Top positive review
... which needs 100% concentration all the time - not easy with a novel of 800 pages written in a ...
on 25 September 2017
Complex novel which needs 100% concentration all the time - not easy with a novel of 800 pages written in a leisurely, discursive style as a pastiche of a Victorian thriller. The story itself is absolutely fascinating and the author has clearly done a huge amount of research. The setting is the mid 19th century gold rush in New Zealand and the harshdesperate, mainly greedy lives of the gold seekers is brilliantly evoked. My problem with the structure of the novel was that it was very hard to keep the convoluted story in mind long enough to remember who and what the writer was talking about, from one 100 pages to another. Half way through there is a resume of the plot and characters, and I was mightily relieved to read it. The other is the mock Victorian style of writing which is, inevitably, somewhat arch and self-conscious. But very well done within these constraints. I do recommend this novel, it kept my attention and admiration despite a few misgivings, and you can't say fairer than that.