If you’re in the mood for autumnal immersion into a big book, here’s a brace of blockbuster novels – a Booker winner and a long-awaited comeback. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton is back in stock after publishers Granta reprinted the Booker-winning, 830-page literary novel that doubles up as a homage to Victorian sensation novels. A gripping mystery and a structurally innovative work, The Luminaries is a sprawling tale of unsolved murders in 19th century New Zealand. Look out, too, for the Kiwi author’s debut novel, The Rehearsal, which is currently reprinting to meet the surge in demand for her work.
Catton’s Booker triumph occurred in the final year of its restriction to writers from the Commonwealth, Ireland and Zimbabwe. With the award opening up to English language authors from the rest of the world, US author Donna Tartt is in the running for the 2014 Man Booker Prize with her third novel, The Goldfinch, which came out this week and weighs in at 784 pages. With themes of art, loss and alienation, it’s a literary novel that’s not afraid of plot. Devotees of The Secret History have been anticipating a new book from Tartt for the past decade – thankfully, the reviews suggest it’s been worth the wait.