Sea of Trees

Sea of Trees

by Robert James Russell

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Overview

Sea of Trees by Robert James Russell

Swirling mystery permeates Sea of Trees as Bill, an American college student, and his Japanese girlfriend Junko traverse the Aokigahara Forest in Japan-infamous as one of the world's top suicide destinations-in search of evidence of Junko's sister Izumi who disappeared there a year previous. As the two follow clues and journey deeper into the woods amid the eerily quiet and hauntingly beautiful landscape-bypassing tokens and remains of the departed, suicide notes tacked to trees and shrines put up by forlorn loved ones-they'll depend on one another in ways they never had to before, testing the very fabric of their relationship. And, as daylight quickly escapes them and they find themselves lost in the dark veil of night, Bill discovers a truth Junko has hidden deep within her-a truth that will change them both forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780985154851
Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing
Publication date: 05/04/2012
Pages: 106
Sales rank: 193,718
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.40(d)

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Sea of Trees 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sea of Trees is an exciting quick-paced read that exemplifies story telling at its finest. It's not an extremely long book, but the short time that you spend reading will leave you wanting more. Sea of Trees reads extremely fast and the character development is amazing. A few pages in and you feel a connection with each of the characters. Robert James Russell makes you feel as if you've known Bill and Junko for years both as separate characters and together as a couple. Mr. Russell uses words that convey every detail he intends with a subtly that will leave the reader full informed without being bogged down. The vignettes in between the chapters are addicting. Not only are they crucial to the story by expanding the reader's knowledge of the culture, but they give you a tiny break from the main characters which just causes excitement to see what will happen next. That said Mr. Russell does an excellent job of making these mini stories extremely interesting in their own right. Overall, I give Sea of Trees five stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enticing structure, interesting and a quick read. The book is well written, disturbing and enthralling. I really enjoyed this work, and am looking forward to more from the author.
LMStull More than 1 year ago
Deep inside each of us lives a darkness. A darkness that not even those closest to us can understand, and often, are unaware that it even exists. In Russell's debut, he does what he does best - thrusts his readers into the stream of consciousness of not just any character's mind, but a mind all of us can relate to. An everyday kind of mind. SEA OF TREES follows Bill, an American college student, who accompanies his girlfriend, Junko, on a journey to come to peace with the disappearance of her dear sister. They traverse Japan's Aokigahara Forest. A forest whose history is also filled with much darkness. With each step they take, Bill finds they are not only further inside this strangely beautiful and tragic forest, but that he is further and further away from answers about... everything. Confusion and fear and stress builds between Bill and his beloved girlfriend, and he struggles to understand not only the truth behind this trip, but also what plagues his Junko. What her inner thoughts are. Because he sees that with each passing moment, Junko seemingly becomes more and more detached from him. And from life. Hold on tight, readers, because the road to answers and the truth is a bumpy one. Russell's writing is raw, real, and stunningly palpable. A book that will grip your soul, SEA OF TREES, will envelope you and hold you until the very end. This book. It is nothing short of a masterpiece. And will surely place Russell on bookshelves across the world for readers to enjoy. Forever. Robert James Russell, you have a fan for life in me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sad disturbing -- really makes you think about why people do what they do and the many secrets our lives hold.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read it on my flight to Maui. It capitavted me the whole time. I like his writing style because it got me involved with the characters. I got emotional a few times. I won't say any details because I don't want to spoil it. I do recommend it if you like suspense and horror. Maybe it is short but it is really good.
LeeLKrecklow More than 1 year ago
A nicely written work, this novella can be read in a number of ways: as a short novel about a young and lost (not just physically) couple; as a series of themed shorts bridged together by the larger narrative; as a story about wilderness and its draw, its influence, its ability to confuse us and redeem us and end us. It's the latter that worked so well for me, seeing the forest as the main (and most interesting) character, something and lives and breaths, with the human visitors acting as supporting cast for its story, not the other way around. This is a strong debut work, and I look forward to more.
JoeVampire More than 1 year ago
This haunting debut novella from author Robert James Russell puts the author's nimble skill of crafting fine, personal details on prominent display. A pair of lovers in search of the site of a beloved sister's suicide work their way through Japan's Aokigahara - known as the "suicide forest" - only to find more mystery. Answers are revealed in the smallest of moments as the two quest further into the wooded maze, losing light and direction yet gaining tension with every step. Their narrative is punctuated by exterior passages that read like obituary biographies, stories of the other visitors who've made pilgrimages to the forest for the purpose of ending their own lives. The back-and-forth is expertly composed, and Russell leads his reader down a path of sorrows one breath-holding step at a time. It's a huge testament to his talent that his finely-spun threads ultimately pull together into a tautly-woven tale with a gut-punch of a climax. Highly recommended for lovers of beautifully-written literary fiction...which should include everyone who loves to read. Well done, Mr. Russell. Looking forward to reading more of your work.
JeffPfaller More than 1 year ago
Sea of Trees, Robert James Russell’s inaugural novella from Winter Goose Publishing needles at one of the darkest moments in the human experience – when a person decides to commit suicide. But the prose refuses to be bogged down by the weight of the subject matter, instead forging relentlessly through an ever-darkening forest with the promise of thinning on the other side. Sea of Trees by Robert James Russell. The novella covers one main story arc, that of Bill and Junko as they walk in the footsteps of Izumi, Junko’s troubled sister, who came before. Interspersed within are self-contained vignettes that focus on a different suicide in the Aokigahara Forest in Japan, one of the world’s most notorious suicide locations and the backdrop of the main arc. Each vignette pushes you deeper into the darkness of Aokigahara, until you look around and realize there is no way back. Bill, playing the role of the naïve narrator, serves as a fine point of view as Russell leads us through what is truly Junko’s journey. He’s American, fails to fully grasp the Japanese culture and sees their trek through the forest as something he can return from unchanged. The fact that his focus is mostly on Junko’s physical beauty and the potential for a liaison underscores how oblivious he is to the dark path she is leading him down. The intertwining of the narratives, the naiveté of the narrator and the increasingly frantic Junko all spiral towards an inevitable conclusion, like a tightly controlled whirlpool from which there is no escape. Bottom line – read this book, however you can get your hands on it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BShoe More than 1 year ago
Sea of Trees pulls the reader in on a deceptively slow current of secrets, sorrows and suicide - by the time you see the edge of the waterfall, you're already headed over it and deep into Aokigahara with Bill and Junko. The lush language, deft characterization and fascinating plot will keep you flipping pages until the very last page. Bill and Junko's story is punctuated by vignettes, the last years or days or moments of other people who found their demise in the woods, and these brief pauses in the main plot highlight the depths to which people can sink. Russell has created a novella that will hit you like a tidal wave, and leave you wanting more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“Sea of Trees” is a great read! Lot’s of intensity in an interesting subject. Robert was able to weave a story of despair into a well written tale. I really enjoyed the individual stories within the story that served to enhance the whole reading experience. I am a fan and look forward to his next work. J.M. DeVries