• The Wild Trees

  • A Story of Passion and Daring
  • By: Richard Preston
  • Narrated by: Richard Preston
  • Length: 5 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (440 ratings)

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The Wild Trees  By  cover art

The Wild Trees

By: Richard Preston
Narrated by: Richard Preston
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Publisher's Summary

Hidden away in foggy, uncharted rain forest valleys in Northern California are the largest and tallest organisms the world has ever sustained: the coast redwood trees, Sequoia sempervirens. The biggest redwoods are over 1,000 years old, rising more than 35 stories in what's left of the once-vast, ancient redwood forest. Believed to be impossible to ascend, these majestic giants have remained unexplored until recently, when a tiny group of daring botanists and amateur naturalists discovered a lost, dangerous, and hauntingly beautiful world high above California.

In The Wild Trees, Richard Preston unfolds the spellbinding story of these young voyagers, who risk everything to explore the redwood canopy, where the massive trees form flying buttresses and cathedral-like structures in the air. They find a vertical Eden of hanging gardens and rare creatures, an untouched paradise where it's possible to stretch hammocks between tree branches and make love 300 feet in the air. But as they move through the treetops suspended on ropes, far out of sight of the ground, these young adventurers know that the smallest mistake can result in a plunge to one's death.

Preston mastered the techniques of tall-tree climbing to recount the discovery of this amazing world. This is a grand adventure, by turns terrifying, moving, and fascinating, from a master of nonfiction narrative.

©2007 Richard Preston. All rights reserved (P)2007 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"Preston's hands-on perspective, suspenseful chronicling of the adventures of these vividly portrayed redwood experts, and glorious descriptions of the tall trees' splendor and ecological significance make for a transfixing read." (Booklist)

What listeners say about The Wild Trees

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    281
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    5
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    73
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  • 4 Stars
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book!

I was very pleased with this book and couldn't stop listening to it. The actual interviews with some of the key subjects at the end were very pleasing.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book

I thorougly enjoyed this book. The character development is great. Each night as I drove home from work, I felt as though I was going to the woods with them to climb tall trees.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful

This is an engaging, exciting audio book about a subject I had never even considered, prior to this work. The author delves into the lives of the individuals, weaving between the science of the trees, and the humanity that surrounds them.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MJ
  • 08-25-08

The Wild Trees

Preston's account of this story is breath taking. His story telling is intriguing and leaves you wanting to explore these treaures first hand. Great listen, thank you!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

love the trees

I loved the story. I found it exciting and accurate.
Richard preston's description of what it's like to ascend high up in the canopy was right on! All of us tree climbers should give this one a listen. Two thumbs up!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

A silly and disappointing book!

From the way this book was promoted I expected to learn about the biology of redwood trees and the ecology of the west coast's great redwood forests. Instead I endured a series of Cosmopolitan style reminiscences by the members of a kind of counter-cultural group of tree climbers, who performed various acts of daring high above the ground (including screwing in the treetops!) It seemed obvious that Mr. Preston had done extensive interviews with these folks and then transcribed their accounts as faithfully as possible, including fulsome descriptions of their romantic entanglements and emotional travails in life. His reading did nothing to enhance my experience of the book. I eventually stopped listening. If you want to learn about the redwoods, I suggest you give the book a pass and look the trees up in Wikipedia instead. You'll find some extremely informative articles there, complete with neat photographs.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable and good read

Would you consider the audio edition of The Wild Trees to be better than the print version?

cant say didnt read the printed version but the audio was great.

What did you like best about this story?

good mix of scientific facts and life story.

Which scene was your favorite?

the high altitude tree sex.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

no cry, no laugh, but smiles. :)

Any additional comments?

had to read this book for class. turns out i love the book. if your into plants or redwoods, than this is a must for you.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. It was exhilarating, the stakes were high, the characters were compelling, and it took me into an amazing world that is fantastic beyond all fantasy or science fiction.

What did you like best about this story?

The love story between Steve and Antoine.

What about Richard Preston’s performance did you like?

He knows how to read his own book.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

more than meets the eye

It was pleasant to listen to a handful of stories about the folks that have climbed these trees and to learn about the trees themselves. Solid narration.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Well worth the listen.

Richard Preston’s voice and the narrative style of his prose were easy listening. Even though this is an abridged version, I learned a lot.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • A. J. Beedell
  • 05-19-21

good info, some gripping moments, some chaff

Weird book, starts as a story, continues as a biography/documentary of sorts.

Redwood biology segments and tree walking danger segments were great, the biography parts less interesting.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-26-20

Great!

A fantastic insight into the tree world, discovering what is out there and what the human body is capable of 💚

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda
  • 01-26-08

treemendous

Excellent book, if interested in trees, high adrenaline sports, wildlife, botany and a touch of romance this title is for you, highly recommended. Some parts had me on the edge of my seat.