"Monumentala gigantic fable of genuine truths." Barbara Kingsolver, New York Times Book ReviewAn Air Force loadmaster in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan. An artist inherits a hundred 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 four, and five other strangerseach summoned in different ways by treesare brought together in a last and violent stand to save the continents few remaining acres of virgin forest.In his twelfth novel, National Book Award winner Richard Powers delivers a sweeping, impassioned novel of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation ofand paean tothe natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, The Overstory unfolds in concentr...
|Number of Pages||:||502 pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Overstory Reviews
I received an ARC from WW Norton through the goodreads giveaway program.
It is evident from the very first page that Powers has an agenda with his latest novel “The Overstory.” Powers wants us to realize that we have a Midas problem. Human beings have established a culture of insatiability which will ultimately lead to our own destruction.
“How do you win? I mean, how would you even lose? The only thing that really counts is hoarding a little bit more. You reach a certain level in the game, and g ...more
I can't imagine how to assign a "star" value to this book. I mean, I have no idea what 5 stars or 4 stars might signify with regards to a work like this. But I feel obliged to do something... This is exactly what one would expect from a Powers novel: numerous passages of gorgeous writing, complexity, overflowing with ideas and allusions, intellectually demanding, emotionally uncertain, occasionally utterly opaque, and deeply resistant to categorization. "The Overstory" (the title is a play on wo ...more
In this latest novel by one of the best living writers, the world's trees are talking, murmuring to a handful of very different individual humans - murmuring strange and quietly alarming things about the future of the world. This is a writer who's not at all afraid of exploring a weird premise, but even so, this is a doozy. Here's my review:
It's almost uncanny the way Richard Powers can consistently hit grand-slam home runs out of the ballpark. In the course of a dozen novels, only one or two warranted a "mere" four-star ranking, while the rest were solid fives, leaving us to decide how excellence gets parceled out and distributed across his widely divergent novels. A novel explicitly naming trees as protagonists, and charting the story of human misuse of planetary systems of life and growth, seemed destined to win an easy five sta ...more
I'm one-handed this week, so typing is a difficult, hunt-and-peck sort of adventure. But that's just an excuse thrown out there; the truth is that I'm one-brained and I'll never be anything more than one-brained, and that is reason I'll never be able to share with you the amazingness of Richard Powers and his incredible multi-brained, multi-dimensional novels. To read a Richard Powers novel is to leave this world forever (know this: you'll never be able to sit through another tedious sit-com, an ...more
I don't know why it took me so long to read Richard Powers! I love books with meat and heft, that tackle big questions but can also zero in on nuances of everyday life. He really achieves that in the two novels I've read of his (the other is Orfeo). The size of this book may be intimidating, but from page one I was captivated by the stories of his characters. He introduces each one in chapters, that are in themselves beautifully crafted short stories. These are the seeds of his novel, which is s ...more
13MAY18. Two chapters in and I'm hooked. That first chapter had me weeping, and I mean weeping. Absolutely unbelievable. Published solo it would win Story Of The Year. (Somewhere. Whatever. You know what I mean.)
14MAY18. So I pop in here this morning to add to yesterday's thoughts, one of which thoughts being—as you can see—how I was weeping...over damned trees. And I was going to add how I'll never look at another tree the same way, because it's kinda already true; I walked outside yesterday af ...more
The Overstory is the first Richard Powers novel I have read but he, and indeed this book, comes highly recommended (not least by my good Goodreads friend Neil) and this was certainly a striking if flawed read.
The first part of the novel consists of 8 separate short stories (ranging from 9 to 33 pages) with the background and life of some, at that time, unconnected characters.
In each of the stories trees play a part, albeit with very varying levels of significance. And all the stories are told i ...more