The Greatest Book I Didn’t Understand: The Luminaries

The LuminariesI wasn’t going to read The Luminaries. After its spike in popularity following the Booker Prize, I saw a dozen or so reviews of it and was intimidated by references to it being “intricately plotted” or offering “dazzling complexity.” One blogger suggested to not worry about what was going on until after page 400, then it would start making sense. Another took copious notes to keep track of the shifts in perspective, plot, clues and characters. The setting of the New Zealand gold rush did not particularly interest me, and descriptions of the astrological ordering of the book sounded unnecessarily arcane. At a humdinging 800+ pages, I swore not going to read it for popularity’s sake. No, no thank you.

Continue reading