University of Cambridge Contemporary Research Group

The novel and the box-set: Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries

Eleanor Catton has just won the 2013 Booker prize with what the Guardian terms an ‘innovative Victorian thriller’ (if that’s not a contradiction in terms). Catton is quoted as saying that her novel The Luminaries was  ‘very strongly influenced by long-form box-set TV drama … at last the novel has found its on-screen equivalent’.  But what does it mean to be influenced by box-set TV drama?Just a matter of length? Or is there more to it? Something non-Victorian?

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