The first time I saw this book in real life I already knew it had won the 2013 Man Booker Prize and had read a bit about it. It sounded excellent. And then I met it in all its door-stop glory. At 830 pages it’s a tome. It doesn’t fit in any of my purses. And in a week of reading it I’ve only managed to get through about eighty pages, possibly because I’ve been busy whining about blisters on my feet and working and stuff. It’s dense prose, and I doubt I’m the first person to refer to it as “Dickensian.” I’m a self-proclaimed (as of right now) Dickens failure. I own lots of Dickens. I want to read Dickens, just like I want to clean my entire house in one day, and do that every week forever. It’s a dream, but not something that I think is ever going to happen. The past few days I’ve had plenty of opportunity to pick up The Luminaries and read but something keeps coming up that I just need to do instead. Anything. Just not that book. I am going to press on, I suppose, because everyone says that it’s a good book and I’m sure eventually I’ll enjoy it. But I feel like I’ve been stuck in a room in a hotel on a dark and stormy night with a bunch of men who smell like tobacco and whisky for about two weeks and I’d really like to see the sunshine and smell some fresh air. I assume New Zealand has that. Doesn’t it?