Picture of author.

Eleanor Catton

Autor(a) de The Luminaries

15+ Works 6,927 Membros 349 Reviews 10 Favorited

About the Author

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 mostrar mais 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) mostrar menos

Obras de Eleanor Catton

The Luminaries (2013) 5,079 cópias, 247 resenhas
Birnam Wood (2023) 992 cópias, 52 resenhas
The Rehearsal (2008) 724 cópias, 49 resenhas
Emma [2020 film] (2020) — Screenwriter — 118 cópias
Der Wald 3 cópias
A fényességek (2016) 2 cópias, 1 resenha
Two Tides - story 1 exemplar(es)
Descent from Avalanche 1 exemplar(es)
Ay ve Isiklar 1 exemplar(es)
Doubtful Sound 1 exemplar(es)
彩排 (2015) 1 exemplar(es)
La Prova 1 exemplar(es)

Associated Works

The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Short Stories (2009) — Contribuinte — 6 cópias


Conhecimento Comum




Birnam Wood is a group of guerilla gardeners that Mira Bunting founded five years ago. Set in New Zealand, this activist collective, an unregistered, uncontrolled, occasionally criminal, occasionally charitable group of friends, plants crops wherever no one will see them: on the sides of roads, in abandoned parks, and in 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. A natural disaster has created an opportunity; a sizable farm is seemingly abandoned.

But Mira is not the only one interested in Thorndike. When he sees Mira on the property, mysterious American billionaire Robert Lemoine tells her that he has taken it to build his end-of-the-world bunker. Intrigued by Mira, Birnam Wood, and their entrepreneurial spirit, he suggests they work this land. But are they able to put their trust in him? Can they trust one another as their beliefs and ideals are put to the test?

A psychological thriller from the Booker Prize-winning author of The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton's Birnam Wood, left me wondering if it was worth the time I took to read it. I was not surprised by the ending in general and found some of its main characters preditable. Neither the protagonist nor her antagonist were particularly believable. I barely found the story engaging enough to finish the novel. I cannot recommend this novel to any intelligent reader.
… (mais)
jwhenderson | outras 51 resenhas | Jun 20, 2024 |
Eleanor Catton's Booker Prize-winning novel The Luminaries is many things. It's a depiction of life in a gold-rush-era town in New Zealand. It's a story about families. It's a mystery. It's several mysteries, each unspooling at its own pace. And true to its title, it takes inspiration from the moon (each chapter is shorter than the one proceeding it, meant as a reference to the waning of the moon) and the planets/stars (some characters are based on astrological signs, others to the typical traits associated with the planets). It begins when a Scottish lawyer named Walter Moody arrives in the small town of Hokitika to make his fortune as a prospector. The ship on which he arrived, the Godspeed, was wrecked and he has to make his way ashore without his trunk. He decides to spend his time in the Crown Hotel while he waits for the wreck to be plunged and his belongings to be recovered, and shortly after he arrives, he manages to find himself in the bar of the hotel with twelve men who are clearly all gathered for a purpose. He manages to draw out from them a strange tale of several tragedies and mysteries that all seem to have happened at about the same time.

Shortly before Moody's arrival, a local politician, Alistair Lauderback, arrives in town to stump for votes. On the outskirts of town, he arrives at the cabin of a recluse, Crosbie Wells, and finds the man very recently deceased. And then, on the same night, a lucky young prospector, Emery Staines, goes missing, and a prostitute, Anna Wetherell, publicly overdoses on the opium to which she is addicted and is imprisoned. Each of the men in the bar of the Crown Hotel has a little piece of the story, and even more develops as time goes on. Bit by bit, the full story in all its beauty and tragedy is revealed, connecting the threads of each seemingly-separate piece together.

This is a big, ambitious novel that requires a lot of attention to keep the characters and their relationships with each other in mental order. In lesser hands, it would be confusing, but Catton keeps it engaging, requiring enough consideration to feel compelled to really focus on the book without making it feel like studying. The characters are complex and interesting, and the tangled web of their interactions with each other keep the tension from slacking. Indeed, for such a long book, it keeps itself going remarkably well, a testament to Catton's skill with prose and plotting. The way the layers of the mysteries the book presents are gradually peeled back and revealed is gratifying, feeling like tiny rewards doled out along the way until the end. The themes of loneliness, the role of chance, truth and lies, and revenge all come in and out of focus throughout, each feeling like it's given time and space to develop without being unduly flogged. For me, it was a wonderful book. It's hard to strike the balance between "passively entertaining" and "too much information management required to properly enjoy", but The Luminaries was right in the sweet spot. I got lost in it.

Now that I've just gushed about it, it does have some issues. It's a slow starter, taking advantage of its prodigious length to stretch the story out perhaps more than really necessary. Some characters feel like they get the short shrift and if Catton was less wedded to her astrology conceit, should have been cut. The way Catton reveals a bunch of pertinent information right at the end of the book in flashback, almost like a coda after the "real" ending of the story, does feel a little too cute by half. But honestly, those are mostly nitpicks. I'm not the sort to wish that a book would never end (I'm always excited about something on the horizon), but I did close it with a satisfied sigh and think "what a great book". It's not something to read when you're looking for something breezy and light, but otherwise, I highly highly recommend it.
… (mais)
ghneumann | outras 246 resenhas | Jun 14, 2024 |
A twisted tale of treachery, desire, betrayal and abuse all round, however it was written for 1865 New Zealand Gold rush whereby women and Chinese were deemed property. Hard to read in the initial stages so I found that as a reader I had to keep retracing pages and referring to my character map that I had drawn up after restarting the book once too often. It is a great story (if you can endure) of many plots that are intertwined and at the very end it seems the evil characters Francis Carver & and his devious cohort Lydia Wells still come out smelling of roses. I had no idea what the lunar / horoscopes/ zodiac had to do with the story, maybe it is just that everyone’s lives are intertwined due to the universe and whether we like it or not this determines our path, our fate. This line from the story, felt and spoken in mind by Anna (the whore) resonated with me as her character was indeed a sad story and yet she started out as a young, adventurous (but sadly naïve to the predation of humankind). As she lay in a gaol cell, beaten, bloodied uttering murmurings from her recent opiate use she felt and spoke in mind ‘A woman fallen has no future, a man risen has no past’ . Today, I feel that, this perception is still aligned with how people perceive and act towards each other.… (mais)
rata | outras 246 resenhas | Jun 6, 2024 |
(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...
… (mais)
jhowell | outras 51 resenhas | May 12, 2024 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by
½ 3.7

Tabelas & Gráficos