Tag Archives: booker prize

The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton

Granta Books (2013)
I have just completed reading this 800+ page novel.

ABOVE IS MY OWN NATAL CHART (18 January 1948, 5.40 pm, Essex, England)

So you can see I was destined to read this novel during the last couple of weeks! And reading it particularly while I was on holiday last week in serendipitous search of Lichfield Cathedral and its inverse astrology as God’s anchor (see HERE).

Just like Catton’s woman ‘of the oldest profession’ was anchored with her dresses by linings of earth’s hawling innards (seen here as gold).

I enjoyed this novel, too, as a spin-off! I was compelled along by the limpid, often aesthetically and enticingly dry, tentacular, prose – and the complexity of the semi-astrological whodunnit plot that didn’t seem to matter when parts of it went above my head. I understood it all by the time I finished this massive work, or at least part of me understood the whole of it, understood and absorbed the literary ‘opium’ of this traditional but ground-breaking (literally and figuratively) novel about gold-diggers in 19th century New Zealand. Intrigue, politics (politics mundane, hallucinatory, institutional and sexual), an inferred mysticism akin to John Cowper Powys, greed, goodness, badness, Jungian synchronicity as well as retrocausality by effect, and more, as if the ground we walk upon is paradoxically both our anchoring fate and our model to mould. A fictional truth, if ever such a concept can exist as closely to that of this novel. A novel exponentially spinning away chapter by chapter to the optimum core.

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The Lighthouse – Alison Moore

The second of my post-real-time reviews (following the recent completion of all my previous real-time reviews ).

THE LIGHTHOUSE – a novel by Alison Moore (2012)

Salt Publishing – Cromer

The Guardian video — Why The Lighthouse should win the 2012 Booker Prize – is a brilliant summation of this (I expect) memorable novel … and so why add my own review? Well, it’s a story about a perfume container, various smells, a road movie (for one person, not two) except it’s a hike not a car journey (other than the sporadic flat tyres) and involves other points of view in Germany, other points of time. A laid-back, disarming panoply of relationships that uses language sparely to tell of itself, with richly felt undercurrents as we travel from deceptively, craftily, emotionally low-key foray to foray … with a disarming brutality, too, that comes home to roost in a shuffle-toed, almost dead-pan narrative that includes baths, childhoods, cinematic sarabandes — and Proustian perfumes as leitmotifs towards a haunting gestalt.

Well, why my own review, I ask? I was originally trying to relate it to my own identification of something I called ‘Pronoun Horror’ in this very author’s short story in ‘The Screaming Book of Horror’ that I very recently reviewed here. I, me, you, she, he, us, them: as wafting parfumeries, like a morse code of Proustian selves from phare to phare, ferry to ferry…

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