Birnam Wood

Catton, Eleanor


16 in stock

16 in stock

Birnam Wood is on the move …

A landslide has closed the Korowai Pass in the South Island of New Zealand, cutting off the town of Thorndike, leaving a sizable farm abandoned. This land offers an opportunity to Birnam Wood, a guerrilla gardening collective that plants crops wherever no one will notice. But they hadn’t figured on the enigmatic American billionaire Robert Lemoine, who also has an interest in the place. Can they trust him? And, as their ideals and ideologies are tested, can they trust each other?

A gripping 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 tale of intentions, actions and consequences, it is an unflinching examination of the human impulse to ensure our own survival.

‘I wanted the novel to explore the contemporary political moment without being itself partisan or propagandistic. I wanted it to be fateful but never fatalistic, and satirical, but not in a way that served the status quo. Most of all, though, I wanted it to be a thriller, a book of action and seduction and surprise and possibility, a book where people make choices and mistakes that have deadly consequences, not just for themselves, but for other people, too. I hope that it’s a gripping book, a book that confides in you and makes you laugh and – crucially, in a time of global existential threat – that makes you want to know what happens next.’ – Eleanor Catton

Format: Paperback
Imprint: Te Herenga Waka University Press
Publication date: 09/02/2023

Staff review

Birnam Wood
by Eleanor Catton
Review by Ray

Birnam Wood is a thriller like nothing I’ve read before. The characters are carefully and skilfully constructed and the story is meticulously crafted, and the result is a novel that is fresh, unexpected, and twists on itself at each turn. Full of the horrors of late-stage capitalism, Birnam Wood also manages to be bitingly funny – especially in part one. It’s also ripe for discussion – as soon as I finished it, I wanted to talk to literally everyone in my life about it and all of its complexity and shock. Wonderfully engaging, deeply disturbing, utterly brilliant.