Book Review: The Wild Trees

“A long time ago, I set out to do something. Now it looks like I’ve reached the goal. It’s like if I die tomorrow, everything will be alright.” He fell silent for a moment. “I think I’ve found out the secret of making a dream come true.”

“What’s that?”

“Just don’t stop. Don’t stop. Don’t ever stop. If someone tells you something is impossible, do that thing first. Prove that it is possible, and keep going.”

~ from The Wild Trees, by Richard Preston

Here’s the thing: This book is about climbing Redwood trees.

And also, some other trees.

And about the climbers. Their backgrounds. How they got into climbing. Who they dated and married and divorced. Who they married IN the trees. Also, other stuff they did in the trees.

How to climb.

How NOT to climb.

It’s triumphant and tragic. Scientific and adventurous. Educational and inspirational.

You get the picture. So — while all of it wasn’t for me, most of it was, and there’s probably something in there for you.

And everyone you know.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Wild Trees

  1. That’s a great quote. Of course society would collapse if everyone singlemindedly followed their own dreams, but fortunately only a few are brave enough to attempt it!!
    And life is so blinking short anyway.
    “If someone says something is impossible, do that first…” I like it!!


    • Thank you Gavin — and I think you are onto something about “singlemindedly following” that explains the collapse of society, but I think the distinction is between following dreams vs following selfish desires. I think of Stephen Mather, who selflessly followed his dream, and his dream involved our National Parks, something that builds society up.


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