Why it Will Win: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

Why_It_Will_WinOver the course of the next eight days, leading up the Man Booker shortlist announcement on September 10th, each one of our eight bloggers will champion a different nominated title and explain Why it Will Win the coveted prize.

Today, Michelle exposes when Eleanor Catton’s novel is destined to strike Booker gold.


The Luminaries is one of the best books I have read in a long time.  I am very glad I chose it to win the Booker Award before even opening the book.  I am also glad that I am getting to write about the book that will win instead of having to make up stuff about a book I know doesn’t have a chance!

My reasons why The Luminaries will win the 2013 Booker Award:

1.  I knew beginning on page 40, that The Luminaries would win the Booker Award based upon one sentence:

On the table between them lay the remains of their “elevenses”, a term Lauderback used to refer to any meal or dish taken at an irregular hour whether morning or night.

It is the key word “elevenses” that sealed this deal.  Anyone who can find a proper way to include “elevenses” in a sentence and pay homage to JRR Tolkien deserves to win the Booker.  Okay, maybe the homage is to Peter Jackson, regardless, mention second breakfast at a Booktopia event and everyone will ask, “What about elevenses?”

luminary2.  The Luminaries will win because of its striking cover depicting the 4 main phases of the moon “luminating” a picture of our main heroine.  Some on the panel of BookerMarks judges think the cover is horrendous.  However, I believe that it is perfect for the book.  What better description about the book than a cover depicting its own title.  A luminary cover for a novel entitled The Luminaries!

GTY_miley_cyrus_twerking_vma_awards_thg_130827_16x9t_608 3.  It uses every concevable “acceptable” term for the word “whore” and then some in a quite humorous dialog:

In describing Miss Wetherell’s former employment, you many choose from the terms “streetwalker”, “lady of the night”, or “member of the old profession”.

What book can you get such comic references to a shameful profession? Additionally, our “streetwalker” becomes a character that one can’t help but love.

zodiac14.  The book is crafted around the astronmical phases.  Each part shorter by half than the next.  Elizabeth Knox sheds a little light onto the structure of the novel:

Because the book is in 12 parts, and each part is half the length of the one before, as it goes on the story accelerates—very like accelerating montage, that great tool of film directors. The story begins gradually, like the tide coming into a wide estuary, then it quickens, like the tide coming into a wide estuary, then it’s a river, then it’s a river in flood, and in the end its swooping like the albatrosses that first bring its lovers together. The pace of the novel is a miracle—mathematical, but not mechanical. It’s the mathematics of nature, and once you’ve surrendered to The Luminaries and you’re in its grip you’ll feel that pace, and its poetry, in your body, in your bones and blood.

Here is the link to Elizabeth Knox’s full blog.  Anyone who can craft a novel of fine storytelling around the zodiac and phases of the moon deserves a Booker.

happy birthday5. The Luminaries will win the Booker because  Eleanor Catton would become the youngest winner at 28 (she was born the year I graduated from high school, yikes).  In 1991 Ben Okri, at the age of 32, won for The Famished Road.  It is time for this record to go down!  Plus this record will most likely stand for a long time to come.

gold crown6.  The Luminaries will win the Booker because of the descriptive titles that “shed light upon” what will happen in each chapter.

In which the Booker judges deliberate over the 13 long listed titles and skip the short list as there is no reason to prolong the crowning of The Luminaries the winner of the 2013 Man Booker Award.

pounds7.  The Luminaries will win – because it will…

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