The Overstory – A Novel

FREE Shipping

The Overstory – A Novel

The Overstory – A Novel

RRP: £17.67
Price: £8.835
£8.835 FREE Shipping

In stock

We accept the following payment methods


Trees, Gabriel. Talk about trees. They are among the greatest of My servants on that Me-forsaken planet. I want people to notice that. Then, finally, "Seeds" tells us some of the outcomes of the stories and leaves us poised for the next steps in others. It includes a plea for us to look at things differently. Richard Powers and nature writing Open Book, Alex Clark interviews Richard Powers, 0:00-12 min, BBC Radio 4 podcast, August 28, 2018, accessed September 2, 2018. The Overstory is a visionary, accessible legend for the planet that owns us, its exaltation and its peril, a remarkable achievement by a great writer. Thomas McGuane

One of the most thoughtful and involving novels I've read for years... Extraordinary Daily TelegraphDid you know that so many early cultures valued trees? Why do you think that was? And why is it no longer true, for the most part? Yet it would not work as a narrative if the main characters were not richly detailed. There is always a risk with a book of this sort that at least one of the strands can feel redundant – dead wood, if you will – and, unfortunately, there are some longueurs from time to time, not least in the shape of Neelay, a paraplegic who is master of all he surveys in his virtual world (named, appropriately enough, Mastery) but who fails to realise that far greater riches can be obtained from the wonders around him. Here, Powers becomes didactic; he seems to write with distaste for Neelay’s “swollen, snapped claw” and how “he’s grown so gaunt he’s set for sainthood”, and the sympathy that he extends to his other creations is in shorter supply.

It’s so simple,” she says. “So obvious. Exponential growth inside a finite system leads to collapse. But people don’t see it.” The Overstory has the mix of science and fiction that I so love; it widens my understanding and respect for the creatures who share this planet KAREN JOY FOWLER Gabriel, this will soon be over one way or another. Then you can take a couple of aeons vacation. The thing on Mars isn't urgent yet.

BookBrowse Review

There are trees that flower and fruit directly from the trunk. Bizarre kapoks forty feet around with branches that run from spiky to shiny to smooth, all from the same trunk. Myrtles scattered throughout the forest that all flower on a single day. Bertholletia that grow piñata cannonballs filled with nuts. Trees that make rain, that tell time, that predict the weather. Seeds in obscene shapes and colors. Pods like daggers and scimitars. Stilt roots and snaking roots and buttresses like sculpture and roots that breathe air. Solutions run amok. The biomass is mad. In conclusion, the book is truly beautiful and well-written. I believe its core message was something like this: "It feels good, like a root must feel when it finds, after centuries, another root to pleach to underground. There are a hundred thousand species of love, separately invented, each more ingenious than the last, and every one of them keeps making things. (p. 144) Nicholas Hoel – “an artist of Norwegian and Irish descent who comes from a long line of farmers and whose great-great-great-grandfather planted a chestnut tree that survived blight for decades and enthralled the Hoel family for generations.” Mimi Ma – the eldest daughter of Winston Ma, born Ma Sih Hsuin, who fled China and became an engineer in America. She is deeply affected when her father eventually commits suicide.

A magnificent saga of lives aligned with the marvels of trees, the intricacy and bounty of forests, and their catastrophic destruction under the onslaught of humanity’s ever-increasing population … A virtuoso at parallel narratives ... gripping… Powers’ sylvan tour de force is alive with gorgeous descriptions; continually surprising, often heartbreaking characters; complex suspense; unflinching scrutiny of pain; celebration of creativity and connection; and informed and expressive awe over the planet’s life force and its countless and miraculous manifestations … [A] profound and symphonic novel. Booklist (starred review) At the same time Mimi and Douglas are brought together when a pine grove outside Mimi’s office is cut down in the middle of the night, enraging both of them. Together they start joining various activist events defending trees, and both are arrested and physically abused by police. They too make their way to the Life Defense Force. Trees are silent sentinels witnessing the passing of generations, as human families are characterised in tree years through parts of the story. In this the pervading power of the natural world is contrasted against the fragile nature of human existence. Our environment has evolved drastically, but we haven’t. We still have many innate animal behaviours that are completely unsuited to the modern world. We are ill adapted to our concrete environments. There’s a reason why we feel a sense of peace and tranquillity when we visit a forest or an open landscape. It’s where we belong.I am aware Powers has a degree in Physics as well as literature and that becomes obvious in sentences like these : So: there’s plenty to appreciate if you’re predisposed to liking books and disliking the idea of environmental apocalypse.

The Diversity of Life, by Edward O. Wilson—masterful synthesis of biodiversity and species interdependency in ecosystems and scope of the current threat, with a focus on forests and jungles

Reader Reviews

What you need is a story. Of course, this is an in-joke, too, because The Overstory is full of all these things: drama, development, colliding hopes and fears, tangled plots and lots of characters. An extraordinary novel... It's an astonishing performance... The Overstory leaves you with a slightly adjusted frame of reference Guardian The first half of the book is exceptional. Written like short stories, 9 characters are introduced separately with their tree story. Each story has an event that has happened to change the life of the character by the tree or trees that shaped them. The stories are phenomenal. The four main sections of the book are ROOTS, in which we are introduced to the nine main characters. The first family’s history begins in the late 1800s, while others begin in the late 20th century. These are completely separate, enjoyable stories, long enough to get a good look at the people and remember who they are. Their stories are interesting and very individual, including one which later becomes a mystical Joan-of-Arc tale.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

Delivery & Returns


Address: UK
All products: Visit Fruugo Shop