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Birnam Wood

por Eleanor Catton

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

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8984723,705 (3.72)54
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?… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente porMuhammedSalem, sarahb86, dianne47, hschilly, mayonine, biblioteca privada, Irinna55, JoeB1934, philcbull
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» Ver também 54 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 47 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
3 and a half stars, as this really gained momentum towards the end. But…the ending? Oh my goodness. Wrapped up too quickly, with not enough resolution, for my liking - especially after such a long story.
Quite an engaging, but very long, tale involving greens activists and (what I’m calling) a psychopath. ( )
  Mercef | Mar 30, 2024 |
I just want to add something to the discourse that I haven't seen anyone else mention - the politics of Birnam Wood's governance structure is excruciatingly accurate in its depiction of the New Zealand left-wing political scene. The veggie curries, the people, the "Are we Māori enough to use a Māori name?" conversation (which I loved, because wow that's not a kōrero New Zealand is not ready to have), it's almost too real.

It's a great depiction of this specific moment in time, and I'm really curious to know if other Kiwis (let's face it, I mean the Wellingtonians who got this out of the library on their way to Harbourside market) feel the same. ( )
1 vote whitsunweddings | Mar 8, 2024 |
I thought it was a bit long and the abundant use of the F word turned me off. But, the story was interesting and a look at what is happening to the environment in the name of profit. Starts with a landslide closing the Korowai Pass on New Zealand, isolating Thorndike and a farm owned by the Darvishes. A guerilla gardening collective has moved into the farm without permission. An American billionaire, Lemoine, purchased the land anonymously from the Dervishes, catches Mira and her group, telling her he plans to build a bunker there.
Mira and her friend, Shelley are at odds over how to run Birnam Wood, and when Mira's old flame, Tony, a journalist returns, tempers flare, leading to an explosive ending. ( )
  rmarcin | Feb 26, 2024 |
A group of idealistic young NZ gardeners goes to a deserted farm to plant their guerilla crops at the invitation of a rich American who tells them he is purchasing the farm as a place to live out the Apocolypse, if and when it happens. In reality, he is trying to mask that he is mining the nearby national park for rare earth minerals, that he can sell for a fortune. When the farm's owner comes by to check on things, he is mistakenly killed. The billionaire's attempts to cover up the death and his clandestine mining operation cause him to act more and more rashly. ( )
1 vote mojomomma | Feb 20, 2024 |
Great title! And just in case anyone had trouble placing where that came from, this book, before page one, quotes the line, cites who said it, and gives us Macbeth's reaction to it. While that does not explain what happens later in the play, it sets us up to wonder where this might be going. There are many ways to interpret this name, Birnam Wood.

- An enigma.
- A way of deluding oneself.
- Not listening even when warned.
- Rejection, can't happen.
- A military strategy.
- A subterfuge.
- Wolf in sheep's clothing.
- The impossible happening.
- Hiding one's intention under the guise of natural wonder.
- Not seeing the forest for the trees.
- The past comes round again.
- Nothing to see here.

Where is Catton going to take this? We quickly learn that in this book, Birnam Wood is an activist collective seeking political and social change through guerilla gardening. Their cure for global warming is returning to nature. Not clear yet why the name fits what they are up. Stay tuned, more to come. Using a style reminiscent of Jane Austen, Catton introduces us to the mindset and moral compass of the main characters. The leader of Birnam Wood is the strong-willed Mira who is the ideological center of Birnam Wood. But every idealist needs someone to ground them. In this case, it's Shelley. She's the operational center of the group, keeping things on schedule and coordinated. She's also Mira's roommate. But Shelley is having second thoughts about where she's going. It's time to step away from the group, but Shelley can't bring herself to let Mira know she's ready to move on. We appear to have met the good guys. Time to introduce the other guys.

Owen Darvish is more ambiguous. He's created a successful pest control firm in a country with a need to control pests. This is all based in New Zealand, which is about to reward him with a Knighthood for his work in conservation. Conservation? Even he wonders where that came from? Is pest control conservation? He's shooting rabbits for a living. His wife of many years, Jill, seems more aware of what's going on than he is. And then there's Robert Lemoine. We immediately see the bad guy, even if he's cool. He's a billionaire, builder of drones, brilliant, high tech, first-rate liar and knows how to sniff out when anyone's lying to him. When needed, he's more than ready to get inside your personal electronic stuff, gets phone tower data, tracks everyone, electronically, thermally, visually, etc. Portrays his interest in New Zealand as the place for his bunker once the world is unlivable. Actually, he's mining rare earth minerals where he shouldn't, in a national park, but it takes a while for us to see under the cover story.

To get this going, we learn that Lemoine has discovered Mira trespassing on the Darvish farm, she tries to lie to him, he lets her know he knows she's lying, telling her her real name, which freaks her out and she bolts. He's actually attracted to her feistiness and attempts to win her over by proposing he finance her group and have them do their gardening thing on the farm he's about to buy from Darvish. She knows she should not take his offer, but it's just too tempting. He puts his money where his mouth is, and it's up Mira to sell this insane idea to the group.

And now we meet the last major character, the fly in the ointment, Tony Gallo. He was one of the founders of Birnam Wood, but he's been gone for a few years. To Mira, he's the one who got away, but he has his own issues. The group is getting together for the big meeting where Mira will make her pitch. But he's immediately in an argument with one of the old timers, grace is not one of his long suits. More importantly, he's rejecting Mira's idea. Can't she see this is getting in bed with the devil? He wants none of it and wants everyone to reject this craziness. He is off to uncover what's going on. His secret weapon is his brain. He understands drones and knows how to hide from them.

Those are the characters. I'm not going to give away how everything goes down. You'll have to read it for yourself to find out. All I'll say is no one gets out of this unscathed, and that's an understatement. ( )
1 vote Ed_Schneider | Feb 11, 2024 |
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Catton, Eleanorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Maarleveld, SaskiaNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Third Apparition: Be lion-mettled, proud; and take no care
Who chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are:
Macbeth shall never vanquish'd be until
Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane hill
Shall come against him.

Macbeth: That will never be.
Who can impress the forest, bid the tree
Unfix his earth-bound root?
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for Steven Toussaint
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The Korowai Pass had been closed since the end of the summer, when a spate of shallow earthquakes triggered a landslide that buried a stretch of the highway in rubble, killing five, and sending a long-haul transport truck over a precipice where it skimmed a power line, ploughed a channel down the mountainside, and then exploded on a viaduct below.
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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?

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