Saturday 7 June 2014

Six Degrees Of Separation (The Luminaries; Eleanor Catton)

It's that time of the month again! On the first Saturday of every month I have been taking part in a fun Meme (run by Emma Chapman & Annabel Smith) called 'Six Degrees Of Separation', for which, the rules are above. If you click on the picture above, you will be taken to a post that explains the rules more fully.

As you can see, this month's pick is Eleanor Catton's 'The Luminaries'. It is no accident that I'm reading this book at the same time as this post coming about, I really wanted to do this month's challenge with an insight into what the book is about, rather than just basing my impressions off of a synopsis and a cover.

Okay, so my first link from 'The Luminaries' is 'If On A Winter's Night A Traveller' by Italo Calvino. In my mind, both of these books are very similar. They focus on an unexplainable mystery that lead various characters off on different directions in an attempt to solve it. False identities are assumed, hidden motives uncovered and we are never sure who to trust or believe in either book. As well as this, I found Calvino's book frustrating to read, as I am finding 'The Luminaries' is currently.

Next on the list is David Mitchell's 'Cloud Atlas'. I shouldn't have to explain the link to anyone who has read both books. Mitchell himself said that this novel was inspired by Calvino's novel. There are many similarities, but the prime one is of course to have tales being interrupted by other tales, though I enjoyed Mitchell's take on the idea far more.

My next pick is a slight long shot but both 'Cloud Atlas' and 'It' by Stephen King, though very dissimilar in story-line, involve many similar plot elements. Both books have a wide variety of characters and we are told the overall story from a variety of viewpoints. As well as this, both novels leap back and forward in time and do actually cover an expansive time period. Each story that we are told in both books connect to form the overriding plot.

I have chosen 'The Invention Of Wings', a masterpiece written by Sue Monk-Kidd, as my next link in the chain. Again, this may come as a surprise, but recently in a 'Top Ten Tuesday' post, I listed books that included Friendship as a main theme. Both books made it to this list, as 'It' features the friendship of a large group of children, despite their individual differences, in order to face a great foe. In a different context, the friendship that arises between Handful and Sarah is of the same sort, though racial prejudice is the foe, as opposed to a child-killing monster.

'The Butterfly Lion' written by Michael Morpurgo also made it to my 'Friendship' list. This is one of the first books on the subject that I read as a child. It really stuck out to me then as a beautiful and heart-breaking story, and has stayed with me since. I really think that friendship is a topic seldom touched upon in books, and find them refreshing reads. Definitely a book I would recommend for children, though adults could learn a lot from it!

My last pick, Mary Ellis' 'The Arctic Fox' I chose purely because both picks tell the story of a person's friendship with an animal. As well as this, the story is narrated by an older person to a younger child. I loved both of these stories and read them when I was younger. I just felt like the two fit naturally together.

And there concludes my six links from the original book. I'm so glad that I had a bit more of an insight into 'The Luminaries' than I did for previous books, I had a lot of fun with this one!

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