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Thursday, December 8, 2016

#81 - The Orchid Thief - Susan Orlean

Title:  The Orchid Thief
Author:  Susan Orlean
Read by:  Anna Fields
Genre:  Non-Fiction   635.9344
Rating:  B
Published:  1998
Dates:   11/29/16 – 12/8/16
Cds/Hrs: 5/5

Sub-titled -- A True Story of Beauty and Obsession, this particular version is abridged.  However, I credit it with being “everything you wanted to know about orchids but were afraid to ask”.  Indeed, Ms. Orlean trekked through miles and acres of various swamps in Florida, seeking out the ghost orchid and learning much about all types of orchids from a variety of experts on the subject. 

One fellow in particular was John Laroche, an oddball guy who loved the gorgeous plant, stole them, and sold them.  He took Susan Orlean on a hike to end all hikes through a monstrous swamp, getting lost, looking for the ghost orchid which Susan could have cared less about than getting out of the mosquito infested, thigh-high sludge. 

Her account turns out to be distinctly something more than orchids.  Seminole history, the ecology of the Fakahatchee Strand, the fascination of Florda to con men.  You name it – the reader discovers “acres of opportunity where intriguing things can be found.”


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