A friend of mine read this novel “years and years ago,” probably before 2000. As he remembers it, the title may have journal or diary in it. The main character is named something like 'Luminiere', and the author may be 'Lawrence'.

As he explained the plot to me, the scientist discovers nefarious experiments, seemingly unconnected and surrealistic, (later found to be real) but puts it all together with the help of his journals.

I have searched as "Luminiere’s Diary," "Luminiere’s Journal," have tried adding the name Lawrence as the author, no luck as yet.

He adds: Somewhat more fantasy, but the core events of the novel are real. There is science, which would be advanced for the time period the novel is set in. He saves people, but I don't recollect it being a whole city or the world. The novel seems to have luminescence and gold as a focus as well.


2 Answers 2


It sounds like Lempriere’s Dictionary, by Lawrence Norfolk, except that book is set in 18th Century London.

The protagonist sets about writing a dictionary of mythology after his father is brutally killed by his neighbor’s hounds. In so doing he uncovers a conspiracy that cheated his family of wealth and leads to more deceit and murder.

I hope that's the book you're looking for...

  • 1
    You Sir, are absolutely awesome!!! That is the book!!! Thank You!
    – Nita
    Jul 12, 2019 at 2:48

This might be The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. It's the novel on which the 2011 film Hugo was based.

A boy, son of a clockmaker, has to live with his alcoholic uncle after his father dies in a fire at the museum where he works, and is forced to maintain the clocks in the huge train station.

Eventually, he uses his father's journal to repair an automaton (a mechanical man that writes) and in the process defeats someone who was doing something "evil".

  • Thanks for attempting to answer. He’s pretty adamant about the protagonist being an adult scientist so I think this one isn’t it.
    – Nita
    Jul 11, 2019 at 13:43

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