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The Orchid Thief: a true story of beauty and obsession

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In Susan Orlean's mesmerizing true story of beauty and obsession is John Laroche, a renegade plant dealer and sharply handsome guy, in spite of the fact that he is missing his front teeth and has the posture of al dente spaghetti. In 1994, Laroche and three Seminole Indians were arrested with rare orchids they had stolen from a wild swamp in south Florida that is filled with some of the world's most extraordinary plants and trees. Laroche had planned to clone the orchids and then sell them for a small fortune to impassioned collectors. After he was caught in the act, Laroche set off one of the oddest legal controversies in recent memory, which brought together environmentalists, Native Amer-ican activists, and devoted orchid collectors. The result is a tale that is strange, compelling, and hilarious.          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 seven hundred 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 one of our most original journalists.
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID dba65e24-e157-383a-b9f4-d7d03923ca0f
full_title orchid thief a true story of beauty and obsession
author orlean susan
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2018-03-22 23:14:01PM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
auth_author2 Fields, Anna, 1965-2006.
author Orlean, Susan.
author2-role Fields, Anna,1965-2006., Fields, Anna,1965-2006.|Narrator, HighBridge Audio (Firm)., hoopla digital.
author_display Orlean, Susan
available_at_catalog Main Kids, Main Library
collection_catalog Audiobook
detailed_location_catalog Main Library - Adult Audiobook
display_description NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

    A modern classic of personal journalism, The Orchid Thief is Susan Orlean's wickedly funny, elegant, and captivating tale of an amazing obsession. Determined to clone an endangered flower—the rare ghost orchid Polyrrhiza lindenii—a deeply eccentric and oddly attractive man named John Laroche leads Orlean on an unforgettable tour of America's strange flower-selling subculture, through Florida's swamps and beyond, along with the Seminoles 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.

    In this new edition, coming fifteen years after its initial publication and twenty years after she first met the "orchid thief," Orlean revisits this unforgettable world, and the route by which it was brought to the screen in the film Adaptation, in a new retrospective essay.
    Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more.

    Praise for The Orchid Thief

    "Stylishly written, whimsical yet sophisticated, quirkily detailed and full of empathy . . . The Orchid Thief shows [Orlean's] gifts in full bloom."The New York Times Book Review

    "Fascinating . . . an engrossing journey [full] of theft, hatred, greed, jealousy, madness, and backstabbing."Los Angeles Times

    "Orlean's snapshot-vivid, pitch-perfect prose . . . is fast becoming one of our national treasures."The Washington Post Book World

    "Orlean's gifts [are] her ear for the self-skewing dialogue, her eye for the incongruous, convincing detail, and her Didion-like deftness in description."Boston Sunday Globe

    "A swashbuckling piece of reporting that celebrates some virtues that made America great."The Wall Street Journal
    From the Trade Paperback edition.
  • format_catalog CD audio book, eAudiobook, eBook
    format_category_catalog Audio Books, eBook
    id dba65e24-e157-383a-b9f4-d7d03923ca0f
    isbn 9780307795298, 9781565116900, 9781615730827
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    itype_catalog , CD audio book
    lexile_score -1
    literary_form Non Fiction
    literary_form_full Non Fiction
    local_callnumber_catalog CD AUDIO 635.9344 O715o
    owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
    owning_location_catalog Main Kids, Main Library
    primary_isbn 9781615730827
    publishDate 2002, 2011
    record_details hoopla:MWT11418321|eAudiobook|Audio Books|Abridged.|English|HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books ,|2002.|1 online resource (1 audio file (300 min.)) : digital., ils:CARL0000187847|CD audio book|Audio Books||English|HighBridge Co.,|p2002, c1998.|5 sound discs (5 hrs.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in., overdrive:98130efb-3e0d-4065-90a2-d786959faa00|eBook|eBook||English|Random House Publishing Group|2011|
    recordtype grouped_work
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    subject_facet Audiobooks, Nursery growers -- Florida -- Hollywood -- Biography, Plant collectors -- Florida -- Hollywood -- Biography, Polyradicion lindenii -- Florida -- Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve -- Anecdotes
    title_display The Orchid Thief
    title_full The Orchid Thief A True Story of Beauty and Obsession, The orchid thief : a true story of beauty and obsession [electronic resource] / Susan Orlean, The orchid thief [sound recording] : a true story of beauty and obsession / Susan Orlean
    title_short The Orchid Thief
    title_sub a true story of beauty and obsession
    topic_facet Anecdotes, Audiobooks, Biography, Biography & Autobiography, Nature, Nonfiction, Nursery growers, Plant collectors, Polyradicion lindenii, Travel