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Eleanor Catton

Författare till Himlakroppar

9+ verk 6,283 medlemmar 328 recensioner 10 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

Eleanor Catton was born in Canada on September 24, 1985. She moved to New Zealand with her family when she was six years old. She studied English at the University of Canterbury and received a master's in creative writing at The Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University of Wellington. Her visa mer debut novel, The Rehearsal, was published in 2008. Her second novel, The Luminaries, won the 2013 Man Booker Prize. In 2015 she ws made an Honorary Literary Fellows in the New Zealand Society of Authors' annual Waitangi Day Honours. In 2016, she was named as one of six, Arts New Zealand's Laureate Award winners. (Bowker Author Biography) visa färre

Verk av Eleanor Catton

Himlakroppar (2013) 4,843 exemplar
Repetitionen (2008) 700 exemplar
Birnam Wood (2023) 635 exemplar
Emma (2020 film) (2020) — Screenwriter — 99 exemplar
A fényességek (2016) 2 exemplar
Two Tides - story 1 exemplar

Associerade verk

The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Short Stories (2009) — Bidragsgivare — 6 exemplar


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This book made it onto the Giller Prize shortlist. I have a bit of a problem with that. Not because it's not a good book but because the author, although born in Canada, has not spent very much time living here. She was raised in New Zealand which is where this book is set. There is not a smidgeon of Canadiana in it. It's hard enough to make a living as an author in Canada; these prizes are a godsend for struggling writers. The final outcome saw the Giller Prize going to another ex-pat, Sarah Bernstein, but at least she grew up in Canada. Okay, rant over.

I'm sure we all remember studying Shakespeare's Macbeth and most of us probably identified the title of this book from that play. In Macbeth the title character is told that he will only be defeated when Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane. Since trees can't move Macbeth figures he is safe. But, indeed, Birnam Wood does come to Dunsinane because the advancing soldiers cut off branches to hide their approach to the castle and it looks like Birnam Wood is moving. So, what does that have to do with a book about eco-gardeners in New Zealand in 2017? The group's founder, Mira, came up with the name to identify the group with a concept of plants taking over where they haven't been found before. The group plants seeds and seedlings in disused public places and then sells or otherwise distributes the produce. Mira has the grand view for the group that it will become so established it will make enough money to support her and all the other gardeners. Meanwhile, her roommate and second in command, Shelley, is responsible for most of the grunt work and she's tired of that. She wants to leave but doesn't quite know how to tell Mira. Then in walks Tony, an original member of the group who has been away for a number of years. He had and still has a thing for Mira. Shelley figures if she can just get him to go to bed with her, Mira will be so upset she will kick Shelley out. There's just one flaw, Tony isn't interested in Shelley.Meanwhile, Mira is on track to take the group up to the next level. She hears of an abandoned farmstead near a landslide owned by the Darvishes. She goes there to check it out and finds that the property is about to be sold to an American billionaire. Robert Lemoine ostensibly wants to buy property to build a shelter in the event of a global holocaust. In fact, this is a cover story for his mining of an adjacent park for rare minerals he needs for his drone business. It's not quite clear why Lemoine wants Birnam Wood to be on the property but he offers to bankroll them as a pilot project. Tony is against doing business with Lemoine but the rest of Birnam Wood go along with it. Tony decides to investigate (he's a free-lance journalist) and runs across the illegal mining operation. Down at the farm things go pretty well until Lemoine hands out LSD and then a fatal accident occurs. Lemoine is very smart and figures he can cover up what happened. He also figures he can eliminate the threat that Tony poses. What do you think will happen? Let me tell you, it's nothing good but I was surprised by how bad it actually turned out.

In addition to my dislike of this book being nominated for the Giller Prize, I also found a lot of the explanations of the leftist politics of the Birnam Wood crew juxtaposed with the aggressive capitalism of Lemoine to be just too much verbiage. Really, how often do we have to listen to the polemics of either side to get the concept that they are polar opposites. On the plus side, if you read this book like a modern-day thriller you'll probably enjoy it.
… (mer)
gypsysmom | 32 andra recensioner | Nov 23, 2023 |
a very well written book. The story takes place in 1866 in New Zealand and is kinda a "who done it". She develops the characters so well and I felt like I knew what people were thinking. Great read!!! One of my favorite books!
camplakejewel | 244 andra recensioner | Nov 14, 2023 |
The Luminaries is... delectable! Fumbling for the right word, I find myself thinking of what Lydia Wells would say, one of the characters so memorably brought to life in this staggering novel.

You may not like this book. If you don't have a yen for 800 page doorstoppers, elaborate 19th century structures and language styles, and dense thickets of plot, look elsewhere. (I'm not usually a fan of the latter, but if it comes packaged in the former, that rather changes my opinion.) If, however, you enjoy the heady combination of heightened language, courtroom (and behind-the-courtroom) drama, and historical fiction with a wry 21st century undercoat, this is for you. The Luminaries is also the beneficiary of a (pardon the pun) stellar audiobook narrated by Mark Meadows, who handles each of Catton's twenty-plus characters with panache. I rarely recommend the audio over the literary experience, but I think in this case, with the heavy emphasis on dialogue and narrative tone-of-voice, Meadows' performance amplifies and augments everything great in Catton's writing.

… (mer)
therebelprince | 244 andra recensioner | Oct 24, 2023 |
Wow. Richly portrays its characters thoughts and motivations, and seems to capture the feeling of the time in a way I haven't encountered elsewhere. What an ending.
mmparker | 32 andra recensioner | Oct 24, 2023 |



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