Reviews tagging Racism

The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton

8 reviews

bill369's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

I read this book for The StoryGraph Reads the World 2022 challenge.

The characters were complex, gripping and overall perfect. Nevertheless, I didn't grow to like them. I was more interested in the plot than the characters.

Twists, illegitimate bastards, séances, past disputes and an immense amount of money missing. Contained. The plot is fabulous! I must acknowledge that it was hard getting into the book. Primarily because of the high number of characters and their detailed descriptions. However, once I remembered who each character was, I was hooked. The story has a tremendous quantity of details. I am firmly impressed by that.

Page 480, unrequited love.
  
Spoiler„(...) Vykládali jsme nesmysly a já plácla nějakou hloupost o neopětované lásce. A on mne zastavil a řekl, že neopětovaná láska není možná; že to potom není láska. Prý, že lásku je třeba dávat achronologicaljímat, aby se dvě rovnocenné poloviny spojily v celek, v milenecký pár.“
 

I was hoping the book would end with chronilogical summary of the events yet it didn't. Thankfully, this summary exists online therefore I understood what I didn't understand.

I'm proud I managed to read this book and understand the more extensive portion of it since it wasn't an easy read. I'm glad I read it because it was a personal challenge.

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miamcmillan's review

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adventurous challenging mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

a massive achievement of a novel. to be quite honest the astrological structure and the complexity of it is astounding and it is a real work of art. the writing is beautiful, sticks to the victorian style (which i think had been criticised but read very well for me and suits the tone of the plot), and is not condescending or too showy, which is refreshing. the reader has to work things out for themselves which makes it all the more mysterious. the first bit is slightly slow but it picks up a bit more as you get into it, which from what i’ve read was catton’s intention and she does it brilliantly. the use of extremely racist and derogatory language is VERY liberal. overall it’s a gorgeous exhibition of a book, and id highly recommend if you don’t mind a slower read.

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tictactoney's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging mysterious
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

5.0

What a hell of a book. 

Everything astrological went right over my head. And it might help as you're reading to make a timeline or keep a list, because there's a lot of characters and a lot of clues and a lot of connections.

But what a hell of a book.

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eilidhfisher's review against another edition

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adventurous slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated

3.5

It’s an incredible and complexly woven plot. I was really impressed by it and didn’t want to put it down after I got into it. But there is a lot of racism particularly towards the two Chinese characters, I understand it is truthful of the time period 1800s) but it was difficult reading and is a constant throughout the book. 

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itkit's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging mysterious reflective sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


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sneako's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional funny informative mysterious reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


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cursedepub's review against another edition

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challenging emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

The Luminaries gave me a very satisfying mystery - lots of twists and turns in a very intricately woven web of secrets, lies, alliances, associations, coincidences, and crime. Not everything is solved neatly by the end either, which I liked, and the last chapters were impossible for me to put down (stayed up until 6am to finish it, from around page 500 onward). There is very good balance of appeals to a reader's intellect, sense of ethics and justice, and romance and emotionality. The narrative tone is very pointed in flaying characters open for us to pick at their weaknesses and gasp at their tragedies, yet allows us to understand why each person might do what they did, and chose whom to sympathize with.  It's a very well-rounded story, with a cast of characters who are flawed and self-centered in ways that are really fun to read about. 

The prose itself does kind of... "put on airs," as the novel is meant to remind a reader of the writing conventions of 19th century literature, to match the setting. In this vein the novel is very clever and very witty, and  is very aware of how witty and clever it is. You get the sense that this nothing in this novel is there by accident, and that it's proud of itself for that. To me this was part of the charm, but others may be put off. 

One thing to note is that there is a lot of anti-Asian racist violence in the novel, a lot of casual racism in general, and anti-Asian and anti-sex work slurs tossed around liberally. I guess this would be typical of the period and setting. The novel does not excuse the racism and misogyny, but it's very there. 

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hrhacissej's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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