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Eleanor Catton

Birnam Wood

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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 LuminariesBirnam 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.


Birnam Wood is terrific. As a multilayered, character-driven thriller, it’s as good as it gets. Ruth Rendell would have loved it. A beautifully textured work – what a treat.’ —Stephen King

‘Ten years after her Booker Prize–winning, door-stopping historical novel The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton brings us a shorter, sharper – and no less superb – novel that is determinedly set in the contemporary world.’ —Paul Little, North and South

‘A genuine thriller that keeps you engaged until the final, savage scene.’ —Charlotte Grimshaw, NZ Listener

‘I want nothing more than for people to read the book so I can discuss the ending with them.’ —Rachael King, Newsroom

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