The Overstory

The Overstory

A Novel

Book - 2018
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A novel of activism and natural-world power presents interlocking fables about nine remarkable strangers who are summoned in different ways by trees for an ultimate, brutal stand to save the continent's few remaining acres of virgin forest.
Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton & Company, [2018]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780393635522
Branch Call Number: FIC POWERS 2018
Characteristics: 502 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

Adult Fiction. Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. “In this series of interconnected stories, the human characters are just the underbrush; the true protagonists are the trees that they encounter. Powers combines botany and storytelling in this majestic novel. Our reviewer, Barbara Kin... Read More »

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Sep 27, 2018

The characters never seem real or to rise above being chess pieces in service of the plot, the way too long introduction of them before the story begins, and the unnecessary length of the book weights against the novel. But the descriptions of the interrelationships of trees to each other, and the colorful language are amazing. A long slog of a book, but one worth it.

Jul 28, 2018

A wonderful book about trees and humans. It deals in both biology and psychology, and tells its interconnecting stories well. It's a story about the earth's survival that lives up to its lofty goals.

Jul 14, 2018

If I could give this book 6 stars, I would.

This book is difficult to describe, but I will give it a shot. The author begins by introducing several human characters, all of whom have some special connection with a tree or trees. He then uses the human characters to tell the much more interesting story of trees and forests, what they have given us and how we humans have destroyed them in return.

I really did not care much for the human characters in this book (except Patricia Westerford). But we have not learned to understand the language of trees, so their story is told through the humans who see at least part of the truth. And the truth is that humans are depleting the resources of the world (and trees and forests in particular) at an alarming and unsustainable rate.

“The best arguments in the world won’t change a person’s mind. The only thing that can do that is a good story.”

This is a good story that will tell you what you need to know about the world we live in and the direction it is heading. And it will make you FEEL what we have lost and what we continue to lose.

The descriptions of the forest ecosystem are lyrical and compelling. This book is a novel, but it tells of science in a particularly beautiful way.

Near the end of the book, the author tells us, “Whatever you make from a tree should be at least as miraculous as what you cut down.” Tragically, that is rarely the case.

I hope you will read this amazing book. It will make you think.


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