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Orchid Thief, the
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New or Used: $14.95
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About the Author

Susan Orlean has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1992 and has also written for Outside, Esquire, Rolling Stone, and Vogue. She graduated from the University of Michigan and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. She now lives in Los Angeles and upstate New York with her husband and son.

From the Hardcover edition.

Reviews

For listeners seeking to learn something new, Orlean offers a whimsical look at the sexy, mysterious world of orchids. Perfect for anyone who wants to know a little bit about a lot of things, this quirky, quintessential New Yorker story pulls back the curtain on a community of people who are driven by a passion to collect and cultivate some very exotic plants. New York journalist Orlean first learned about orchid "thief" John Laroche by reading a story about him in a local Florida newspaper. He (along with his henchmen, three Seminole Indians) had been taken to court for removing an endangered species of orchid from the state's Fakahatchee Swamp. Orlean hightailed it down to the Sunshine State to investigate and wound up immersing herself in the wacky world of orchid maniacs, intrigued more by their passion than by the orchids themselves. Myers's reading vacillates between the inspiring and the pedagogical. When reading passages about the over-the-top nature of some eccentric orchid collectors, her tone borders on the affected. But during the book's more introspective moments, as when Orlean wishes she could be as passionate about something as her subjects are about orchids, Myers turns quiet and pensive. Overall, Myers's enthusiastic performance is a perfect complement to Orlean's book and the new motion picture loosely based on it, Adaptation. Based on the Random hardcover. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

The thief in question and offbeat genesis for New Yorker writer Orlean's book is ever-quotable eccentric John Laroche, whose craving for the rare orchid eventually lands him and three Indian accomplices in a Florida courtroom--and allows Orlean to write her appreciative and lyrically funny profile of obsession and Florida. (LJ 1/99) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"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 Hardcover edition.

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