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Birnam Wood: A Novel por Eleanor Catton
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Birnam Wood: A Novel (edição 2023)

por Eleanor Catton (Autor)

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9545122,211 (3.7)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)
Membro:Anita_Pomerantz
Título:Birnam Wood: A Novel
Autores:Eleanor Catton (Autor)
Informação:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2023), 432 pages
Coleções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:****
Etiquetas:currently-reading, AnitaPom

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Birnam Wood por Eleanor Catton

Adicionado recentemente porsgwordy, biblioteca privada, SuzieD, jj24, quovadimus, EmilyAnsell, R_B, MysAnita, rhovanion, JoeB1934
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Mostrando 1-5 de 51 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
(14) I read the 'Luminaries' by this author and had similar feelings. Empirically, quite a good book. But same problems existed for me - hard to get into and when it was finally up and running it ended with a confusing bang leaving me unsatisfied. A co-op organic farming collective (or something like that) called Birnam Wood gets tangled up with a rogue billionaire with nefarious designs on some property in New Zealand which he buys from a wealthy well-known landowner, Owen Darvish. The convoluted story is told from multiple POVs including the two young women, Mira and Shelly, running the collective; the evil billionaire, Lemoine; the landowner and his wife, Jill; and the disaffected left wing 20-something would be investigative journalist who may or may not save the world. As I said, a bit convoluted and hard to get into - but clever and interesting once you hit about halfway through and a big event occurs which leads to the much better second half of the book.

While I don't love Hollywood endings and I actively dislike reviewers who spoil endings - I have to say, I have some feelings about how Catton wrapped this one up. Always a problem with a Kindle in that it seems like there are way more pages left to go and then suddenly. Really, that's it? Hunh? Didn't see that coming...

I do think this is a worthy read. I like how she skewered the young liberals just as much as she did the callous GenX billionaire, and the sell-out rich Boomers. It resonated with me after just having read a non-fiction account of the different generations and their relationship to technology and how they see the world. I wish I could give a higher rating in some ways, but for me her two books I have read share structural flaws that make them just off the mark from greatness. This one is definitely disturbing. But it seems so fantastical that it was hard to feel real emotion even in the face of tragedy, and instead it was just black humor -- though I am not sure that was supposed to be what I take away... ( )
  jhowell | May 12, 2024 |
Skilled writing in this elaborate story of an earnest guerilla gardening collective beguiled by donations from an American billionaire doing his own guerilla work in rare earth mining in New Zealand. The book is heavy with introspection and exposition and I grew weary of much of it wanting to get on with this "literary thriller" billed as a page-turner. Not for me. ( )
  featherbooks | May 7, 2024 |
Wow, so different from The Luminaries! I liked this one more, much less complicated. 4 stars just because it didn't stir my heart. But a fantastic thriller for somebody who is too snobby to read thrillers. Loved it. Catton is going but she's already brilliant.

She does this thing in this book and in The Luminaries, these little asides that are like omniscient deep-dives into the subjects’ psyches. I like it. "He was intensely proud of their association, and felt he had fulfilled a lofty duty to his country, not just in having courted foreign wealth, but in proving – in being proof – that New Zealanders could hold their own among the world’s elite; to have secured not just Lemoine’s business, but also his approval and his respect was, in Sir Owen’s mind, a matter of high national service, and in fond moments, when he was in the shower, or on the verge of sleep, he expressed deep gratitude towards himself from an imagined common point of view.”

Also I like how Lemoine’s character is somebody who can read all those same things about people. ( )
  RaynaPolsky | Apr 24, 2024 |
Full disclosure. I borrowed this edition of the book from the library, then discovered that the BBC was currently serialising it, so - unusually for me - I 'read' it courtesy of BBC Sounds. And I didn't enjoy it. Could this partly have been that the resident 'baddie', the American tech billionaire's voice was so clearly that of a man dripping evil that any nuance the book might have had was lost? In the Good Guys' (not Shining White Good Guys) corner were the members of a guerilla gardening group who want the land not as a bolt-hole or a secret mining project as American Lemoine does, but to pursue their aims. Lemoine's drones and techie spyware sees all. Then there's ex-guerilla Tony, and investigative reporter ... and Owen, a self-made pest-control business man, whose wife actually owns the farm on which the land in question is sited, and who is willing to sell. All of these, with conflicting aims and ambitions were in the mix. The verbosity and proselytising of many of them lost me early on. The characters were thinly-sketched ciphers of Types, and I warmed to none of them. The ending was an excitingly gruesome one, but for me it was just a relief that it heralded the end of the story. ( )
1 vote Margaret09 | Apr 15, 2024 |
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. ( )
1 vote Mercef | Mar 30, 2024 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (9 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
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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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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