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)
Sericulturalist and horticulturalist, mad scientist and earth oven baker.
Very bad edting made this a jarring read. Bits were cut off and the narraor read so fast I had to slow the replay to be able to tolerate lisening. The author does not know her botanical subject matter, and this part of the book is rife with error. There is also a marked underone of lack of respect for some of her subjects that in the end does her discredit, not the other way around. I don't think she cared about this book or the people she used , it was just a job, it could have been so much more.
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".
That whiney, cutesy voice just isn’t right for telling this interesting tale. Who chooses the narrator, anyway? Doesn’t the author have any say? Especially when it’s a first-person narrative?
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.
Very boring; no real story, just bits here and there, kinda like reading a dictionary. It pushes you away. However, the movie Adaptation is great, and believe it or not, all of any story in the book is fitted into the movie.
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