Kindle Price: $11.99

Save $3.96 (25%)

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

The People in the Trees: A Novel by [Yanagihara, Hanya]
Kindle App Ad

The People in the Trees: A Novel Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 227 customer reviews

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"

Length: 385 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

Kindle Daily Deals
Kindle Delivers: Daily Deals
Subscribe to find out about each day's Kindle Daily Deals for adults and young readers. Learn more (U.S. customers only)
click to open popover

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Driven by Yanagihara's gorgeously complete imaginary ethnography on the one hand and, on the other, by her brilliantly detestable narrator, this debut novel is compelling on every level—morally, aesthetically, and narratively. Yanagihara balances pulpy adventure tale excitement with serious consideration in unraveling her fantastical premise: a scientist, Norton Perina, discovers an island whose inhabitants may somehow have achieved immortality. Perina sets out on an anthropological mission that became more significant than he could have imagined. His tale raises interesting, if somewhat obvious, ethical questions; what can be justified in the name of science? How far does cultural relativism go? Is immortality really desirable? The book doesn't end with his astounding discovery, though. It continues with seeming banality to recount the predictable progression of academic honors that followed it and the swift and destructive attempt to commercialize Perina's findings. The story of Perina as a man emerges with less show but just as much gruesome fascination as that of his discovery and its results. Evidence of his character worms its way through the book in petulant asides and elided virulence, at first seeming incidental to the plot and then reflecting its moral themes on a small scale. Without making him a simple villain, Yanagihara shows how Perina's extraordinary circumstances allow his smothered weaknesses to blossom horribly. In the end, he reveals the full extent of his loathsomeness explicitly, unashamedly, convinced of his immutable moral right. (Aug. 13)

From Booklist

Debut novelist Yanagihara tackles some ambitious and deeply vexing scientific and personal conundrums. By way of protagonist Dr. Norton Perina’s memoir, the story unfolds of a “lost tribe” of Micronesian natives who have discovered the secret of immortality. At first anthropologist Paul Tallent and associate Esme Duff invite Perina along on what they describe as an investigation into a myth, but their real hope is to confirm the tribe’s existence. After many pages of overlong, obtuse, parenthetical sentences describing the island’s dense jungle, readers will be relieved when the team finally happens upon the fabled tribe. Despite the language barrier, Tallent convinces the leaders that the team means them no harm; they only want to learn about tribal customs. While the anthropologists take notes, Perina snoops around until he discovers the tribe’s secret to immortality and, in time, exploits and abuses it for his own despicable purposes. Perina is a delightfully black-hearted protagonist trapped inside Yanagihara’s unfortunately inelegant prose. --Donna Chavez

Product Details

  • File Size: 4426 KB
  • Print Length: 385 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (August 13, 2013)
  • Publication Date: August 13, 2013
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,176 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Case TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
...I vanished. There were times when I'm sure a bomb could have gone off and it would not have broken the spell. I wasn't in my world; I was away, in that other reality.

Hanya Yanagihara's "People of the Trees" is a brilliant, cerebral, lavish, and psychologically-nuanced tale that transports readers on an mind-boggling adventure to the Forbidden Island of Ivu'ivu--a virtually unknown Micronesian island, 1000 miles east of Tahiti--a mysterious, damp, dark, jungle world where some members of a small lost tribe can live to well over 300 years old.

The book is written as the fictional memoir of Dr. A. Norton Perina. In 1950, as a young graduate of Harvard Medical School, he accepts a job as part of a scientific expedition to explore Uvu'ivu and study its lost tribe. Perina returns to the U. S. with a four of their oldest natives, called "The Dreamers," and a small sample of rare local turtle meat--the mysterious substance that the doctor assumes is the key to this tribe's incredible longevity. He spends years conducting extensive human and animal laboratory research and publishing his findings. Eventually, his research leads to a Noble Prize; it also leads to the demise of the Uvu'ivuan culture, the extinction of the Opa'ivu'eke turtle, and the near total destruction of the entire island habitat.

From the very first pages, we discover that Dr. Perina is an antihero. He's a convicted pedophile, a man imprisoned at age 71 for sexually abusing one of his many adopted Uvu'ivuan children. Naturally, he says he's innocent...but very early on we learn how easy it is to detest this man. He's one of those dangerous men who combine unrestrained scientific curiosity with an almost total lack of empathy.
Read more ›
9 Comments 64 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I feel duped. I mean, I have a degree in literature, I should be able to identify an unreliable narrator from miles away, right? But the way Yanaghira began The People in the Trees, with those press releases... I mean, it was like I was predestined to take the side of Norton Perina. And you will know what I mean when you begin the book and also deal with the same, overwhelming evidence that is presented.

So The People in the Trees is a multi-layered novel. One layer is beautiful, beautiful scientific detailing of a tribe culture, complete with origin story and mythology. And the best part? It's backed up by some science. There's mystery and intrigue, pain and anguish, heartbreak and strange customs, it's all contained in the first person narrative of Norton Perina, the doctor-turned-anthropologist who is introduced to the "lost" culture along with two other scientists. One of my favorite moments in this book is when Norton describes the "lost" culture (quoted from ARC - may be subject to changes):

"And if one looks at that population, one sees that most of those "lost" tribes are actually lost only to the white man: just because civilized society stumbles upon a group of Amazonian people does not mean that those people are unknown to dozens of other, better-documented, neighboring tribes."

Talk about an ego-check. The post-colonial researcher in me ached to read more about this tribe (and, thankfully I can read and research something similar as this is based on a true story).

The other thing I really liked about this book was that it was a fictional book that read like a memoir, complete with editors footnotes. Normally, footnotes annoy the bejeebus out of me but not this time.
Read more ›
4 Comments 97 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The story begins slowly with Norton Perina's graduation from medical school and his subsequent decision to accompany an anthropologist to Ivu'Ivu', a Micronesian world of jungle inhabited by a clearly defined, believable culture of hunter and gatherers. The exquisite writing paints a picture of a native village unsullied by the developed world until the expedition's arrival and Perina's discovery: some of the villagers have been banished because they have eaten the flesh of the opa'ivu'eke, a sacred turtle, enabling them to live 3 to 4 times longer than normal. Once these villagers begin displaying signs of dementia, they are taken far out into the jungle and left to fend for themselves.
Perina takes some of these "dreamers" back to the states along with some of the flesh of the turtle and substantiates his findings through them and a controlled study of mice. When he publishes his findings, pharmaceutical companies rush to the island and destroy it and the native culture. Norton gets a Nobel and the natives get the shaft. Perina returns several times over the years "ostensibly" to conduct more studies and with each visit brings back diseased, starving, unwanted children. He cures their diseases, provides for their physical needs, and enables them to adapt to American culture, but Perina's ministrations come with a price, a sexual price. The crux of the story revolves around whether his accomplishments outweigh his unspeakable crimes.
The People in the Trees explores many moral and ethical questions and since Norton narrates the story, we discover than he lacks any self-awareness because he deems himself to be a great man. He, like many of those with great power, is able to see his greatness but can't see the heinous evil that taints his soul.
Read more ›
Comment 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The People in the Trees: A Novel
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The People in the Trees: A Novel