Download The Overstory Audiobook

The Overstory Audiobook, by Richard Powers Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Richard Powers Narrator: Suzanne Toren Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2018 ISBN: 9781501982026
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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A monumental novel about trees and people by a novelist called one of our most “prodigiously talented” by the New York Times Book Review.

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 into 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? “Listen. There’s something you need to hear.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Monumental…Using the tools of the story, he pulls readers heart-first into a perspective so much longer-lived and more subtly developed than the human purview that we gain glimpses of a vast, primordial sensibility.”

    New York Times Book Review (cover review)

  • “A rousing, full-throated hymn to Nature’s grandeur.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “An extraordinary novel…There is something exhilarating, too, in reading a novel whose context is wider than human life. The Overstory leaves you with a slightly adjusted frame of reference…even after I put it down.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “This ambitious novel soars up through the canopy of American literature and remakes the landscape of environmental fiction.”

    Washington Post

  • “A masterwork sculpted from sheer awe…The Overstory will convince you that we walk among gods every time we enter a forest.”-

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “Thoroughly compelling.”

    Boston Globe

  • New York Times bestseller
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month
  • A Newsweek Pick for Summer Reading
  • A Millions.com Pick of Top Ten Most Read Books of the Month

Listener Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marty | 5/4/2020

    " The Overstory is composed as vignettes that start out with different protagonists, but which soon start to intertwine like the roots of a single organism. We are encouraged to revere the importance of trees in American history, the role of forests as not just a place for recreation or a producer of natural resources, but ultimately, as a powerful metaphor for the interconnectedness of life as we know it--or as is more often the case--for the incredible complexity of life that we still do not understand. Listeners are compelled to see the value of trees in a new light through Powers' fictional re-telling of the late 20th Century environmental movement. The fight over the fabled and fated forest giants of the Pacific Northwest is contextualized with powerful personal experiences, and it delivers enough variety and verisimilitude that you will wholeheartedly believe the characters are on the right side of history, even if they aren't sure of it themselves. The narration was a little slow-paced, but by the end of this rich journey through the spiritual, theoretical, metaphysical, cultural, and literal overstory of North America's woodlands, you will be able to see the forest for the trees, perhaps as never before. "

About the Author

Richard Powers is the author of a dozen novels, including the New York Times bestseller The Overstory. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and the National Book Award, and he has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and a four-time finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. He has received a Lannan Literary Award and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Historical Fiction. He is a fellow of the Academy of Arts and Letters, and his work has been translated into more than a dozen languages.

About the Narrator

Suzanne Toren, award-winning narrator, has over thirty years of experience in narration. She was named a “Golden Voice” by AudioFile magazine in 2019. She has won the American Foundation for the Blind’s Scourby Award for Narrator of the Year, AudioFile magazine named her the 2009 Best Voice in Nonfiction & Culture, and she is the recipient of multiple Earphones Awards. She performs on and off Broadway and in regional theaters and has appeared on Law & Order and in various soap operas.