In his article, Larsen describes THE LUMINARIES, which has just been released this week, thusly:
"A murder mystery set in and around Hokitika in the gold rush year of 1866, the novel uses astrological star charts as an organising principle, rotating 12 characters born under 12 different star signs through a complex 12-month schema, while eight other characters move in and out of phase with them. It is over 800 pages long."
I am very much looking forward to reading it, 800 pages or not. In the meantime, it's well worth having a read of Larsen's excellent feature, which is available for anyone to read here (much of The Listener's content is now behind a subscriber paywall, but this article is free for anyone to read, which is terrific).