By Stephan Lee
November 13, 2013 at 05:00 AM EST

The Luminaries

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Go ahead and call Eleanor Catton a prodigy. At 28, she’s the youngest author ever to win Britain’s prestigious Man Booker Prize for The Luminaries, which warrants every one of its imposing — yet surprisingly breezy — 848 pages. Set in a New Zealand gold-mining town in 1866, this epic yarn about a motley crew of 12 men and their attempts to solve a series of local mysteries reads like an actual Victorian novel. Not a high-minded one destined to be taught in schools, but a genuinely pleasurable romp meant to absorb you for days and days. A-

The Luminaries

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