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The Orchid Thief
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Susan Orlean
The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean at Abbey's Bookshop,

The Orchid Thief

Susan Orlean


Ballantine Books Inc.

Biography: general;
Fiction & Literature;
Botany & plant sciences


320 pages

$31.95  $28.75
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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. Special features inside.

By:   Susan Orlean
Imprint:   Ballantine Books Inc.
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 207mm,  Width: 139mm,  Spine: 18mm
Weight:   286g
ISBN:   9780449003718
ISBN 10:   044900371X
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   January 2000
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

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.

  • Short-listed for Book Sense Book of the Year Award (Adult Nonfiction) 2001
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