The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK 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... show more
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK 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.Praise for The Orchid Thief: “Fascinating . . . tales of theft, hatred, greed, jealousy, madness, and backstabbing . . . an engrossing journey.”–Los Angeles Times“Irresistible . . . a brilliantly reported account of an illicit scheme to housebreak Florida’s wild and endangered ghost orchid . . . Its central figure is John Laroche, the ‘oddball ultimate’ of a subculture whose members are so enthralled by orchids they ‘pursue them like lovers.’ ”–Minneapolis Star Tribune“Artful . . . in Ms. Orlean’s skillful handling, her orchid story turns out to be distinctly ‘something more.’ . . . [Her] portrait of her sometimes sad-making orchid thief allows the reader to discover acres of opportunity where intriguing things can be found.”–The New York Times“Zestful . . . a swashbuckling piece of reporting that celebrates some virtues that made America great.”–The Wall Street Journal“Deliciously weird . . . compelling.”–Detroit Free Press
Publish date: January 4th 2000
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages no: 284
Edition language: English
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Fascinating-- I never knew that world existed
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...
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...