The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession

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The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession

by Susan Orlean

HighBridge Company | September 18, 2009 | Audio Book (CD)

The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession is rated 3 out of 5 by 2.
The Orchid Thief is the true story of John Laroche, an obsessed Florida plant dealer willing to go to any lengths to steal rare and protected wild orchids and clone them, all for a tidy profit. But the morality of Laroche''s actions do not drive the narrative of Orlean''s strange, compelling, and hilarious book. She is much more interested in the spectacle this unusual man creates through his actions, including one of the oddest legal controversies in recent memory, which brought together environmentalists, Native American activists, and devoted orchid collectors. She follows Laroche deep into Florida''s swamps, tapping into not only the psyche of the deeply opinionated Laroche but also the wider subculture of orchid collectors, including aristocrats, fanatics, and smugglers whose obsession with plants is all-consuming. Orlean portrays the weirdness of it all in wonderful detail, but, ultimately, the book is primarily about passion itself and the amazing lengths to which people will go to gratify it.

Format: Audio Book (CD)

Dimensions: 1 pages, 5.7 × 4.9 × 1.02 in

Published: September 18, 2009

Publisher: HighBridge Company

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1565116909

ISBN - 13: 9781565116900

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointing I dont know how this became a best seller - seriously. I did not read "non-fiction" on the cover when i picked it up so at first i thought it was a mystery novel about a thief (orchid or otherwise - you know like a cat burgler doesnt really steal cats!!). I expected a mystery novel. But i have been surprised in the past by my errors in judgement so i gave it a try. The story is 90% about the history of orchids (who covets them, current selling practices, conventions, mutations to etc) and 10% about the thief himself (who is about as lame and tired as any thief i have ever heard of!). This struck me as a book for only a hard core flower enthusiast. Boring.
Date published: 2014-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Orchids What an unusual subject; who would have guessed orchids could be such a passion, and the obsession they have become. It's a great book, well researched, and keeps you interested right to the end. I bought another orchid.
Date published: 2013-10-24

– More About This Product –

The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession

by Susan Orlean

Format: Audio Book (CD)

Dimensions: 1 pages, 5.7 × 4.9 × 1.02 in

Published: September 18, 2009

Publisher: HighBridge Company

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1565116909

ISBN - 13: 9781565116900

From the Publisher

The Orchid Thief is the true story of John Laroche, an obsessed Florida plant dealer willing to go to any lengths to steal rare and protected wild orchids and clone them, all for a tidy profit. But the morality of Laroche''s actions do not drive the narrative of Orlean''s strange, compelling, and hilarious book. She is much more interested in the spectacle this unusual man creates through his actions, including one of the oddest legal controversies in recent memory, which brought together environmentalists, Native American activists, and devoted orchid collectors. She follows Laroche deep into Florida''s swamps, tapping into not only the psyche of the deeply opinionated Laroche but also the wider subculture of orchid collectors, including aristocrats, fanatics, and smugglers whose obsession with plants is all-consuming. Orlean portrays the weirdness of it all in wonderful detail, but, ultimately, the book is primarily about passion itself and the amazing lengths to which people will go to gratify it.

About the Author

SUSAN ORLEAN, a staff writer at The New Yorker, is the author of four books, including The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup: My Encounters with Extraordinary People.

Anna Fields is a published author and a narrator of children''s books and young adult books. Some of the published credits of Anna Fields include The Doctor''s Daughter, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Editorial Reviews

For listeners seeking to learn something new, Orlean offers a whimsical look at the sexy, mysterious world of orchids. Perfect for anyone who wants to know a little bit about a lot of things, this quirky, quintessential New Yorker story pulls back the curtain on a community of people who are driven by a passion to collect and cultivate some very exotic plants. New York journalist Orlean first learned about orchid "thief" John Laroche by reading a story about him in a local Florida newspaper. He (along with his henchmen, three Seminole Indians) had been taken to court for removing an endangered species of orchid from the state''s Fakahatchee Swamp. Orlean hightailed it down to the Sunshine State to investigate and wound up immersing herself in the wacky world of orchid maniacs, intrigued more by their passion than by the orchids themselves. Myers''s reading vacillates between the inspiring and the pedagogical. When reading passages about the over-the-top nature of some eccentric orchid collectors, her tone borders on the affected. But during the book''s more introspective moments, as when Orlean wishes she could be as passionate about something as her subjects are about orchids, Myers turns quiet and pensive. Overall, Myers''s enthusiastic performance is a perfect complement to Orlean''s book and the new motion picture loosely based on it, Adaptation
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