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The Overstory: A Novel av Richard Powers
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The Overstory: A Novel (urspr publ 2018; utgåvan 2019)

av Richard Powers (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,9841573,427 (4.08)348
An air force loadmaster in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan. 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 to life by creatures of air and light. A hearing- and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another. These four, and five other strangers - each summoned in different ways by trees - are brought together in a last and violent stand to save the continent's few remaining acres of virgin forest. In his twelfth novel, National Book Award winner Richard Powers delivers a sweeping, impassioned novel of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of - and paean to - the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, The Overstory unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond, exploring the essential conflict on this planet: the one taking place between humans and nonhumans. There is a world alongside ours - vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe. The Overstory is a book for all readers who despair of humanity's self-imposed separation from the rest of creation and who hope for the transformative, regenerating possibility of a homecoming. If the trees of this earth could speak, what would they tell us? -- from dust jacket.… (mer)
Medlem:jessblackstock
Titel:The Overstory: A Novel
Författare:Richard Powers (Författare)
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2019), Edition: Reprint, 512 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

Verkdetaljer

The Overstory av Richard Powers (2018)

  1. 31
    Barkskins av Annie Proulx (GerrysBookshelf)
  2. 21
    The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods av Julia Hill (Gwendydd)
    Gwendydd: One of the main characters of Overstory is loosely based on the life of Julia Butterfly Hill.
  3. 11
    The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed av John Vaillant (Gwendydd)
    Gwendydd: These books both talk a lot about the giant trees of the west coast, logging, and anti-logging activists.
  4. 00
    Greenwood av Michael Christie (OscarWilde87)
  5. 01
    The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth av Richard Conniff (Sandwich76)
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» Se även 348 omnämnanden

engelska (154)  tyska (1)  nederländska (1)  franska (1)  Alla språk (157)
Visa 1-5 av 157 (nästa | visa alla)
I'm generally not a fan of experimental fiction and this did nothing to win me over. Sometimes I can get caught up in the writing and forgive lack of plot or character but I didn't get enough of any of those three. I found it long and meandering and generally full of it itself. I should have taken my lesson of putting aside a book I don't like and not finish it out of sheer stubbornness.
  amyem58 | Jul 21, 2021 |
Kudos to Richard Powers for answering Amitav Ghosh's challenge in The Great Derangement (whether or not he knew it existed when he wrote this novel) and taking on in fiction the biggest issue of our time: humanity's destruction of the biosphere. He is now credited with writing a seminal work in the new genre of eco-fiction. That said, it's unfortunate The Overstory is not a better book.

The garrulous narrative style, with its sole reliance on the present tense (what IS it with that trend in contemporary fiction? it's obnoxious and pointless; it adds nothing to long-form works while taking away their gravitas), is overwrought and the dialogue is hopelessly flat and hokey. As are all of the central characters, with the exception of Patricia Westerford, whose portrayal is at least somewhat compelling, because she convincingly embodies a scientific romance with the living world, what E.O. Wilson called "biophilia." The novel is also to be commended for taking radical activism seriously as a subject for fiction, even if the POV is a bit clunky because it is that of a liberal academic and not a witness or fellow traveler.

It is in the depiction of trees and forests and their magnificent and complex life-sustaining operations that the work excels, and where its prose is at its best. It almost makes you wish Powers could have done away with his cardboard cutout human characters altogether and told his saga entirely from the point of view of a sentient forest.

As Tolstoy took on war, and yet humanity has not ceased from waging it, so we can't hope that this breakthrough novel, or even a much better work of "cli-fi" that may come along, will halt our scorched earth path toward our own extinction. Yet the resolution of The Overstory is cathartic, because it suggests that the biosphere is unbeatable, and unlike humanity, it has all the time in the world to revive, regenerate and recreate itself. ( )
  CSRodgers | Jul 15, 2021 |
Unbelievable. I will never look at trees the same way again. Timely reading in light of what is going on in the rainforest now. ( )
  scoene | Jul 13, 2021 |
(39) I struggled with this colossus about environmentalism, loosely. About trees and and a group of disparate people whose lives interconnect like underground roots in their quests for meaningful lives. We follow the characters from their childhoods until their middle age and they are well-developed; quirky, interesting, very much individual. Interwoven is a great deal about the majesty of trees and musings on what it means to be alive - trees communicate, propagate, change, eat, grow - are we sure they are not conscious? The book is set up as chapters resembling a tree - roots, trunk, crown, and then a rebirth - seeds. But the allegory was very heavy-handed and the print tiny on big pages making for what felt like a very long book.

Some parts were quite lovely - I especially enjoyed Ray and Dorothy Brinkman's story - lives of quiet desperation somehow clarified by disaster. And Mimi Ma's father with the notes on the campgrounds and the 'What they do?" I am still baffled about his ending. There is a great deal that is somewhat baffling about this book. It veers a bit into magical realism and comes across as melodramatic in my opinion. Am I correct in concluding the author is saying all of us who use wood and are not freaking out about the end of the planet are in a shared delusion and Antifa-type environmentalists who blow up buildings are the sane ones because their actions are "self-defense?" Despite the majesty of trees and nature, the writing was so overblown and (pun intended) sappy that he did not convince me.

In the end I had to come down with a fairly positive rating. The writing is undeniably beautiful and provocative and occasionally made me tear up and ponder deeply. But it was quite the investment and didn't quite work for me. I do understand the Pulitzer, but in my opinion Powers tried to do too much. The voice is a bit strident and unbalanced. ( )
  jhowell | Jul 13, 2021 |
I actually gave up on this, it started to seriously drag about half way through. I felt bad as I love my trees. Too many forgettable characters and parallel story lines. Sorry, trees! But at least it was an audiobook so I didn’t waste any paper. ( )
  flemertown | Jul 10, 2021 |
Visa 1-5 av 157 (nästa | visa alla)
“Literary fiction has largely become co-opted by that belief that meaning is an entirely personal thing,” Powers says. “It’s embraced the idea that life is primarily a struggle of the individual psyche to come to terms with itself. Consequently, it’s become a commodity like a wood chipper, or any other thing that can be rated in terms of utility.” [...]

“I want literature to be something other than it is today,” Powers says. “There was a time when our myths and legends and stories were about something greater than individual well-being. "
tillagd av elenchus | ändralithub.com, Kevin Berger (Apr 23, 2018)
 
Acquiring tree consciousness, a precondition for learning how to live here on Earth, means learning what things grow and thrive here, independently of us.

We are phenomenally bad at experiencing, estimating, and conceiving of time. Our brains are shaped to pay attention to rapid movements against stable backgrounds, and we’re almost blind to the slower, broader background drift. The technologies that we have built to defeat time—writing and recording and photographing and filming—can impair our memory (as Socrates feared) and collapse us even more densely into what psychologists call the “specious present,” which seems to get shorter all the time. Plants’ memory and sense of time is utterly alien to us. It’s almost impossible for a person to wrap her head around the idea that there are bristlecone pines in the White Mountains of California that have been slowly dying since before humans invented writing.
 

» Lägg till fler författare

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Powers, Richardprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Allié, ManfredÜbersetzermedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Bierstadt, AlbertOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Chauvin, SergeTraductionmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Gaffney, EvanOmslagsformgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Guevara, Teresa Lanero Ladrón deTraductormedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Kempf-Allié, GabrieleÜbersetzermedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Lanero, TeresaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Noorman, JelleÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Quinn, MarysarahFormgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Toren, SuzanneBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Vighi, LiciaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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The greatest delight which the fields and woods minister, is the suggestion of an occult relation between man and the vegetable. I am not alone and unacknowledged. They nod to me, and I to them. The waving of the boughs in the storm, is new to me and old. It takes me by surprise, and yet is unknown. Its effect is like that of a higher thought or better emotion coming over me, when I deemed I was thinking justly or doing right.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Earth may be alive: not as the ancients saw her--a sentient Goddess with a purpose and foresight--but alive like a tree. A tree that quietly exists, never moving except to sway in the wind, yet endlessly conversing with the sunlight and soil. Using sunlight and water and nutrient minerals to grow and change. But all done so imperceptibly, that to me an old oak tree on the green is the same as it was when I was a child.
--James Lovelock
Tree . . . he watching you. You look at tree, he listen to you. He got no finger, he can't speak. But that leaf . . . he pumping, growing, growing in the night. While you sleeping you dream something. Tree and grass same thing.
--Bill Neidjie
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To be human is to confuse a satisfying story with a meaningful one, and to mistake life for something huge with two legs.
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An air force loadmaster in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan. 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 to life by creatures of air and light. A hearing- and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another. These four, and five other strangers - each summoned in different ways by trees - are brought together in a last and violent stand to save the continent's few remaining acres of virgin forest. In his twelfth novel, National Book Award winner Richard Powers delivers a sweeping, impassioned novel of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of - and paean to - the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, The Overstory unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond, exploring the essential conflict on this planet: the one taking place between humans and nonhumans. There is a world alongside ours - vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe. The Overstory is a book for all readers who despair of humanity's self-imposed separation from the rest of creation and who hope for the transformative, regenerating possibility of a homecoming. If the trees of this earth could speak, what would they tell us? -- from dust jacket.

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