The Overstory (Paperback)
  • The Overstory (Paperback)
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The Overstory (Paperback)

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£8.99 £6.99
Paperback 640 Pages / Published: 11/04/2019
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Waterstones Says

A story of a vast, unknown and interconnected world above the one we know, Richard Powers' thirteenth book brings together the lives of strangers, each summoned by trees. Arching from antebellum New York to late twentieth-century Pacific Northwest, it is a glorious, ambitious novel of how we can learn to recognise a history and pattern to the world beyond our own. Through an epic series of tales, separated by location and time, we rediscover our lost interrelationship with the vast and magisterial sentience of trees, and in the process we find our redemption.

 

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize 2019

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018

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.

An 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 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.

'It's not possible for Powers to write an uninteresting book.' - Margaret Atwood

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9781784708245
Number of pages: 640
Weight: 461 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 32 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'Autumn makes me think of leaves, which makes me think of trees, which makes me think of The Overstory, the best novel ever written about trees, and really, just one of the best novels, period.' - Ann Patchett

'An extraordinary novel ... It's an astonishing performance ...' - Ben Markovits, The Guardian

'The time is ripe for a big novel that tells us as much about trees as Moby-Dick does about whales ... The Overstory is that novel and it is very nearly a masterpiece ... [An] exhilarating read.' - The Times

'One of the most thoughtful and involving novels I've read for years ... This long book is astonishingly light on its feet, and its borrowings from real research are conducted with verve ...' - Tim Martin, The Daily Telegraph

'An immense and intense homage to the arboreal world, the book is alive with riveting data, cogent reasoning and urgent argument ... [Pages] teem with knowledge and gleam with aesthetic appeal. Angry energy pulses through scenes ... Valiant.' - Peter Kemp, The Sunday Times

'This is a mighty, at times even monolithic, work that combines the multi-narrative approach of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas with a paean to the grandeur and wonder of trees  ... [A] majestic redwood of a novel ...'  - The Observer

'His monumental novel The Overstory accomplishes what few living writers from either camp, art or science, could attempt ... The Overstory is a delightfully choreographed, ultimately breathtaking hoodwink ... a gigantic fable of genuine truths held together by a connective tissue of tender exchange between fictional friend, lovers, parents and children.' - Barbara Kingsolver, The New York Times Book Review

'Powers has to be admired for the sheer scale of this creation and the passion he has poured into it.' - David Sexton, Evening Standard

"[A] rich literary canopy ... Powers, one of a remarkable generation of polymathic American novelists ... has produced a brilliant encyclopaedic [novel] ... A rich entanglement of discourses, disciplines, data, characters and styles, mirroring the most biodiverse ecosystem.' - Times Literary Supplement 

'It's not possible for Powers to write an uninteresting book.' - Margaret Atwood

A monumental novel about trees and people by one of our most 'prodigiously talented novelists' - New York Times Book Review

'Formidably forks through time and place as it considers how best to care for our world.' - i paper

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“An ambitious, but flawed story of trees”

This is the most ambitious and complex book on the Booker longlist, and two thirds of the way through it, I was pretty sure it was heading for five stars and being one of the best books I have read this year. Sadly, I... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 11

“a powerful, stunningly touching novel about nature”

I have dragged out the completion of this book for as long as possible, not wanting it to end. I knew from the first few magical chapters that this novel would speak to me on a level rarely reached and I was right. I... More

Hardback edition
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