Leap head first into The Overstory if you enjoy prose with the soaring emotional grip of an aria. Or, characters so completely authentic you'd have tons to discuss if you bumped into them in real life. Above all take this leap if you love trees, or even find them the least bit intriguing. I learned a ton from this wonderful book and not a word of it would I think of as preachy or pedantic. Author Powers' precise prose also gifted me some wonderful new words. For example, frass, (the powdery refuse produced by boring insects), and, pleaching, (interweaving of branches of adjacent trees and shrubs strengthening the collective - as a hedge does).
Pleaching also suggests the intertwining of the ethereal tentacles of humans and trees author Powers so eloquently describes in The Overstory. This is just great writing.
Comparisons to Wallace Stegner, or, Larry McMurtry are easy to make, but Powers clearly has his own voice.
This is one of those books that comfortably burrows into your brain and takes up residence for a good long stay... extending well beyond the turning of the last page. I welcome such intellectual and psychic invasions as a measure of the greatness of a book. Sure It’s a long read but I never once wished it were shorter. It’s a confusing narrative at times but I never once wished it were more tightly organized. It’s a melancholy story with a depressing ending but I never once wished for Disney. It’s just perfect as it is.
Submitted by Ned