! I like that it reminded you of a mandala....that in itself is a momentous description. And the quiz was an icing on the cake! :)


Jaidee Teresa wrote: "Great review, Jaidee. Great quiz too!"

Thanks so much Teresa. What did you score on the quiz by the way?


Jaidee Cindy wrote: ""This book is absolutely exquisite and perfect in every way." How can I not read it after that? It sounds absolutely wonderful--I'm adding it right now!"

O i do hope you enjoy it Cindy :)


Jaidee Marita wrote: "Hmmm, I somehow get the impression that you liked this novel, Jaidee. :D"

Lol Marita. Such a special book this is!!


Jaidee Agnieszka wrote: "Great review , Jaidee ! And thanks for the quiz . Now I see this novel is somehow destined to me ... We'll see ..."

I do hope your destiny includes this book Agnieszka !!


Jaidee Dolors wrote: "Great, straight-to-the-point review, Jaidee! If your well aimed questions were not enough I loved the image of the mandala and the implications of that metaphor enlightened me completely about what..."

Thank you so much Dolors :)


Jaidee Seemita wrote: "Lazor-sharp, precise review, Jaidee! I like that it reminded you of a mandala....that in itself is a momentous description. And the quiz was an icing on the cake! :)"

Thanks so much Seemita. I absolutely love Mandalas. I often use them in meditation.


Wanda Excellent review, Jaidee. You make me want to read it again!


Jaidee Thanks so much Wanda. I think its one of those books that I could easily read again and possibly again.


message 17: by Teresa (last edited Jul 20, 2015 10:19AM) (new)

Teresa Jaidee wrote: "Thanks so much Teresa. What did you score on the quiz by the way?"

A 3. So I guess I should read it. ;)

I'd tried the first chapter about a year or so ago and wasn't pulled in immediately, but maybe I should give it another try, especially as I love books that someone could do a thesis on -- that quality reminds me of how I felt about Marias' Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me.


message 18: by Helle (new)

Helle Great review, Jaidee! I've been curious to see your reaction to this one as it's been one if those books that have hovered slightly beyond my immediate list of tbr-books (partly because of its length), but you sorely tempt me with this review - and I scored five out of seven so that must be a sign, eh? Loved that quiz idea!


message 19: by Rowena (new) - added it

Rowena If I hadn't already added it to my list,your review would definitely have convinced me to read it. Love your enthusiasm:)


Jaidee Teresa wrote: "Jaidee wrote: "Thanks so much Teresa. What did you score on the quiz by the way?"

A 3. So I guess I should read it. ;)

I'd tried the first chapter about a year or so ago and wasn't pulled in im..."


The oracle says "Teresa Teresa (in a deep basso voice) the number 3 is an auspicious number and so now YOU MUST read the Luminaries" :P


Jaidee Helle wrote: "Great review, Jaidee! I've been curious to see your reaction to this one as it's been one if those books that have hovered slightly beyond my immediate list of tbr-books (partly because of its leng..."

Thank you so much Helle. Yes a five means that reading this book is no longer optional :}


Jaidee Rowena wrote: "If I hadn't already added it to my list,your review would definitely have convinced me to read it. Love your enthusiasm:)"

Thanks kindly Rowena. I hope that when you read it that you enjoy it immensely.


message 23: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Jaidee wrote: "The oracle says "Teresa Teresa (in a deep basso voice) the number 3 is an auspicious number and so now YOU MUST read the Luminaries" :P "

:) Well, if the oracle says so ... ;)


Sarah Tittle I always use this book as the antidote to "The Goldfinch." Catton is the real deal.


Jaidee Sarah wrote: "I always use this book as the antidote to "The Goldfinch." Catton is the real deal."

Thanks Sarah...do you think its possible to love both the Lumianries and the Goldfinch because the Goldfinch is third on my list on my tbr list.


Sarah Tittle Jaidee wrote: "Sarah wrote: "I always use this book as the antidote to "The Goldfinch." Catton is the real deal."

Thanks Sarah...do you think its possible to love both the Lumianries and the Goldfinch because th..."


Ha Ha! Of course it's possible. Some of my best friends are Goldfinch lovers. But I would argure that Catton's ability to inhabit an entire universe (instead of throwing around arcane details) is what makes her book so darn compelling.


message 27: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Jaidee wrote: "Thanks Sarah...do you think its possible to love both the Lumianries and the Goldfinch because th..."

I hope so, Jaidee. Because I loved The Goldfinch.


Jaidee Sarah wrote: "Jaidee wrote: "Sarah wrote: "I always use this book as the antidote to "The Goldfinch." Catton is the real deal."

Thanks Sarah...do you think its possible to love both the Lumianries and the Goldf..."


O thanks, Sarah. I'm so curious now about your comment and will keep it in mind as I read the Golfinch.


Jaidee Teresa wrote: "Jaidee wrote: "Thanks Sarah...do you think its possible to love both the Lumianries and the Goldfinch because th..."

I hope so, Jaidee. Because I loved The Goldfinch."


Good I hope I love it too. BTW I left you a question on your Marias review and I am patiently waiting a response.


message 30: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Jaidee wrote: "BTW I left you a question on your Marias review and I am patiently waiting a response."

Thanks for letting me know and being so patient. ;) I didn't see it and am going there now.


Kenneth Iltz This book is sitting on my "Do I really want to tackle a book this big?" pile - but after your review, I need to take the plunge. Thanks!


Jaidee Kenneth wrote: "This book is sitting on my "Do I really want to tackle a book this big?" pile - but after your review, I need to take the plunge. Thanks!"

Your welcome. I hope you dive right in and really enjoy it.


message 33: by Dustin (new) - added it

Dustin Wow, you've written a fascinating, brilliant and beautiful review, Jaidee! Thank you. I've only recently learned of this book, and it sounds very promising.


Jaidee Dustin wrote: "Wow, you've written a fascinating, brilliant and beautiful review, Jaidee! Thank you. I've only recently learned of this book, and it sounds very promising."

thanks so much dear dustin...I hope you read it someday


Arah-Lynda A stupendous review Jaidee. Bravo!


message 36: by Dustin (new) - added it

Dustin Jaidee wrote: "Dustin wrote: "Wow, you've written a fascinating, brilliant and beautiful review, Jaidee! Thank you. I've only recently learned of this book, and it sounds very promising."

thanks so much dear dus..."


I plan on it, thanks again.:)


Jaidee Arah-Lynda wrote: "A stupendous review Jaidee. Bravo!"

Thanks kindly Arah-Linda :)


message 38: by Dustin (new) - added it

Dustin Have you read The Rehearsal ?


Jaidee Dustin wrote: "Have you read The Rehearsal ?"

No Dustin but I have recently added it to my long list which means it will be at least 3 to 4 years before I get to it.


message 40: by Dustin (new) - added it

Dustin Okay. I was only curious. I'm hoping to read one of the other, or both, sooner rather than later.


message 41: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Wonderful review Jaidee :)


Jaidee Deanna wrote: "Wonderful review Jaidee :)"

Thanks so much Deanna. It really is one of my top reads this year. :)


message 43: by Mike (new) - added it

Mike Great review, Jaidee. Loved your quiz as well. I've had my eye on this for quite sometime. Looking forward to tracking down a copy.


Jaidee Mike wrote: "Great review, Jaidee. Loved your quiz as well. I've had my eye on this for quite sometime. Looking forward to tracking down a copy."

Thanks so much Mike. Hope you love it as much as I did.


message 45: by Gautam (new)

Gautam Riveting review , Jaidee!


Jaidee Sabah wrote: "Sorry hadn't finished... Fabulous review Jaidee."

Thanks so much Sabah :)


Jaidee Gautam wrote: "Riveting review , Jaidee!"

The book is incredible Gautam.


Nageen I am halfway and I love it so far. I cannot comprehend why people think it should'nt have won. I guess it is not everybody's cup of tea as its too technical and non-sentimental. After ages a deserving book won the prize I believe. It is 4.5 stars to me up till now, lets see how it changes ahead..


Jaidee Nageen wrote: "I am halfway and I love it so far. I cannot comprehend why people think it should'nt have won. I guess it is not everybody's cup of tea as its too technical and non-sentimental. After ages a deserv..."

I think for many it is a matter of patience...I have much of it and I adored the unfolding of this story...I am very happy that you are enjoying it Nageen.


message 50: by mark (new) - rated it 4 stars

mark monday I did not know she was 28 when she wrote this amazing book! that is so completely impressive.

in many ways this is a 5 star book for me and perhaps one of my favorite books. unfortunately just one annoying thing annoyed me, in a major way, which is why I became miserly and didn't give it a fifth star.


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