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The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring | [Richard Preston]

The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring

The biggest redwood trees 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.
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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.

What the Critics Say

"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 Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (106 )
5 star
 (42)
4 star
 (32)
3 star
 (28)
2 star
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Overall
4.1 (42 )
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4.2 (42 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Cris Louisa , VA, USA 10-27-07
    Cris Louisa , VA, USA 10-27-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Boise, ID, United States 09-02-10
    Katherine Boise, ID, United States 09-02-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MJ Tucson, AZ, United States 08-25-08
    MJ Tucson, AZ, United States 08-25-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Sooke BC Canada 07-10-08
    James Sooke BC Canada 07-10-08 Member Since 2007

    I love trees!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg haleiwa, HI, USA 03-20-08
    Greg haleiwa, HI, USA 03-20-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tuan SAN JOSE, CA, United States 04-02-12
    tuan SAN JOSE, CA, United States 04-02-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Los Angeles, CA, United States 03-27-12
    Adam Los Angeles, CA, United States 03-27-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 12-27-10
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 12-27-10 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aj BEAR, DE, United States 12-03-10
    Aj BEAR, DE, United States 12-03-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    4
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    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Boca Raton, FL, United States 12-09-13
    Ken Boca Raton, FL, United States 12-09-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Nerdiest Book I've Ever Heard"
    Would you try another book from Richard Preston and/or Richard Preston?

    Sure, I love Richard Preston's writing.


    What was most disappointing about Richard Preston’s story?

    This is just a magazine article stretched out to incredible, unnecessary lengths. I still don't know much about the life up in these unexplored canopies, but I know a lot -- much, much more than I want to know -- about the geeks who explored the canopies. Their eating habits, relationships, even how they had sex up in the canopies after getting married up there. Nerdville unleashed.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The author's voice was somewhat sibilant and dull.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No way.


    Any additional comments?

    It's an interesting subject matter, and an unknown one to most people, for sure. Who knew that the canopies of these massive trees, and even the trees themselves, have remained a mystery until a few intrepid people climbed them? Interesting. Learning all about their lives, not so much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 11 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Linda
    Knypersley, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
    1/26/08
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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