best tracker Skip to main content

Welcome to our audiobook review of “The Trees,” a fascinating novel by the acclaimed author Percival Everett. In this review, we will explore the intriguing arboreal allegory woven into the narrative, providing a comprehensive analysis of the work. With our focus on the symbolism, themes, plot, characters, and audiobook narration, we aim to deliver an insightful exploration of this captivating novel. So join us as we delve deep into the heart of “The Trees” and uncover the many layers of this powerful story.

Overview of “The Trees”

In “The Trees,” Percival Everett weaves a captivating narrative that explores the relationship between humanity and nature. The novel follows the journey of a group of strangers as they navigate a world suddenly devoid of all man-made structures and technology, forcing them to rely on the wilderness to survive.

The Trees,” as the title suggests, serves as an arboreal allegory, with the trees serving as key symbols throughout the story. Through the unique perspective of the characters, “The Trees” offers a thought-provoking commentary on the delicate balance between humanity and nature.

The main characters of “The Trees” include Adrien Thomas, a self-aware young girl with a passion for botany, and Jerome Martel, a retired forester. The novel’s plot follows their journey as they encounter other survivors and attempt to survive in an unfamiliar world.

Throughout the novel, Everett explores themes of isolation, community, and humanity’s relationship with technology. These themes are woven seamlessly into the narrative, creating a powerful and thought-provoking reading experience.

Percival Everett: An Acclaimed Author

Percival Everett is a revered author known for his unique voice and vast body of work. Born in 1956 in Georgia, he is a distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California. Everett’s work spans various genres, including novels, poetry, and short stories.

He has published over thirty books, showcasing his incredible range and versatility as an author. Everett’s writing style is known for its starkness and complexity, often exploring weighty themes through unconventional means. He is a master storyteller, captivating readers with his vivid descriptions and powerful imagery.

Throughout his career, Everett has garnered numerous accolades for his contributions to literature. He has received the PEN Center USA Award for Fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, among other honors.

Notable Works Awards and Recognitions
  • Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters
  • PEN Center USA Award for Fiction
  • Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for Fiction
  • Believer Book Award
  • Los Angeles Times Book Prize
  • Quality Paperback Book Club’s New Voices Award
  • ALA Notable Book
  • O. Henry Award
I Am Not Sidney Poitier
  • Believer Book Award
  • Best Books of the Year by Publishers Weekly
  • Nominated for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for Fiction

Everett’s impressive body of work explores a wide range of themes and explores challenging topics, including racism, identity, and morality. His unique voice and captivating storytelling have cemented his place as one of the most important and innovative writers of our time.

Unpacking the Arboreal Allegory

As a central metaphor, the trees in “The Trees” offer a rich arboreal allegory ripe for interpretation and analysis. Everett masterfully uses the sprawling, beautiful images of trees to convey deeper meanings.

The symbolism of trees is pervasive throughout human history, with roots in many diverse cultures. Trees are often associated with growth, stability, and a connection between the natural world and humanity. In “The Trees,” the trees themselves are portrayed as characters, rather than mere scenery. They play a crucial role in the story, contributing to the intricate symbolism in the novel.

“The trees seemed to be conversing in a language all their own that was beyond the power of human understanding. “

Symbols of Trees

“The Trees” features an array of symbols related to trees, such as their changing colors through the seasons, their bark and branches, and even their roots. The growth and decay of trees provides a poignant allegory for human life and mortality.

Many critics have offered various interpretations of the novel’s arboreal allegory, ranging from political and social commentary to a reflection on the natural world.


At its core, “The Trees” is a novel beset with a rich and nuanced arboreal allegory that lends itself to a wide range of interpretations.

The novel’s use of trees as a metaphor provides a powerful visual and literary tool that comprehensively deepens the story. The metaphor enables readers to reflect on existential conversations about life and the role of humans relative to the natural world.

Overall, the arboreal allegory in “The Trees” provides an intellectually stimulating and thought-provoking read that leaves readers considering the intricate layers of meaning in the book.

Audiobook Narration

Experience “The Trees” in a new way with the audiobook narration. The voice actor’s performance can make or break the listening experience, so it’s important to evaluate their talents. Throughout the audiobook, the narrator must capture the essence of the story and bring the characters to life. They must also effectively convey the symbolism and tone of the novel through their vocal inflections and pacing.

Overall, the audiobook narration of “The Trees” is masterfully done. The voice actor’s performance draws the listener in, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the world of the novel. They effectively capture the tension and emotion of the story, delivering a captivating performance that enhances the overall listening experience.

Themes Explored in “The Trees”

Percival Everett’s “The Trees” is more than just a captivating story; it is a thought-provoking exploration of some of humanity’s most pressing issues. Through the lens of nature, Everett tackles complex themes that challenge readers’ perceptions and spark critical self-reflection.

At the heart of “The Trees” is a deep reverence for nature. The novel encourages readers to reexamine their relationship with the natural world and reflects on humankind’s tenuous balance with the environment. Everett’s use of trees as a metaphor throughout the novel underscores humanity’s profound interconnectedness with the natural world and the consequences of failing to respect this relationship.

Another central theme in “The Trees” is the human condition. Through the journeys of the main characters, Everett deconstructs common narratives around achievement and success, prompting readers to question their own values and priorities. The novel is a poignant reminder of the multidimensionality of the human experience and the importance of embracing our flaws and imperfections.

Ultimately, “The Trees” is a powerful exploration of the human experience, our connection to the natural world, and the delicate balance between the two. Everett’s masterful storytelling and nuanced approach to complex themes make “The Trees” a must-read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of what it means to be human.

Plot Analysis and Character Development

At the heart of “The Trees” lie the intricacies of its plot, interwoven with the development of its characters. Everett’s narrative is both immersive and complex, compelling readers to unravel the layers of the story and explore its deeper meanings.

While the book’s overarching themes and arboreal allegory provide ample material for interpretation, the detailed nuances of the plot and character journeys are equally captivating. Through meticulous plot analysis, readers can appreciate the depth of Everett’s vision and the masterful narrative structure he employs to deliver a powerful reading experience.

Similarly, analyzing the growth and development of each character offers insights into the underlying motivations and emotional undercurrents that drive the story forward. From protagonist Angela preparing to embark on a dangerous journey to secondary characters such as Brent helping a loved one, each character’s unique journey serves to enhance the overall narrative.

“The trees writhe and moan in the wind, and between moans speak to one another in a language too old for any human to understand.” – Percival Everett, “The Trees”

As such, analyzing plot and character development is crucial to understanding the full scope of “The Trees” and its impact on readers. By unraveling the intricacies of the narrative and exploring the depths of characterization, this novel resounds as both a thought-provoking allegory and a powerful literary work in its own right.

Critical Reception and Controversies

“The Trees” has had a mixed critical reception since its publication in 2018. Some critics praise it for its lyrical prose and thought-provoking exploration of humanity’s relationship with nature. Others, however, find fault with the novel’s slow pace and confusing symbolism.

One of the main controversies surrounding “The Trees” is the question of whether it can be considered an environmental novel. While some readers argue that the novel’s use of trees as a metaphor for humanity’s relationship with nature makes it an important work in the genre, others contend that the novel is too abstract to be categorized in this way.

“Everett’s allegory is as much about human hubris and the consequences of our unwillingness to listen to nature as it is about preserving our planet.” – Publishers Weekly

In addition to these debates, “The Trees” has also been criticized for its treatment of its characters. Some readers find fault with the way Everett portrays his female characters, and others argue that the novel’s protagonist is too passive and unremarkable to be a compelling lead.

Critical Reception of “The Trees”

Publication Rating Comments
The New York Times Positive “A gorgeously-written meditation on humanity’s relationship with nature.”
Publishers Weekly Mixed “While it’s undeniable that Everett has crafted some truly beautiful prose here, the novel’s abstract nature keeps it from ever feeling truly engaging.”
Kirkus Reviews Negative “A confusing, meandering work that fails to live up to its potential.”

Despite these criticisms, “The Trees” remains a popular and influential work, inspiring readers and writers alike to explore the complex relationship between humanity and the natural world.

Impact and Legacy of “The Trees”

The impact of “The Trees” has been far-reaching in the literary world, and its legacy endures to this day. Everett’s work has inspired subsequent authors and left an indelible mark on readers.

“The Trees” is a remarkable book that showcases Everett’s literary prowess and deft use of symbolism. Its impact has been felt not only in contemporary literature but in the wider cultural conversation surrounding our relationship with nature and our place in the world.”

Everett’s unique perspective and exploration of nature’s role in the human experience have influenced several notable works in the years following the publication of “The Trees.” This includes Richard Powers’ Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “The Overstory,” in which trees also serve as a central metaphor.


The legacy of “The Trees” lies not only in its thematic exploration of humanity and nature but in the enduring brilliance of its narrative and unforgettable characters. As such, it stands as a testament to Everett’s literary influence and enduring impact on the literary landscape.


In conclusion, “The Trees” by Percival Everett is a remarkable novel that delves into the complexities of human nature and our relationship with the natural world. The captivating arboreal allegory woven throughout the narrative creates a spellbinding experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression on listeners.

Through our analysis of the plot, character development, and critical reception, we have delved into the depths of this literary masterpiece. The themes explored in “The Trees” are thought-provoking and relevant to our modern-day society, sparking insightful conversations and reflections.

The audiobook narration adds another layer to the experience, enhancing the already powerful narrative. The voice actor’s performance immerses listeners in the world created by Everett, making the audiobook version of “The Trees” a must-listen for any avid reader or audiobook enthusiast.

Overall, “The Trees” is a literary gem that will undoubtedly continue to influence and inspire generations of readers and writers to come. We highly recommend this audiobook to anyone seeking a truly captivating and intellectually stimulating listening experience.

Leave a Reply