New Yorker writer Susan Orlean followed Laroche through swamps and into the eccentric world of Florida's orchid collectors, a subculture of aristocrats, fanatics, and smugglers whose obsession with plants is all-consuming. Along the way, Orlean learned the history of orchid collecting, discovered an odd pattern of plant crimes in Florida, and spent time with Laroche's partners, a tribe of Seminole Indians who are still at war with the United States.
There is something fascinating or funny or truly bizarre on every page of The Orchid Thief: the story of how the head of a famous Seminole chief came to be displayed in the front window of a local pharmacy; or how 700 iguanas were smuggled into Florida; or the case of the only known extraterrestrial plant crime. Ultimately, however, Susan Orlean's book is about passion itself, and the amazing lengths to which people will go to gratify it. That passion is captured with singular vision in The Orchid Thief, a once-in-a-lifetime story by a truly original journalist.
Executive Producer: Laura Wilson
Producer: Paul Ruben
Jacket design: Robbin Schiff
Jacket photograph: Lisa Charles Watson
©1998 Susan Orlean
(P)2001 Random House, Inc.
"Stylishly written, whimsical yet sophisticated, quirkily detached...It shows Orlean's gifts in full bloom." (New York Times Book Review)
Book was long and repetitive. Interesting historical facts about the state of Florida.
I had no idea there was such a tremendous infatuation with Orchids, but it is not one I share.
There are books that make me think that maybe I can write a book and it sell some copies. This is one of those. While it had some interesting factoids included, the rest fell very flat and the ending seemed as if she just gave up. This book was preceded by Bill Brysons "1927" so maybe that had something to do with my disappointment.
After watching, "Adaptation" I wanted to read the book that was so hard to turn into a screenplay. I now know why. This was a really well researched, historically interesting book which I found well put together and funny at times. Maybe what was ultimately lacking, and that which the author freely admits to, is that she chose to write a book about being passionate about something having never really felt that way herself. And it is apparent in her writing. All the ingredients were there for an awesome book, but it just sort of fell flat. Even with all of the interesting people she met and wrote about. I'm not sad I listened to it (and I thought the narrator was spot on) but overall it was mediocre.
This story is actually a true story about a person who was being prosecuted in Florida for stealing orchids from a state protected zone. But it is much more than that. The author has done her research. She tells a lot about the state, orchids in general and the love and passion that people have had for orchids throughout history. I recommend the book for people who love orchids and who would like to know a lot more about them and their history.
I don't really know any other book that is comparative to this one.
The author narrates the book about her research into the person who was arrested and the circumstances and she does a great job. I liked the author.
No, it made me very interested as it is a subject that I have a lot of interest in.
It is actually very humorous though she definitely fills you in on a lot of detail about the subject the author makes it very enjoyable.
Say something about yourself!
carl haissen like mystery in florida. funny and interesteing. well worth it. word count time again
I am a big fan of the movie 'Adaptation' and always wanted to read the book it was based on. While the book is indeed
Fascinating look at the orchid, from it's origin, reproduction, evolution .... the collectors, the dealers and the "thief" - John Laroche. The details are at times overwhelming but overall it was a great "listen".
Retired systems analyst; Lover of music, art, travel, technology, birds, Caribbean, scuba; Favorite audiobook genres: mystery, biography, travel, humor, fiction
I enjoyed this story but found the narrator tried too hard and read too fast giveing the listener the feeling of being pushed to listen. Also the editor of Format 4 cut words off when putting the chapters together (about 10 times in the first 48 minutes)..this is extremely annoying! Not a progessional production.
The reader's jaunty, affected delivery would be far more appropriate for a comic novel than a work of non-fiction. She is aided greatly by the quality of the text itself.
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