Jenny Chase's Reviews > The Overstory

The Overstory by Richard Powers
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The theme, topic and passion are right up my street in this climate fiction with fantasy elements.

However, the structural choice to make the book slow, long, composed of interconnecting, interdependent and also independent parts to echo a forest ecosystem... meant that large stretches weren't actually very interesting. The pace of the action - slow, slow, slow then frenetic - also brings to mind the climate crisis, but again, it's a difficult thing to actually read. The author is no Aldo Leopold, and extensive poetic descriptions of types of American trees which as a European I'm not familiar with became honestly a bit "give me a literature prize now" rather than fun to read. It might have worked better if there had been more interesting tree facts, like the quaking aspen being almost entirely a cloned species, but these really only appear when the Dr is around.

In short, it's a Worthy Book but I almost gave up around the 20% mark and wouldn't really recommend it. Either you're really into trees and will make it through as I did, or there's little point starting.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
November 3, 2019 – Shelved

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