The Orchid Thief: a true story of beauty and obsession

Book Cover
Average Rating
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Varies, see individual formats and editions
Pub. Date:
Varies, see individual formats and editions
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.
Also in This Series
More Like This
More Details
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID dba65e24-e157-383a-b9f4-d7d03923ca0f
Grouping Title orchid thief a true story of beauty and obsession
Grouping Author orlean susan
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-09-22 23:50:37PM
Last Indexed 2018-09-23 00:30:40AM

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
    item_details hoopla:MWT11418321||Online Hoopla Collection|Online Hoopla|eAudiobook|Audio Books|1|false|true|Hoopla||||Available Online||||, ils:CARL0000187847|35192029394024|Main Library - Adult Audiobook|CD AUDIO 635.9344 O715o|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf||MN||, overdrive:98130efb-3e0d-4065-90a2-d786959faa00|-1|Online OverDrive Collection|Online OverDrive|eBook|eBook|1|false|true|OverDrive|||Adobe EPUB eBook,Kindle Book,OverDrive Read|Available Online||||
    itype_catalog , CD audio book
    last_indexed 2018-09-23T05:30:40.596Z
    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
    Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
    hoopla:MWT11418321 Available Online Available Online false true false false false false
    overdrive:98130efb-3e0d-4065-90a2-d786959faa00 -1 Available Online Available Online false true true false false false
    ils:CARL0000187847 35192029394024 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
    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