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Publisher's Summary

An uncanny literary thriller addressing the painful legacy of lynching in the US, by the author of Telephone

Percival Everett's The Trees is a must-listen that opens with a series of brutal murders in the rural town of Money, Mississippi. When a pair of detectives from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation arrive, they meet expected resistance from the local sheriff, his deputy, the coroner, and a string of racist White townsfolk. The murders present a puzzle, for at each crime scene there is a second dead body: that of a man who resembles Emmett Till.

The detectives suspect that these are killings of retribution, but soon discover that eerily similar murders are taking place all over the country. Something truly strange is afoot. As the bodies pile up, the MBI detectives seek answers from a local root doctor who has been documenting every lynching in the country for years, uncovering a history that refuses to be buried. In this bold, provocative book, Everett takes direct aim at racism and police violence. The Trees is an enormously powerful novel of lasting importance from an author with his finger on America's pulse.

©2021 Percival Everett (P)2022 Tantor

What listeners say about The Trees

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  • HH
  • 04-14-22

Great story, uneven performance

The reader has a great voice, but his intonation often falls a little short, with quite a lot of unnatural pausing in the middle of sentences. It feels like the recording might have been rushed and unfortunately it does detract from the experience a bit.

2 people found this helpful

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Genocide, only partially hidden behind the lesser word “lynching.” A horror..

Such a timely arrival on a worldwide, literary list. It is a huge nod to how humour -however grim-might assist a cause, how reading out a list in a measured voice is so powerful and the use of one excerpt only, out of far too many by a horribly powerful and undeserving person, all can pack such a big punch.
Genocide. That word is worth finding in this book. That’s what it amounts to. Many of us have felt that dreadful footfall in our lives.

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Gave up after 5 chapters

Reading that it's supposed to be humorous. and a brilliant allegory. sounds like it was written by the writer of Smokey and the Bandit's Sheriff Buford T. Justice's dialogue. or may by a couple if middle school boys.

And, as a previous reviewer pointed out, "y'all" is a plural pronoun, never used in the singular.

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Riveting

This was an incredible book. I highly recommend—extremely creative with brilliant writing. It really makes you consider our history from a new perspective.

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Extraordinary

Reading top notch
Story funny poignant and deeply moving
A totally refreshing approach to racism in the usa

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  • KB
  • 08-25-22

truly excellent

Historians will identify the events quickly. Important take on recent revelations of an infamous case.

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This story calls for character gymnastics

The story was a mix of historical truths and fiction. The narrator had many characters to navigate and did so seamlessly.

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Revenge is a dessert best served cold!

A must read for any African American descendents in the US whose ancestors were abused, mistreated, and murdered.

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  • Janet
  • 09-21-22

A beautiful American Black comedic tragedy

Witty political fantasy using the strange fruit that hangs from the trees as a focal point for a murder (or should I say murders) mystery that could only happen in the American south. How could you laugh? But I did. Clever and entertaining.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-08-22

A challenging book.

This is a difficult one to review because some areas I loved and others I found quite difficult.

The story is overall quite confusing and convoluted with multiple characters who are never really developed, I didnt feel attached to anybody in the book. The plot itself moves especially in the second half frantically around the U.S and is hard to follow at times with new locations and new characters put into the mix. The book is also written in a style that didn't really appeal to me, I is a distinctive style but a bit jarring in audio form Jim said Ed said etc etc.

The good however was very good the message and the overall tone were fantastic and at times moving. The horror of lynching is put forward in a modern and heartfelt way.

The humour was brilliant in some places especially at the end poking fun at Politicians and Generals. However at the start laughing at redneck poor people felt a bit disconcerting. Yes these people are stupid, racist and funny but they are products of a system that has made them stupid and racist.

Narration was good.

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  • M. Y. Mim
  • 09-11-22

Even better than you’ve heard!

This Booker Prize finalist is funny, gruesome, intelligent, topical, satirical, pointed. Some characters border on stereotypes, but Everett’s sharp details render them realistic. Cannot recommend more highly.

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  • Benjamin Ady
  • 09-07-22

absolutely brilliant

I think this novel should win the Booker prize. stunning insights into what it is to be oppressed, what it is to be an oppressor, and what power is and isn't.