The Overstory

Author(s): Richard Powers

Staff Picks- Read our reviews below

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.An Air Force crewmember in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan.This is the story of these and five other strangers, each summoned in different ways by the natural world, who are brought together in a last stand to save it from catastrophe. 


The Overstory by Richard Powers is one of those books that will never be easy to summarize in one quick clean paragraph. When people ask me what the book is about, the answer is; well.... it's about trees and people. My review will not describe adequately the poignant writing, the intricate and fascinating characters, or the sprawling beauty of trees described within this book. In order to experience that you will just have to read it yourself. But I can explain to you the feeling this book leaves you with. You will never look at a tree the same way again. Especially big beautiful old trees, the kind who are the backdrop to our everyday lives, that we rarely take the time to marvel at. If you haven’t already questioned your personal impact on this world after reading The Overstory it will take precedence in your mind. Powers is of course wanting you to think about the negative way humans have impacted the world, most notably in terms of deforestation. More importantly he wants you to realign your connection to the natural world. Powers has described in such eloquent language the symbiotic relationship between humans and trees. The eight characters in The Overstory each have a connection with trees that grows and becomes more powerful through unfolding events in their lives. These characters have complicated back stories but are compelling and feel very real. This book will weave roots into your heart and wind leafy boughs in your mind. You will probably want to keep it on your shelf forever, I know I will. Gaby



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Product Information

Winner Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2019 Shortlisted Man Booker Prize 2018 New York Times bestseller

"I loved this novel; its characters and its prose are magnificent, gorgeous, symphonic things. Its message is poignant and important and Richard Powers shows that he is a virtuosic writer. check this out if you want grand, sweeping, clever story telling." - Steve A wondrous, exhilarating novel about nine strangers brought together by an unfolding natural catastrophe 'The best novel ever written about trees, and really, just one of the best novels, period' Ann Patchett 'Dazzlingly written' Robert Macfarlane'Breathtaking' Barbara Kingsolver, New York Times'It's a masterpiece' Tim Winton 'It's not possible for Powers to write an uninteresting book' Margaret Atwood'An astonishing performance' Benjamin Markovits, Guardian

General Fields

  • : 9781784708245
  • : Penguin Random House
  • : Vintage
  • : 0.461
  • : January 2019
  • : 3.3 Centimeters X 12.9 Centimeters X 19.8 Centimeters
  • : April 2019
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Richard Powers
  • : Paperback
  • : 1904
  • : English
  • : 813/.54
  • : very good
  • : 436