The Overstory (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


If you are “in” for a challenge…for a 500 page book, for a thought-provoking read, for great writing, for quirky characters (including and most particularly-trees), then this novel is for you.  There’s more information packed into this book about the world around us than a single brain can absorb in one sitting. It’s the 2019 Pulitzer Prize Winner for fiction and it’s a “mind-bender!"
Author, Richard Powers weaves his story around the health of this planet by introducing nine human characters in the first part of the book: Nick the artist; MiMi, the engineer; Adam, the psychologist researcher; Ray and Dorothy, the married couple; Douglas, the Vietnam Vet; Neelay, the computer game inventor genius; Patricia, the scientist; and Olivia, the college dropout.
You meet each of them, one by one as the author gradually brings them together through their own connection with trees. There is violence, there are moral issues and there is a fascinating journey into the natural habitat of a species that has more to its own life than we ever imagined…except maybe Tolkien! Richard Powers finds ways to make the reader really care about these species that we see everyday of our lives. When we observe them as “just a thing,” he tells us that they communicate, that they protect each other, that they protect us. And he tells us how.
Overstory is a powerful tale about man vs. nature, how we fight to preserve it, how we fight to destroy it. But the author makes one thing clear - when all the trees are gone, humans won’t be far behind.  However…Earth will simply endure over the millions of years and slowly regenerate itself, just as it has done millions of years in the past. Whether you believe in climate change or any other environmental concerns, you can make up your own mind about the issues that Overstory so succinctly presents. A tough read but worth it!

— From Karen L

April 2018 Indie Next List


“The Overstory, which contains an energy like that of the trees that link its intertwining stories, is nothing short of stunning. Such links between the human and non-human are mostly hidden to us, but only because we tend not to look very closely (or prefer not to see). Powers' most beautiful sentences are also the most devastating, which hints at the novel's hope that death - whether of a person or a plant - is never quite the end that it seems. Until, that is, we look, or prefer, finally, to see. As we are instructed near the novel's end, 'What you make from a tree should be at least as miraculous as what you cut down.' Plainly put: The Overstory is perhaps as close to such a miracle as we currently deserve.”
— Brad Johnson, East Bay Booksellers, Oakland, CA

Summer 2019 Reading Group Indie Next List


“I can’t stop thinking about this book! A sprawling, literary eco-epic, The Overstory is the kind of novel that changes people. It’s a riveting call to arms and a bitter indictment of our wasteful culture. More than that, it’s an incredibly human story with a huge cast of richly imagined characters that you’ll never forget. With writing that is dense but accessible, Powers is a master at intersecting science, art, and spirituality without sacrificing plot. I pity the next customer who comes into our store looking for ‘a book about trees’ because Powers has given me a lot to talk about.”
— Logan Farmer, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO

Description


Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize
New York Times Bestseller
A New York Times Notable Book and a Washington Post, Time, Oprah Magazine, Newsweek, Chicago Tribune, and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2018

"The best novel ever written about trees, and really just one of the best novels, period." --Ann Patchett.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393356687
ISBN-10: 039335668X
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2019
Pages: 512
Language: English
 

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