Birnam Wood Birnam Wood

Birnam Wood

A Novel

    • 3.7 • 38 Ratings
    • $13.99
    • $13.99

Publisher Description

Shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Carol Shields Prize for Fiction, the Kirkus Prize, Orwell Prize, and the Ockham Book Award for Fiction
Longlisted for the 2024 Dublin Literary Award
CBC Books' #1 Canadian Novel of 2023
Named a Best Book of 2023 by the New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, Time, Kirkus Reviews, The Guardian, the Globe and Mail, and many more
One of Barack Obama's 2023 Summer Reading List titles

From the Booker Prize–winning author of The Luminaries comes an electrifying thriller about ambition, greed, environmental collapse, and how even our best intentions can lead to deadly consequences.

Birnam Wood is on the move . . . A landslide has closed the Korowai Pass on New Zealand’s South Island, cutting off the town of Thorndike and leaving a sizable farm abandoned. The disaster has created an opportunity for Birnam Wood, a guerrilla gardening collective that plants crops wherever no one will notice.

For Mira, Birnam Wood’s founder, occupying the farm at Thorndike would mean a shot at solvency at last. But Mira is not the only one interested in Thorndike. The enigmatic American billionaire Robert Lemoine 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 and Birnam Wood, he makes them an offer that would set them up for the long term. But can they trust him? And, as their ideals and ideologies are tested, can they trust one another?

Birnam Wood is Shakespearean in its drama, Austenian in its wit, and, like both influences, fascinated by what makes us who we are. It is an unflinching look at the surprising consequences of even our most well-intended actions, and an enthralling consideration of the human impulse to ensure our own survival.

Mysteries & Thrillers
March 7
McClelland & Stewart
Penguin Random House Canada

Customer Reviews

Bigger Thumb ,

Great story with a very abrupt ending ….

It’s a well-developed story and she writes really well ( I’ve also read the Luminaries and loved that too) but I didn’t like the ending which was so abrupt I was honestly shocked ……

juliatheresa ,

Birnam Wood, E. Catton

In Birnam Wood, I liked Catton’s focus on the environment specifically how some efforts toward conservation go awry with unintended consequences.

Sandy Sch ,

Dramatic, twisted, tragic but slow building

3.75stars- BIRNAM WOOD by Eleanor Catton is a contemporary, adult, stand alone psychological thriller focusing on a New Zealand collective calling themselves Birnam Wood, a co-op, a commune of hippie-style thirty-somethings who illegally plant sustainable, organic gardens in neglected spaces, and off-road areas for personal use and to share/sell to the otherwise unaware.

Told from third person perspective BIRNAM WOOD follows Mira Bunting, the so-called leader of the Birnam Wood gardening collective, and a woman who is struggling to keep the collective afloat. In the wake of a landslide that all but wiped out a major thoroughfare and pass, Mira goes in search of some property to confiscate for Birnam Wood, property owned by the recently knighted Sir Owen Darvish but has apparently been sold to American billionaire/ widower Robert Lemoine. All does not appear as it should be when one of their own, amateur journalist Tony Gallo, begins to question the who, how and why but Mira’s only concern is the ‘free land’, and the ability to equally grow crops. As Robert Lemoine’s intentions become clear to Tony, Mira and her friend Shelley are at an impasse, finding themselves in an impossible situation, a situation of which they no longer have any control. People will die, secrets revealed show collusions and conspiracies meant to deceive.

BIRNAM WOOD begins extremely slow and exceptionally dry as the author begins to build a foundation for her story line premise. The first twenty to twenty-five percent reads like a study in sociology; a social psychology experiment ; a cautionary tale of capitalism and consumerism, rich and poor, ecology and greed, murder, power and control. The character driven premise is dramatic, twisted, haunting and tragic; the characters are desperate, idealistic and challenging.

More Books by Eleanor Catton

The Luminaries The Luminaries
Les Luminaires Les Luminaires
The Rehearsal The Rehearsal
Cuvée 2015 Cuvée 2015
Próba Próba
Wszystko, co lśni Wszystko, co lśni

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