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The Trees

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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 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. In this bold, provocative book, Everett takes direct aim at racism and police violence, and does so in fast-paced style that ensures the reader can’t look away. 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 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. In this bold, provocative book, Everett takes direct aim at racism and police violence, and does so in fast-paced style that ensures the reader can’t look away. The Trees is an enormously powerful novel of lasting importance from an author with his finger on America’s pulse.

30 review for The Trees

  1. 5 out of 5

    lark benobi

    I'm a little speechless. I'm a little speechless.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Betsy Robinson

    Percival Everett writes books that absolutely need to be written, and although my introduction to him was his dramatic novel So Much Blue, I somehow intuited the inside zaniness married to a skydiver’s sense of adventure and a philosopher’s wisdom and fearless vision of truth because my head exploded on first contact: “This is it!” screamed my hair follicles. “This is who I’ve been looking for.” And I hadn’t even read I Am Not Sidney Poitier, Glyph, or the incredibly prescient God’s Country, all Percival Everett writes books that absolutely need to be written, and although my introduction to him was his dramatic novel So Much Blue, I somehow intuited the inside zaniness married to a skydiver’s sense of adventure and a philosopher’s wisdom and fearless vision of truth because my head exploded on first contact: “This is it!” screamed my hair follicles. “This is who I’ve been looking for.” And I hadn’t even read I Am Not Sidney Poitier, Glyph, or the incredibly prescient God’s Country, all of which made me scream with laughter and almost roll off my couch in joy and agony. Reading The Trees after reading a lot of Everett’s 30+ books allows you to secretly smack your lips, knowing some of the precursors to this new one. Almost immediately I thought I knew what was coming because I’d read American Desert, and the ending to one of my favorite Everett books, the aforementioned God’s Country, has echoes of this new book and almost seems to demand that it happen eventually. And now it’s here. To compare Everett’s work to anybody else’s is pointless. So instead, here’s a scene that conveys what I love here and in his earlier funny novels (no setup necessary): The Doctor Reverend Cad Fondle was sitting in his living room with his wife, Fancel. Fancel was a big woman, big enough that she hardly ever moved from her corduroy recliner, which was stuck in recline. There was a half a meat lover’s pizza and two beers on the foldout tray between her recliner and her husband’s. They were watching television, switching back and forth between Fox News and professional wrestling. “They’s right,” Fancel said. “That Obamacare don’t work worth a hill of puppy shit. We done bought in, causin’ we had to, and I ain’t lost nary a pound.” Fondle took long pull on his beer. “Well, the country’s done with that experiment. Smart-ass uppity sumbitch. You know he thinks he’s better’n us.” “That Hannity is cute,” Fancel said. “If I could get my hand anywhere near my vajayjay, I’d rub me one out just watchin’ him.” “You can’t reach it, so shut up.” “How did the cross burning go the other night?” Fancel asked. “It’s called a lightin’, a cross lightin’. It ain’t right to burn a symbol of our Lawd Jesus H. Christ. I would think you knowed that by now.” Fancel sighed. “What’s the H for?” “What?” “The H in Jesus H. Christ, what’s it for?” She picked up some pepperoni from a crease in her house dress. Fondle paused to regard her with his head cocked. “Why, it stands for, um, heaven, that’s right.” “Jesus Heaven Christ? That don’t make good sense.” “What would make sense to you?” Fondle asked. “I don’t know,” she said. “Herschel, maybe.” “Why?” “It’s a nice name and it’s a name. Heaven ain’t no name.” “It’s the name of a place, so it’s a name. In fact, the place is named after our Lord,” Fondle said, his eyes narrowed. “Why ain’t the place just called Jesus or Jesusburg?” “Shut up and eat.” (126-127) This is a hilarious and devastating book that in some sense has been 400+ years in the making, and finally, finally it is here, courtesy of Mr. Everett. In The Trees Percival Everett chooses to rotate all his comedy and tragedy cylinders at the same time. And he’s so good, using all or part of what he’s got can be a choice. And in 2021, he has chosen to give us everything he’s got. The United States needs this book. The world needs this book. * * * What Percival Everett has written about, an inevitable rising up and destruction by those who have suffered without justice, is and has been in the air for years. And writers pick these things up. I’ve written an as-yet unpublished novel which is my take. And recently I’ve read others: The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey, and nonfiction The Reckoning: Our Nation’s Trauma and Finding a Way to Heal by Mary Trump. And I’m sure there are many more books coming. The muses are screaming and the poets and writers are listening—following their “orders from headquarters” and sounding the alarm.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis

    Whoever you are, you need to set aside your thin skin for this one. The caustic satirical humor, poked at everyone but especially those of us from the south, is what makes bearable the grizzly painful slow-motion genocide that gives rise (pun intended - you'll get it after you read the book) to the arc of the story. On the serious side though, it is those trees, bearing their strange fruit born of noose or bullet but always of hatred, that make this story necessary. If that all sounds cryptic, i Whoever you are, you need to set aside your thin skin for this one. The caustic satirical humor, poked at everyone but especially those of us from the south, is what makes bearable the grizzly painful slow-motion genocide that gives rise (pun intended - you'll get it after you read the book) to the arc of the story. On the serious side though, it is those trees, bearing their strange fruit born of noose or bullet but always of hatred, that make this story necessary. If that all sounds cryptic, it's because this novel is impossible to describe in any sort of blurb. It is satire throughout. The story begins some time in 2020 as a whodunit, and the entirety is a sort of police procedural. Soon, though, there is a whiff of voodoo, spookiness, gothic mystery. Have I mentioned yet some history from various times in the 20th century? Next thing you know, there are zombie hordes, or zombie congregations, depending on your perspective. The whole thing is set in the tiny town of Money, Mississippi, (and its charming suburbs of Small Change and Black Bottom), where life was nothing if not concrete and predictable, and there are road trips to Chicago and Memphis, and there are vignettes in Duluth, Minnesota, and Huntington Beach and Corona, California, and Louisiana, and the White House. The cast of characters is unforgettable; every one pitch perfect. This writing is why Percival Everett continues to be my favorite living American author.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mocha Girl

    “Southern trees bear a strange fruit…” Eyebrows are raised, heads are scratched, and anxiety levels are elevated when two African American male cops from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and a female African American special agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrive in Money, MS to investigate a series of similar and violent murders of “prominent” white citizens alongside a corpse who eerily resembles Emmett Till. The investigation leads them to Chicago and beyond - eventually “Southern trees bear a strange fruit…” Eyebrows are raised, heads are scratched, and anxiety levels are elevated when two African American male cops from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and a female African American special agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrive in Money, MS to investigate a series of similar and violent murders of “prominent” white citizens alongside a corpse who eerily resembles Emmett Till. The investigation leads them to Chicago and beyond - eventually releasing repressed memories, revealing long-kept secrets, and freeing some from a lifetime of guilt and shame. The interconnection is eventually revealed with the help of a back-woods centurion who seems to have a penchant for record-keeping and “root-working.” At its core, this could be a call-out of America’s lack of accountability for the thousands murdered in the hands of lynch mobs and law enforcement officials. In this fictional world, there is some attempt at justice and retribution; albeit a bit otherworldly and Old Testament-ish (think “an eye-for-an-eye” type of vengeance). Recommended for those who enjoy satire; for those who appreciate “race-y” humor (much stems from popular, politically incorrect stereotypes) because while the homicides were brutal, there is an underlying comedic tone that surfaces in nearly every scene: the character’s names (just brilliant), their interactions and dialogue with each other, their observations - all of it combined simply showcases the author’s creativity and genius. I loved it - I chuckled to myself throughout (literally laughed out loud at some of the scenes) and yet I wept when reading the names listed and thinking of the thousands that weren’t. Well done!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Darryl Suite

    This was (surprisingly) hilarious… until it wasn’t. Only Percival Everett could’ve written this book. Bonkers, ruthless, necessary.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carole Bell

    Love, love, loved this book. It’s a wild ride despite the very serious subject matter of lynching. I reviewed it for NPR. Here’s the open: At a certain point, dark social satire bleeds into horror. That can be powerful, but it can also very easily miss its target. Percival Everett's new novel The Trees hits just the right mark. It's a racial allegory grounded in history, shrouded in mystery, and dripping with blood. An incendiary device you don't want to put down. https://www.npr.org/2021/09/22/10 Love, love, loved this book. It’s a wild ride despite the very serious subject matter of lynching. I reviewed it for NPR. Here’s the open: At a certain point, dark social satire bleeds into horror. That can be powerful, but it can also very easily miss its target. Percival Everett's new novel The Trees hits just the right mark. It's a racial allegory grounded in history, shrouded in mystery, and dripping with blood. An incendiary device you don't want to put down. https://www.npr.org/2021/09/22/103943...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    From the versatile Mr Everett, a satirical comic novel that calls attention to the slow-moving genocide that lynching represents in US history. A spare, informative read, horrifying and hilarious in turns. The prose is crisp, the chapters are short and the punch to the heart is powerful despite the high number of times I snort-laughed while reading.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Arnold

    Everybody talks about genocides around the world, but when the killing is slow and spread over a hundred years no one notices. Where there are no mass graves, no one notices. American outrage is always for show. It has a shelf life. If that Griffin book had been Lynched Like Me, America might have looked up from dinner or baseball or whatever they do now... What can we ask from our books? I want a book to: *teach me, make me think and help me understand more of the world and its ways of being, *sh Everybody talks about genocides around the world, but when the killing is slow and spread over a hundred years no one notices. Where there are no mass graves, no one notices. American outrage is always for show. It has a shelf life. If that Griffin book had been Lynched Like Me, America might have looked up from dinner or baseball or whatever they do now... What can we ask from our books? I want a book to: *teach me, make me think and help me understand more of the world and its ways of being, *show me how it and we got this way, how our history informs our current lives, *keep me entertained, with a story that’s engaging enough that I both don’t want to put it down and am tempted to stop so that I can make it last. *Bonus if it includes humor. *Extra bonus if, once I stop smirking, it slaps me upside the head. This book is extraordinary, and it is everything. So many layers, I’m now feeling the need to go back and reread to try to figure out how it was done, the interweaving of characters and story, slow build till the explosions near the end. And it’s fun, gosh it’s so fun to read…You can tell how much fun Everett must have had creating and mocking his characters and their interactions. (There were times I thought it went a leeeetle too far into slapstick, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment.) So yes, there’s the humor, but at the same time the book is filled with deep seated rage, and the juxtaposition gets under your skin. As it should. If you’re an American (and even if you’re not), especially if you’re a white American, you must read this, that’s really all I can say. Look up from dinner and pay attention to what’s happened, that’s what the book is saying. Look at what’s happening now.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    "Everybody talks about genocides around the world, but when the killing is slow and spread over a hundred years, no one notices. Where there are no mass graves, no one notices. American outrage is always for show. It has a shelf life." "Everybody talks about genocides around the world, but when the killing is slow and spread over a hundred years, no one notices. Where there are no mass graves, no one notices. American outrage is always for show. It has a shelf life."

  10. 4 out of 5

    Andre

    Percival Everett is simply genius. He is eclectic in his subject matter and no matter what direction he chooses he always delivers greatness, time after time. Remarkable how he can be so amazing and consistently so, I repeat, GENIUS! In this one, we have a few murders in Money, MS. That should already give you a clue. Because of what is found at these scenes of murder, some conclude that the ghost of Emmett Till has returned to exact revenge. Ahhh, not so fast. Percival takes this story beyond t Percival Everett is simply genius. He is eclectic in his subject matter and no matter what direction he chooses he always delivers greatness, time after time. Remarkable how he can be so amazing and consistently so, I repeat, GENIUS! In this one, we have a few murders in Money, MS. That should already give you a clue. Because of what is found at these scenes of murder, some conclude that the ghost of Emmett Till has returned to exact revenge. Ahhh, not so fast. Percival takes this story beyond the obvious and does so with humor and dialogue that softens the pain of what one may feel about the horrific murder of Emmett Till. The thought of this being a revenge story, in some ways brings about a macabre cheerfulness, but again, be careful and read through to the end. A must read for sure!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Oakes

    I will be back to post my thoughts about this novel shortly. For now: a kind of slapsticky, often funny but great satire that flips the white narrative about race in the US completely on its head; one that brings the dead back to life to mete out punishment or justice where there was none before. It all begins in Trump-era Money, Mississippi, which should give anyone knowledgeable about civil rights history their first clue: it was the town where in 1955, fourteen year-old Emmett Till was falsely I will be back to post my thoughts about this novel shortly. For now: a kind of slapsticky, often funny but great satire that flips the white narrative about race in the US completely on its head; one that brings the dead back to life to mete out punishment or justice where there was none before. It all begins in Trump-era Money, Mississippi, which should give anyone knowledgeable about civil rights history their first clue: it was the town where in 1955, fourteen year-old Emmett Till was falsely accused of flirting with the wife of storeowner Roy Bryant, and as a result, was brutally murdered. As one of the dead Black characters in this novel notes, "I'm gonna die now, for a while. But I'll be back. We'll all be back." And indeed they will. more soon, but really, as silly as it gets here and there, and as mashed-up as the genres become here, it's a novel everyone should read -- it may be funny, but this author is dead serious.

  12. 5 out of 5

    jeremy

    percival everett's twenty-second novel, the trees is a brutal, often hilarious satire and reckoning with america's racist past and present. as the bodies of viciously murdered white bigots begin to appear around mississippi (and eventually elsewhere), a pair of witty detectives investigate the cases and begin to find something much stranger going on. everett's lively characters, his riotous use of vernacular, and his well-plotted, cinematic confrontation with lynching and centuries' worth of rac percival everett's twenty-second novel, the trees is a brutal, often hilarious satire and reckoning with america's racist past and present. as the bodies of viciously murdered white bigots begin to appear around mississippi (and eventually elsewhere), a pair of witty detectives investigate the cases and begin to find something much stranger going on. everett's lively characters, his riotous use of vernacular, and his well-plotted, cinematic confrontation with lynching and centuries' worth of racial violence and injustice make the trees a darkly amusing read, as often urgent as it is uproarious. "i was a creative writing major at auburn. poetry. i always wanted to be a beat poet. wrong generation. now i stick dead people in drawers. i suppose it's the same thing once you get down to it."

  13. 5 out of 5

    Fraser Simons

    Two members of the MBI—the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation—are called to a very unusual crime scene down in Money, MS. A man has been strangled with barbed wire, with greater force than a single person could muster, and counterpart to him, lays a dead black man. Both looks like they’ve gone through a heavy altercation and the black man is holding the testicles of the white man. Then, as the examiner goes to do an autopsy, the black man appears to have vanished. Things only get stranger from Two members of the MBI—the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation—are called to a very unusual crime scene down in Money, MS. A man has been strangled with barbed wire, with greater force than a single person could muster, and counterpart to him, lays a dead black man. Both looks like they’ve gone through a heavy altercation and the black man is holding the testicles of the white man. Then, as the examiner goes to do an autopsy, the black man appears to have vanished. Things only get stranger from here. This is one sneaky book. It moves from a fairly straight forward contemporary crime novel leaning into realism, but shifts gears as it goes. What you ought to know going in: This is not typical genre fiction. It’s no police procedural nor is it buddy cop, though the dialogue does sway that way from time to time. Best way I can explain so the reader doesn’t feel robbed of expectations is probably surrealistic crime with both dark humour and a heavy political overtones. It’s frenetically paced and the dialogue in particular is outstanding. Racism is The subject of this book and it tackles it on many fronts and, in my opinion, to great effect. The surrealism is dialled up slowly. But what this book is About starts with a bang and doesn’t let up. The detectives are more than acclimated to dealing with the outright racist citizenry down in these parts and they get a big dose of it from everyone, all the time. The N-word is liberally applied. Quickly, it becomes apparent that Everett is critiquing white supremacy directly in the portrayal of white folk here. They have no qualms and wouldn’t know what was morale if it struck them in the head. They’re incompetent, unrepentant, and hate is hereditary. In short, they exemplify what we’ve come to know about Nazis. Counter to the popular belief that they were exceptional and ran on Swiss time and were exceptional tacticians, and this is the case with all white supremacist organizations, yes, even the organized ones—there is generally an tremendous amount of incompetence in the rank and file, with few exceptions. When ideas and beliefs held by these organizations are interrogated, they fall apart. Hell, they invent pseudo science and misinformation to make themselves feel creditable, but it’s unsubstantiated hogwash. And Everett is having none of it from these people. As more and more deaths occur, the surrealism goes up, and we begin to get the larger picture of these events. A 105 year old black woman has been documenting every lynching that’s been happening. Bodies are disappearing. The victims seem to have ties to past hate crimes—not against black people, but seemingly every marginalized identity. It examines, by literalizing, the ingrained fear white people have about minorities, but also satirizes the supposed response of such a threat the alt-right presupposes will happen all of the time as a fear mongering tactic. If “race wars” did break out, what would that actually look like? What would spark such a thing? By exposing and putting such fears under a stark light, they become both ugly and laughable at the same time. A tight rope dance the novel pulls off brilliantly, while also having an even more overt political statement waiting in the wings, and the surrealism reaches a fever pitch. Absolutely fantastic bit of writing. Only downside I had was expecting a straight forward gritty crime novel. What I got instead was well worth the zig-zag, though. As you can tell.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    It didn’t feel right to laugh so much reading a social satire about lynchings. But this novel is hysterical. I think it needed to be so that the content wasn’t too heavy. The plot got too surreal in the end but the stereotypes were perfect descriptions. As light as it was on the surface, it is a heavy theme as the country must confront institutional racism and societal guilt. Pages of names of people that have been lynched was powerful.

  15. 5 out of 5

    anna

    I don’t usually like satire, but I love this. It is so emphatically, aggressively satire - maybe this is what I like. It’s creepy and odd and difficult - while also making a realistic point about lynchings and our country’s unfinished reckoning with racism.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

    One of my top reads for 2021! thoughts coming shortly

  17. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    Instead of a book review, this is more of a statement or plea to the public. If you pick up any Percival Everett book at any time of your life, please read this one. If you start elsewhere, the power in message and sheerness of wit will not be matched. With that said, read the rest of his catalogue too. Thank you.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    Easily the best book of 2021. Just an incredible mix of funny, bloody and profound ….sometimes in the same paragraph. I am stunned by the beauty and craftsmanship of this book, so good I feel like I’m insulting the English language in comparison to the artistry of every single sentence in the book. A wonderful cousin to My Heart is a Chainsaw in using the bloodiest and most American of genres to tell a story about justice.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mitch Loflin

    This was my first time reading Percival Everett and now I have to read all 300 of his books (which seem unbelievably varied). This book is so dark and haunting, occasionally bleakly funny, genuinely shocking and strange and graphic, and it left me in total awe at its cleverness as a piece of literature - while still managing to be really juicy entertainment. Easily one of my favorite books I've read this year. This was my first time reading Percival Everett and now I have to read all 300 of his books (which seem unbelievably varied). This book is so dark and haunting, occasionally bleakly funny, genuinely shocking and strange and graphic, and it left me in total awe at its cleverness as a piece of literature - while still managing to be really juicy entertainment. Easily one of my favorite books I've read this year.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nadine

    A comic horror show that's serious as a heart attack. It's screaming to be a Jordan Peel film. A comic horror show that's serious as a heart attack. It's screaming to be a Jordan Peel film.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Todd Hiestand

    This book will be with me for quite a while. Percival Everett is fast becoming my favorite living author.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marty Singer

    surreal justice Emmet Till avenged by the walking dead in a dystopian world of our own creation. Could not put it down. Just finished at 3:00 am. Was sorry I finished.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tristan

    Percival Everett's "The Trees" is a hard book to describe. I'm sure many will describe it as "satire" or "funny." It has been my experience that books that are described as "satire" or "funny" in the literature realm are often just plain terrible. I'm sure that "The Trees" will be described as satire and funny. In the case of the "The Trees" it is actually good, while accurately bearing the labels of "satire" and "funny." "The Trees" somehow manages to be a fun mystery thriller, while also sendi Percival Everett's "The Trees" is a hard book to describe. I'm sure many will describe it as "satire" or "funny." It has been my experience that books that are described as "satire" or "funny" in the literature realm are often just plain terrible. I'm sure that "The Trees" will be described as satire and funny. In the case of the "The Trees" it is actually good, while accurately bearing the labels of "satire" and "funny." "The Trees" somehow manages to be a fun mystery thriller, while also sending a message about the history of lynching and racism in general in the United States. Part of what makes it work is that the message sent is not subtle. Most of the white characters in the book are caricatures of racist white folks. This was clearly done intentionally and serves a clear purpose to the story. Everett isn't trying to trick you into reading a book that also happens to take a stance. He's also not pussy footing around the notion that racism in the United State has been and continues to be a huge problem. The fact that there was almost no justice for any of the lynching victims in the United States is a black eye in our history. Big thanks to Graywolf Press for an advanced copy of "The Trees."

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gregory Duke

    3.5 This was a five-star read for the first half, but it kind of falls apart for me. Everett has a couple continuity errors (in one chapter, a character tells another that their father was lynched in 1913, but then, two chapters later, they repeat themselves, as if it was never said), and the ending leaves me narratively unsatisfied. I totally understand the thematic heft of it though, so it's a personal preference issue rather than a complete flop on Everett's part. This book is just so smart in 3.5 This was a five-star read for the first half, but it kind of falls apart for me. Everett has a couple continuity errors (in one chapter, a character tells another that their father was lynched in 1913, but then, two chapters later, they repeat themselves, as if it was never said), and the ending leaves me narratively unsatisfied. I totally understand the thematic heft of it though, so it's a personal preference issue rather than a complete flop on Everett's part. This book is just so smart in its handling of America's white supremacist past and present, and crafts it into a blistering paced crime procedural with some supernatural inclinations (which is what makes it narratively unsatisfying to me. It just feels like a cop out; it's too easy). The novel is funny, gravely depressing in its currentness, and a really entertaining read. It's Everett without his postmodern flourishes (excluding appropriated genre conventions for his reformed pastiche, I guess). P.S. My final criticism: Trump-is-stupid jokes, no matter how bitingly satirical, are low-hanging fruit at this point. His inclusion in this narrative felt out of place to me, even if I do agree with the politics of it all.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Angus McKeogh

    Starts out as a confounding murder mystery and just gets weirder and weirder. Immersive in tone, style, dialect, and content. And you’ll have to brush up on your history of the United States if you’re wanting to fully understand it. An indictment of the country’s racist past related to lynching with a load of magical realism tossed in and still a great story on top of that.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    This was fantastic, funny, fast-paced and wonderful. Despite the reams of book reviews I read, not one mentioned this sleeper noir about two Black cops investigating mysterious murders involving a dead Black man, barbed wire and balls. This got just a little silly, but overall this was a masterpiece of American literature, a comic tragic exposition on lynching and the deeply racist state of ol’ Mississippi. Hot damn!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alison Hardtmann

    This novel begins with an apparent double murder in Money, Mississippi. Then one of the bodies disappears from the morgue. When another man is found murdered, and the missing corpse is with the body, things get weird. And then two special detectives for the MBI (Mississippi Bureau of Investigation) show up to solve the crime and find the (again) missing corpse. This is a novel that defies easy description. It's a novel about lynching that is also really funny? A humorous novel about racism? Whate This novel begins with an apparent double murder in Money, Mississippi. Then one of the bodies disappears from the morgue. When another man is found murdered, and the missing corpse is with the body, things get weird. And then two special detectives for the MBI (Mississippi Bureau of Investigation) show up to solve the crime and find the (again) missing corpse. This is a novel that defies easy description. It's a novel about lynching that is also really funny? A humorous novel about racism? Whatever it is, it's best book I've read this year.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    4.5 A corpse of a Black man that keeps disappearing from the murder scenes of white men sets the stage for this outrageous novel about white supremacy and its horrible past ( and future). Clever, hysterically funny in some spots and tear-worthy in others. Highly recommended.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alan Good

    The Trees is one of the best books I've read in forever. It's the first Percival Everett book I've read and I can't wait to dig into his previous titles now. This is a nearly perfect novel. The Trees is one of the best books I've read in forever. It's the first Percival Everett book I've read and I can't wait to dig into his previous titles now. This is a nearly perfect novel.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bill Silva

    A mostly successful combination of over-the-top satire and deadly serious historical/social commentary…and especially relevant and timely given the current debate about what should and shouldn’t be taught, read, and confronted about race in American history and today.

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