The Overstory: A Novel - Richard Powers

The Overstory: A Novel

By Richard Powers

  • Release Date: 2018-04-03
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4.5
From 505 Ratings


Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize
New York Times Bestseller
A New York Times Notable Book and a Washington Post, Time, Oprah Magazine, Newsweek, Chicago Tribune, and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2018

"The best novel ever written about trees, and really just one of the best novels, period." —Ann Patchett

The Overstory, winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, is a sweeping, impassioned work 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, Richard Powers’s twelfth novel 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. 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.


  • You’ll never think of Trees and your garden the same.

    By Fladaddy
    I began reading The Overstory and got into it for a couple of chapters and put it aside. I thought it was a collection of short stories on a theme. Then I picked it up again and it changed how I view the entire world around me. I’m from California, have a cottage near the Russian River and love the awe inspiring redwoods. This overarching story has made me understand so much more and question everything out my window. His writing is forceful and thought provoking so much so I’d find myself repeating pages and passages knowing I’ll read this again. Brilliantly played out over decades and places coast to coast and over the world with the common linkage of trees. If you watch the news with the Amazon on fire and it’s freaking you out, read this book. Deserving of the Pulitzer and other awards it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read.
  • Beyond amazing!

    By Bourbon_face
    I am changed forever.

    By SDWill
    Pure Genius!
  • Overstory

    By schefta
    This ambitious book was a disappointment to me. The various segments did not come together in the weaving process of the story. Too often the writing descended into long monologues or overblown plot that felt more like crass popular fiction than artful character development and storytelling.
  • Phenomenal

    By Kbayham
    Usually the hype is a huge disappointment (too many examples to name here) but not in this case. So beautiful and thoughtful.
  • The Overstory

    By Readyreader123
    This is the best book I’ve ever read! I learned so much about trees and about humans, the ways we are intertwined.
  • Flawed but Wonderful

    By jscann
    This novel asks the question, “Why, when the natural world is obviously on the brink of destruction, are so many doing nothing?” And it asks that question by following a handful of people who decide to save the world and by showing the forces that oppose them in the background. The novel is too long, has several subplots that are silly, and some sequences and passages that are cringeworthy as they fall short of the wisdom for which they aim. But when this novel is on target, it is marvelous. Well worth the time investment.
  • The overstory

    By N.Y. avidreader
    A great and poignant read beautiful writing.
  • The Overstory

    By hawsgrace
    This book can change your life. It will break your heart and give you hope. It recreates the way things grow, how they connect, and joins us, and all we do, to the tree of life. From solitary lives to a growing forest you see your individual history made meaningful. The future as memory.
  • Long and intense read

    By msbcnj
    Fits perfectly into a new cosmology where we are all one with the planet and the plants. A great intertwining of human and tree story, the interplay of which creates a languid and satisfying read. It was more than halfway through the book before I recognized how it comes together as a novel.