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The Trees

by Percival Everett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7454830,697 (4.08)1 / 122
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.… (more)
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 Book talk: Is this (name a book!) worth finishing?8 unread / 8amysisson, March 2023

» See also 122 mentions

English (47)  Spanish (1)  All languages (48)
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
The trees. The family trees…. The hanging trees…

“News of Junior Milam’s death spread like disease across the county. So did the story of the strange, missing Black corpse.” “Both were badly beaten.” “…the White man’s testicles were severed and clenched in the fist of the Black man.” And then it happened again! With the same exact dead Black corpse holding another murdered man’s testicles in an entirely different location! WTF??? And is it Emmett Till, come back after 60 years to exact his revenge?
“Somebody is killing White people down here, and the same Black man has been found dead at each scene.”

Welcome to Money, Mississippi! “It’s worth a visit!”
Throw in two Black detectives from ‘up north’, the Klan, the Trumpsters, and a ‘witch’ named Mama Z and stir the place up!
And the names of the people in this book?!?! Herberta Hind, Hot Mama Yeller, Triple J, Cad Fondle, Granny C, Red Jetty, Otis Easy, Junior Junior, and Helvetica Quip, to name a few. Oh, and McDonald McDonald. My goodness!

Such a great read! And so well written! Trump’s speech at the end reads like one of his actual speeches! The characters are great and I love the whole premise of what happens in the story! Justice!!! And, honestly, I kinda wish something like this would happen in real life!

“Rise. Rise.”

“You know, a stupid redneck with a gun.
That’s redundant.”

“Death is never a stranger. That’s why we fear it.”

“If you want to know a place, you talk to its history.”

“You can’t unfire a gun.” ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jun 7, 2024 |
I attempted this book (audiobook format). Either the dialogue was horrible, not well-suited for audio format, or performed badly. I couldn't finish it. ( )
  technodiabla | May 13, 2024 |
This book is absolutely hysterical. The writing is amazing. The conversations between the character is so honest and funny. Mr. Everett did an awesome job writing this mystery. ( )
  rmaniel | May 1, 2024 |
A must-read. Set in 2018. Excellent history/magical realism. Well written, clean story line.
Lots of swearing. ( )
  Dorothy2012 | Apr 22, 2024 |
Blackbird singing

Read by Dwayne Glaption
Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins

Wow! It’s really the only word needed to describe this excellent novel. But wait, there’s more.

Of course a synopsis won’t do. I have no desire to spoil this must-read for anyone. The genre? Well it’s dark and funny and tragic and mysterious all at once. It starts here.

In the neighborhood of Small Change in the town of Money, Mississippi a white family comprising of Charlene (Hot Mama Yellah), and Wheat, Granny C, Junior Junior and Lullabelle, gathers around an empty pool outside a grassless shotgun house. They are discussing using the pool to keep pigs in. Little do they know, but one of them is about to be murdered, his body mutilated, his scrotum stuffed into the hand of a dead black man.

So starts the story. I took notes for my review. A few will hopefully give y’all a flavor of this remarkable book..

“There’s be no First Amendment without the Second”
“If guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns”
“When the trumpet sounds I’m outa here”
- Stickers on the deputy coroner’s rusted-out car.

The top coroner is called Reverend Fondel. A nasty fellow a KKK supporter who discovers he is black. Only one of many of Everett’s imagined characters, so exquisitely described that we can’t wait to meet the next one. Then there’s their names. Junior’s son Junior, Junior Junior, Mister Mister, Fondel, Hobsinger.MacDonald MacDonald, Pick L. Dill. Not since Dickens has a novel’s characters so matched their owners’.

“You kill em We chill ‘em”
“You stab ‘em we slab ‘em”
“You slay ‘em We slab ‘em”
Two detectives pay a visit to the Acme Cadaver Company. The receptionist has a tattoo on her neck, “Break here in case of emergency”. One of the detectives doesn’t get it. When they enter the warehouse Marvin Gaye is being played. The cadavers are kept head-to-toe on a conveyor belt. One cadaver is just male head, the rest of its pieces being scattered somewhere in Pennsylvania. Some employees are playing catch with an eye ball. Others play soccer with a head.

But it’s not all fun, and there’s some serious stuff going on. Seriously.

This is a book to read at leisure and to be taken very, very seriously. ( )
1 vote kjuliff | Apr 6, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
The setting is a small town called Money, Mississippi, “named in that persistent Southern tradition of irony”. We meet a dysfunctional white family unit with its morose matriarch Granny C, her son Wheat Bryant, and her nephew, Junior Junior. This time it’s the white folks’ turn to be rendered in grotesque caricature, and the actions of this feckless clan are played as broad knockabout, almost like a reverse minstrel show.
added by bergs47 | editThe Guardian, Jake Arnott (Aug 31, 2022)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Percival Everettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Mues, JonaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stingl, NikolausTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike at him as hard as you can and as often as you can, and keep moving on.     --U. S. Grant
Dedication
For Steve, Katie, Marisa, Caroline, Anitra, and Fiona
First words
Money, Mississippi, looks exactly like it sounds.
Quotations
Y'all is damn near dead, but y'all can hear just fine.
But looking dead is not the same thing as, well, being dead.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction (2022), for when LT 'Awards and honors' are unlocked.
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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.

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Percival Everett’s The Trees is a page-turner 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.
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