Birnam Wood Birnam Wood

Birnam Wood

The Sunday Times Bestseller

    • 3.8 • 45 Ratings
    • $12.99
    • $12.99

Publisher Description

NAMED AS ONE OF GRANTA MAGAZINE'S BEST OF YOUNG BRITISH NOVELISTS 2023
FINALIST FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR POLITICAL FICTION 2023

FROM THE WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE


Birnam Wood is on the move...


Five years ago, Mira Bunting founded a guerrilla gardening group: Birnam Wood. An undeclared, unregulated, sometimes-criminal, sometimes-philanthropic gathering of friends, this activist collective plants crops wherever no one will notice, on the sides of roads, in forgotten parks, and neglected backyards. For years, the group has struggled to break even. Then Mira stumbles on an answer, a way to finally set the group up for the long term: a landslide has closed the Korowai Pass, cutting off the town of Thorndike. Natural disaster has created an opportunity, a sizable farm seemingly abandoned.

But Mira is not the only one interested in Thorndike. Robert Lemoine, the enigmatic American billionaire, has snatched it up to build his end-times bunker - or so he tells Mira when he catches her on the property. Intrigued by Mira, Birnam Wood, and their entrepreneurial spirit, he suggests they work this land. But can they trust him? And, as their ideals and ideologies are tested, can they trust each other?

A gripping psychological thriller from the Booker Prize-winning author of The Luminaries, Birnam Wood is Shakespearean in its wit, drama and immersion in character. A brilliantly constructed consideration of intentions, actions, and consequences, it is an unflinching examination of the human impulse to ensure our own survival.

GENRE
Fiction & Literature
RELEASED
2023
2 March
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
557
Pages
PUBLISHER
Granta Publications
SELLER
Granta Publications
SIZE
1.1
MB

Customer Reviews

dirt-music ,

Couldn’t put it down

really enjoyed reading this. A unusual, suspenseful and thrilling story with some great characters.

rhitc ,

Eco-thriller that’s short on thrills

The author is a young New Zealander whose previous book, The Luminaries (2013), won the Booker prize and a host of other awards.
The setting is contemporary rural NZ. An earthquake takes out the access road to a small community. The titular leftist guerrilla gardening group (I kid you not) teams up with an American drone surveillance billionaire allegedly building a bolthole for the end of days but actually mining rare earths in a national park to acquire land owned by a recently knighted Kiwi (bloke, not flightless bird) businessman with green credentials. With me so far? Meanwhile, Tony the investigative journo is a veritable Graham Mourie on the case. (See Footnote 1)
Ms Catton serves up vast blocks of text heavy with run-on sentences, long parenthetical phrases, and seemingly endless descriptions of what seemed to me to be minutiae that failed to advance the plot or improve my perception of the characters in most cases. The pace is slow until close to the end when she flicks the lever to breakneck. Spoiler alert: almost everyone dies. I read an interview with Ms C where she said she spent considerable time reading Lee Child when trying to construct the ending. If I were him, I wouldn’t want that to get around.(See Footnote 2)

Notes:
1. Mr Mourie, aka the Taranaki terrier, captained the All Blacks on their 1978 tour of the Home Countries, their first ever “grand slam.” (Defeating England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland on the same tour.) If that reference to a journalist’s terrier-like pursuit of the truth seems obscure to you, I’d argue it is no more so than Ms Catton’s reference to Macbeth in the title, which alludes to the flawed nature of her characters apparently. The woods stay put.
2. Mr C was chairman of the Booker judging committee a few years back, so you never know.

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More Books by Eleanor Catton

The Luminaries The Luminaries
2013
The Rehearsal The Rehearsal
2009
Birnam Wood Birnam Wood
2024
Birnams skog Birnams skog
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Der Wald Der Wald
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Próba Próba
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