In THE WILD TREES, Richard Preston unfolds the spellbinding story of Steve Sillett and Marie Antoine, who found a lost world above California, dangerous, hauntingly beautiful, and unexplored.
The deep redwood canopy is a vertical Eden filled hanging gardens of ferns, reefs of lichens, small animals, and all sorts of plants, including thickets of huckleberry bushes and small trees actually growing on the branches of giant redwoods. There are massive redwood limb systems fused into flying buttresses and carved into “fire caves.” Thick layers of soil sitting on limbs harbor animal and plant life unknown to science. Humans move through the deep canopy suspended on ropes, far out of sight of the ground, knowing that the price of a small mistake may be a plunge to one’s death.
Preston account of this world, by turns terrifying, moving, and fascinating, is an adventure story told in novelistic detail by a master of nonfiction narrative. Preston became an expert tree climber, and learned the techniques of super-tall tree climbing to tell the story in THE WILD TREES—the story of the fate of the world’s most splendid forests and of the imperiled biosphere itself.
“ENTHRALLING.”—Kirkus (*starred review)
“A TRANSFIXING READ.”—Booklist
“A SUPERLATIVE WORK OF NARRATIVE NONFICTION.”—Discover magazine
“Neither science nor moralizing drives this story… What Preston offers is a glimpse into the lives of these angel-headed hipsters, who took root, found meaning and flourished in a digitized, cataloged and oversubscribed world. Turn the pages and you’ll find your obsession growing with theirs, until finally their zonked-out wonder becomes your own. So rest easy, drop your ropes and climbing gear and wrap your arms about this book. It’s easier than hugging a redwood.”—Los Angeles Times