Download The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century Audiobook

The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century Audiobook, by Kirk Wallace Johnson Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Kirk Wallace Johnson Narrator: MacLeod Andrews Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2018 ISBN: 9780525530060
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“Fascinating from the first page to the last—you won’t be able to put it down.” —Southern Living

A rollicking true-crime adventure and a thought-provoking exploration of the human drive to possess natural beauty for readers of The Stranger in the Woods, The Lost City of Z, and The Orchid Thief.

On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at London's Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. Home to one of the largest ornithological collections in the world, the Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens whose gorgeous feathers were worth staggering amounts of money to the men who shared Edwin's obsession: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying. Once inside the museum, the champion fly-tier grabbed hundreds of bird skins—some collected 150 years earlier by a contemporary of Darwin's, Alfred Russel Wallace, who'd risked everything to gather them—and escaped into the darkness.

Two years later, Kirk Wallace Johnson was waist high in a river in northern New Mexico when his fly-fishing guide told him about the heist. He was soon consumed by the strange case of the feather thief. What would possess a person to steal dead birds? Had Edwin paid the price for his crime? What became of the missing skins? In his search for answers, Johnson was catapulted into a years-long, worldwide investigation. The gripping story of a bizarre and shocking crime, and one man's relentless pursuit of justice, The Feather Thief is also a fascinating exploration of obsession, and man's destructive instinct to harvest the beauty of nature. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A riveting read.”

    Nature

  • “A literary police sketch—part natural history yarn, part detective story, part the stuff of tragedy.”

    Smithsonian

  • “A heist story that manages to underline the enduring and continuing importance of natural history collections and their incredible value to science. We need more books like this one.”

    Science

  • “One of the most peculiar and memorable true-crime books ever…Johnson is an intrepid journalist…[with] a fine knack for uncovering details that reveal, captivate, and disturb.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Nonfiction that reads like fiction, with plenty of surprising moments.”

    Outside

  • “Fascinating from the first page to the last—you won’t be able to put it down.”

    Southern Living

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month
  • An Oprah Pick of 10 Titles to Pick Up Now
  • A Paris Review Selection 
  • A Bustle Pick for Mystery Lovers Who Don't Want to Read about Murder
  • A Literary Hub Pick of True Crime Books for Spring

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About the Author

Kirk W. Johnson is the author of The Feather Thief and To Be a Friend Is Fatal and the founder of the List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, New York Times, Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, among others. He is the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the American Academy in Berlin, and the USC Annenberg Center.

About the Narrator

Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) is the world’s largest publisher of children’s books, magazines, and apps, with over 700 million products sold each year. DPW consists of an extensive worldwide books and magazines licensing structure as well as vertically integrated publishing imprints, including Disney-Hyperion and Disney Press in the US and Disney Libri in Italy. DPW’s digital products include bestselling e-book titles and award-winning original apps. Disney English is DPW’s English language learning business, which includes learning centers in China and a worldwide retail-licensing program. Headquartered in Glendale, California, DPW publishes books, magazines, and digital products in 85 countries in 75 languages. For more information visit www.disneypublishing.com.