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The Overstory

The Overstory


The Overstory

ratings:
4.5/5 (162 ratings)
Length:
22 hours
Released:
Apr 3, 2018
ISBN:
9781501982026
Format:
Audiobook

Editor's Note

Pulitzer Prize winner…

Richard Power’s magisterial work is, ultimately, about being unable to see the forest for the trees. Except in this case, it’s human beings who are the trees, and trees that are the forest. Don’t worry; this isn’t an environmental polemic. Or maybe it is, but you’ll be far too engrossed in the writing to notice. “The Overstory” won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Description

The Overstory unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fable that range from antebellum New York to the late 20th-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

An air force loadmaster in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan. An artist inherits 100 years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hard-partying undergraduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself, dies, and is sent back into life by creatures of air and light. A hearing- and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another.

These and five other strangers, each summoned in different ways by trees, are brought together in a last and violent stand to save the continent's few remaining acres of virgin forest. There is a world alongside ours—vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.

Released:
Apr 3, 2018
ISBN:
9781501982026
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Richard Powers is the author of several novels, including The Echo Maker (FSG, 2006), which won the National Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Powers has received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Historical Fiction. He lives in Illinois.


Reviews

What people think about The Overstory

4.4
162 ratings / 12 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Critic reviews

  • Take a long walk through the luscious forest in this engrossing (and Pulitzer-winning) novel. Richard Powers gives voice to the trees that are languishing due to climate change through a large cast of leaf-lovers. This story is bound to take root in your imagination.

    Scribd Editors
  • The 2019 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Richard Power's astonishing novel gives voice to the trees that are languishing due to climate change through a large cast of leaf-lovers. This story is bound to take root in your imagination.

    Scribd Editors

Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Great story! And informative about the world we live in....
  • (5/5)
    This book is one for the ages. So beautifully written, so powerful. I found myself caught helplessly in the narrative and so grateful for it. I believe we must do more for our planet, but reading this framed the urgency of that need in a way I could understand more vividly, especially knowing that the need to protect our earthly co-habitators are the guardians of our own perseverance. I am absolutely reading this again someday after the first read sinks in.
    Shout out also to Suzanne Toren’s performance - she made each character come to life, accents and all, and made the nearly 23 hours of listening so enjoyable.
  • (4/5)
    I didn’t love the voices but I appreciate the effort with which this was done. Overall thank you very much. As for the book- well written and cultivated.
  • (4/5)
    Sometimes flawed but engaging and important. Dramatically read with skill.
  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I cried when the narrator spoke those grief-laced words, “The end”. My newest lifelong friends have gone silent. It’s fiction, screams my rational mind. But I am in love, whimpers my heart. All that is left now are the most real characters of The Overstory — the trees. Admittedly, I am an inveterate tree lover. My favorite smell emanates from the bark of a sun baked Jeffery pine. My favorite color is the green of new redwood foliage. In the book, I particularly enjoyed the discoveries of Patricia Westerford, who understands from both emotional and scientific perspectives that there is no life as we know it without vast forests of trees. Trees speak to her. One of the many things she learns from listening to them is how intimately they experience their connection with all other living things. She comes to understand that to a tree, a bird sitting on a branch is part of itself, not a separate entity. That the relationship is ephemeral matters not at all. A Monterey pine once shared that same wisdom with me. I love the passion each character develops for trees and appreciate the urgency they feel about protecting them. I am inspired by the overlapping stories of each main character. I’ll miss them, and I’m really glad I listened to the audiobook. Scout, Santa Rosa CA.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)
    Terrible ending The beginning and middle was fine Wendy, Gail died I was into it anymore