The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession (Ballantine Reader’s Circle)

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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

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The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession (Ballantine Reader’s Circle)


  1. Arenb4t orchids just so stiunnng and delicate. You never know, one may want to make its way into your garden! My mother seems to have a way with orchids in pots, people bring them to her when they have died down and she lays them on their side in the dark for a few months and then they come back to flower again. Her house is full of them, they almost donb4t look real!

  2. lisa – I hate orchids baceuse my house has had at least 10 of them before and none of them ever blossomed again, despite them growing leaves over and over again for years. It pissed me off to see orchid pots with no orchids on them only those damn giant leaves they grow and a stick coming out of the middle. Moving on I like your lighting in this one a lot.

    • What’s the name of the smelly one? I love ordhics. They are one of my all-time favorite flowers. I am always happy to see your photos posted. We can get them here, they bloom, and the plant will live. They don’t bloom again though, unless one has a really nice warm moist greenhouse. It’s a bit dry here in Nevada so it is a challenge anyway.How big are the greenhouses you frequent? From other post, at least one house is rather large.

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