"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 concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond, exploring the essential conflict on this planet: the one taking place between humans and nonhumans. There is a world alongside oursvast, 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.The Overstory is a book for all readers who despair of humanitys self-imposed separation from the rest of creation and who hope for the transformative, regenerating possibility of a homecoming. If the trees of this earth could speak, what would they tell us? "Listen. Theres something you need to hear."...
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The Overstory Reviews
All it really took for me to pick this up instantly was that it was about trees and it probably helps your enjoyment of this book if you are a tree person and/or have seen the big trees of California or maybe those things don’t matter. Either way trees are the central character in this book, how they’ve shaped our lives, what they do for us, what we’ve done to them and so on all exemplified through the lives of nine different characters.
The book starts in a section quite aptly named Roo ...more
Consciousness game changer.
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
Richard Powers’s “The Overstory” soars up through the canopy of American literature and remakes the landscape of environmental fiction.
Long celebrated for his compelling, cerebral books, Powers demonstrates a remarkable ability to tell dramatic, emotionally involving stories while delving into subjects many readers would otherwise find arcane. He’s written about genetics, pharmaceuticals, artificial intelligence, music and photography. In 2006, his novel about neurology, “The Echo Maker,” won a ...more
First appeared at http://www.thenewdorkreviewofbooks.co...
Look, I realize talking you in to a 500-page novel about trees could be a tough sell. But what if I told you that Richard Powers' new novel The Overstory could quite literally change your life. It's that powerful; as immense and magisterial as the trees it's about. If the measure of a good novel is one that gets you to see the world differently, or think more openly, then this is an absolute masterpiece. Powers writes: “The best arguments ...more
The only thing that really counts is hoarding a little bit more.
There's a strange thread running through this novel. It concerns a psychologist and his work on cognitive blindness. The theme is hammered home repeatedly with resounding force and frequency: we can't identify with plants, thus we aren't able to recognize their integral position in ecology. Yeah, well, maybe that's why my focus suffered throughout this 500 page novel.
Powers remains one of the most divisive figures in my reading lif ...more
Richard Powers is fast making his way into my favourite writers of all time (a permanently shifting category that at the moment includes A.S. Byatt, Sarah Hall, and William Thackeray). The Overstory, his latest book, is maybe his most ambitious yet: it seeks, essentially, to instill in its reader a sense of sympathy and identification with trees. That Powers actually manages it is confirmation that he is one of the most skilled writers currently working that I can think of.
The Overstory starts w ...more
Žymus JAV rašytojas Richardas Powersas pas mus bevek nežinomas ir neverstas, o jo romanai, kuriuose dažniausiai kalbama apie mokslo ir technologijų įtaką pasauliui ir žmonijai, pateikiama (ir labai patraukliai) gausybė įvairių faktų, o siužetas dažnai įtemptas ir gana intriguojantis - puikūs. Mane užkabino jo romanas "Orfeo" - pasakojantis apie genetinius eksperimentus, bioterorizmq ir muzikos bei biologijos ryšį.
Šis jo romanas - apie augalus. Tie, kas skaitė pagarsėjusią Peterio Wohllebeno knyg ...more