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Giveaway dates: Mar 29 - Apr 08, 2020
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Wondering which trees grew to become the books on my shelves. Wondering which ones became the cherry tree desk my grandfather made for me. Wondering how old the oak trees were that turned into the logs that made it into my wooden house, to turn into beloved bookshelves. I wonder at the kind of trees that frame my paintings. That give my brushes shape. I even have jewellery made of wood. And Swedish ...more
Part 1 (called Roots) reads like a magnificent short story collection. The ...more
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 second half of the book is about these same characters ...more
Richard Powers writes with ambition, passion and reverence on the world of trees, their ancient
intelligence and their central place in the fragile ecosystem. This is a dense and epic work of environmental fiction, a picture of the state of our planet and how humanity has contributed to its degradation. Whilst the over riding central character of this are trees, he interweaves the stories of the lives of 9 disparate individuals, within a four part structure of ...more
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. Hes written about genetics, pharmaceuticals, artificial intelligence, music and photography. In 2006, his novel about neurology, The Echo Maker, won a ...more
The Overstory is part short stories, part tree porn, part rant, and part ramble. It adds up to an impressive literary achievement that will linger with me for a long time, even while the reading experience is generally tedious. At times the characters are intriguing, at least once does plot play a role, and theres even a fleeting moment of tension. In other words, if you only enjoy edge-of-your-seat thrillers--this isnt your book. If youre obsessed with trees, it might be.
Im by all means a ...more
Powers doing my review writing for me.
My reading experience of The Overstory often felt like a forced march of The Appalachian Trail while being read poetry. In all likelihood that might appeal to some people, however I prefer a less arduous journey. I tried to escape this book once, flinging it aside at around page 60 but several positive reviews from trusty readers and the growing likelihood that this will ...more
when you cut down a tree, what you make from it should be at least as miraculous as what you cut down.
Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:
The Overstory is a powerful, literary novel, shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize. It sings, in part, a paean to the wonders of trees and the multitude of wonders that old-growth forests and a variety of trees brings to our world. It also mourns a ...more
Here I have to echo a sentiment that I expressed in my review of Lab Girl by Hope Jahren: there are only ...more
I started this as a review copy but bought my own hardcover before ...more
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2019
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 found the last part rather disappointing, and I know from previous experience that Powers is capable of better. Perhaps a convincing resolution is too much to ask when the subject matter is so ...more
The book's initial section, "Roots", contains introductions the nine protagonists of the primary narrative which constitutes the largest section called "Trunk." Each character is fully fleshed out and while ...more
My hardback copy was printed on recycled paper, which was a good detail!
The novel begins with the story of a chestnut tree in Iowa. It escaped the east coast chestnut blight by virtue of having been brought west in the pocket of a Swedish emigrant. If you ...more
The book starts out by telling what are seemingly separate stories about a variety of characters, so at first I thought it was just going to be a collection of short stories. That felt sort of confusing though because we met about 9 or 10 characters in like the first 100-150 pages and the book itself is 500 pages; I just thought to myself is this a collection of 50 short ...more
We lived on a street where the tall elm shade
Was as green as the grass and as cool as a blade
That you held in your teeth as we lay on our backs
Staring up at the blue and the blue stared back
I used to believe we were just like those trees
We'd grown just as tall and as proud as we pleased
With our feet on the ground and our arms in the breeze
Under a sheltering sky
-- Only a Dream, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Songwriters: Mary Chapin Carpenter
First there was nothing. Then there was everything. ...more
A colossal, rising, reaching, stretching space elevator of a billion independent parts, shuttling the air into the sky and storing the sky deep underground, sorting possibility from out of nothing: the most perfect piece of self-writing code that his eyes could hope to see.
A tree, viewed by a computer coder lying flat on his back on the ground, having fallen out of one. Self-writing code, perhaps self-sustaining, or like a perpetual motion machine? Hes a gamer, an inventor, one of many ...more
Richard Powers goes eco-fiction: In "The Overstory", the real protagonists are trees - living, breathing, communicating, ever-evolving, hard-working, intelligent trees. Okay, there are also people, but the quest they are on is to understand what the trees already know. Powers knits a whole web of protagonists, and the rootage of the book is a compilation of short stories, introducing the human characters: Nicholas Hoel (who grew up on a farm), Mimi ...more
A very erudite and weighty saga that took me over a week to read. Its excellent, but at the same time, I really wanted it to be over so I could move on to another book. This is a novel where full attention must be paid.
Still, the truth is I learned a ton about the world of trees and will never look at them quite the same way again. The research and passion Powers poured into this novel is staggering. My husband and I just purchased a wooded lot to build a ...more
In the opening chapter of Richard Powers' The Overstory, the author spans the four or five generations of men who photographed a single Chestnut, over a century, in a mere twenty pages.
Despite that these men could have risen and fallen over the course of a couple pages, each of their stories felt like they could have stretched off into their own novel. This is my first novel by Powers and I ...more
This book begins by giving the stories of a disparate group of individuals with different professions and backgrounds, and their interactions with the world of trees.
And so I would like to start my review by commending the reviews of a number of my Goodreads friends - a ...more
Then, ok, what followed was "interesting." Now and ...more
"Thank you for the tools. The chests. The decking. The clothes closets. The paneling. I forget . . . Thank you," she says, following the ancient formula. "For all the gifts that you have given." And still not knowing how to stop, she adds, "We're sorry. We didn't know how hard it is for you to grow back."
Powers begins his monumental novel by introducing his characters - each with their own short story. Then, the characters begin to interact in a tale that is beautiful, heartbreaking, terrifying, ...more
This book, the writing, the subject of trees and Life with a ...more
This is a 500-page literary fiction book, and at times it felt like work to read it; but most of the time it didn't. I had conflicted ...more
|2020 Reading Chal...: The Overstory||1||6||Mar 23, 2020 01:01PM|
|Ladies & Literature: * Official January 2020 Discussion: The Overstory||14||17||Mar 04, 2020 06:18AM|
|Anyone else having trouble getting into this book?||16||160||Jan 07, 2020 05:58PM|
|Ung i Norrbotten: Ekoepik i "The Overstory" av Richard Powers||2||7||Dec 16, 2019 04:43AM|
Librarian note: There is more than one author with this name in the Goodreads database.