The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession
A modern classic of personal journalism, The Orchid Thief is Susan Orlean’s wickedly funny, elegant, and captivating tale of an amazing obsession. From Florida’s swamps to its courtrooms, the New Yorker writer follows one deeply eccentric and oddly attractive man’s possibly criminal pursuit of... show more
A modern classic of personal journalism, The Orchid Thief is Susan Orlean’s wickedly funny, elegant, and captivating tale of an amazing obsession.
From Florida’s swamps to its courtrooms, the New Yorker writer follows one deeply eccentric and oddly attractive man’s possibly criminal pursuit of an endangered flower. Determined to clone the rare ghost orchid, Polyrrhiza lindenii, John Laroche leads Orlean on an unforgettable tour of America’s strange flower-selling subculture, along with the Seminole Indians who help him and the forces of justice who fight him. In the end, Orlean–and the reader–will have more respect for underdog determination and a powerful new definition of passion.
Publish date: 2000-01-04
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages no: 284
Edition language: English
The Orchid Thief by Susan OrleanShe travels to FL when she reads of the arrest of John LaRoche. He and Seminole tribe members stole orchids from protected state property. Some people are obsessed with these plants. She follows them and learns all about the plants. He had hoped to clone and sell the...
I like reading, botany, orchids, and non-fiction. You would think I would love the Orchid Thief. While I didn't quite love it, I liked it well enough. Here's why.It seems that Orlean became entranced with a newspaper blurb about a guy who stole some orchids from a state preserve in Florida. She hopp...
You could summarize The Orchid Thief as "Florida is a crazy place, y'all." It's one of the better non-fiction books I've read recently, starting with a scheme by John Laroche, a not-precisely-likeable but still very interesting fellow whom the author interviews and follows around in the course of wr...
The Orchid Thief is a little odd, in that it covers so much: tracing not simply Laroche's theft of the wild ghost orchid, but the history of orchid collecting (with a call-back to Paxton who played a significant role in At Home: A Short History of Private Life), the science of orchid growing, the hi...
This all began with a magazine article Orlean was writing about John Laroche, the title character. She headed down to Florida and spent months studying the guy and the environment in which he lived. It is an interesting tale. The book broadens from this introductory piece to cover other things Flori...