Download The Overstory [PDF] By Richard Powers

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The Overstory book pdf download for free or read online, also The Overstory pdf was written by Richard Powers.

BookThe Overstory
AuthorRichard Powers
Size7.7 MB

The Overstory Book PDF download for free

The Overstory Book PDF download for free

Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The Overstory is a moving and passionate work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation and homage to the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, Richard Powers’ twelfth novel unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables, ranging from antebellum New York to the Lumber Wars of the late 20th century in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

There is a world next to ours: huge, slow, connected, imaginative, wildly inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn to see this world and are drawn into the unfolding catastrophe.

The Overstory Book Pdf Download

I think it’s fair to say that when Richard Powers has an idea, he handles it. The Overstory is a novel about trees. Every other sentence mentions a tree. The each main characters have a signature tree. And most of them gather to protect the trees. The structure of the book itself is designed to resemble a tree: each character has a backstory that represents a root; the stories converge in the longest section – the tribe; the signs diverge towards the crown; and then in the smallest section they produce the germs of a future world.

And my God, the book is long and complicated. Most of the eight origin stories (with nine characters, as two of them share a common root, figuratively and literally) are stand-alone novels. We have a retired war veteran; a student; an academic who discovers that trees communicate; a computer game designer; an intellectual property attorney; a conceptual artist; a young Chinese American; and a psychologist. It should be a job to remember who they all are, but they are so well delineated and re-introduced that this is rarely a problem. Occasionally some of the characters get blurry, but for the most part they are pretty clear.

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And most of them play a role in defending America’s ancient forests from logging corporations. They assume power from business, government, law enforcement, and a skeptical public at large. They question the wisdom of using non-renewable natural resources; On the one hand, not using nature’s bounty seems dour; but then again, what happens when they are gone? In all the historical examples that Richard Powers mentions, he is not referring to Easter Island, the people cutting down all their trees to take out giant statues and not providing a future source of wood to build ships. It’s all very well to assume that something else will show up, but what if it doesn’t?

Where some of the stories overlap, others don’t. The computer game designer and the lawyer seem to have parallel narratives that are compelling but somewhat tangential to the novel as a whole. And these tangential connections come last. It’s strange, but it offers some relief from the fairly intense eco-warrior combat stories.

The stories are deeply moving. The force of the created worlds; The complexity of the characters is wonderful. There is an overall editorial narrative, but for the most part the green message is conveyed through the characters and the story. Many books really fall into the trap of telling, not showing. The top story shows.

For me, the full power of the novel came at the end of the Trunk section. The footprint built and built; we reach a glorious and terrible crescendo. After that, the deadlines started to creep up and I felt like the pressure had eased. That’s not to say the story didn’t evolve, it did, but some of the passion that had driven the characters on their ecological quest was gone. At first it felt like a disappointment, an anticlimax. But a few days after the conclusion of the novel, it feels like a real fortress. It shows the aging and decay that, as the book illustrates with the trees, will feed other species and future generations.

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I came into The Overstory with little love for Richard Powers (I fought for Orpheus); and no great sympathy for tree lovers. I was surprised when I loved the novel; be convinced of the message; and always being so emotionally connected to some of the characters. The Booker Prize has its critics, but if it can get me to read novels of this quality, against my natural instincts, then that’s a wonderful thing.

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