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

Extended Audio Sample The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century Audiobook, by Kirk Wallace Johnson Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kirk Wallace Johnson Narrator: to be announced Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 24, 2018 ISBN: 9780525530060
Coming Soon! The audiobook will be available for pre-order on April 3, 2018.Check back on that date to pre-order this title for the Apr 24, 2018 release!
Available for pre-order on: April 3, 2018

The story of the most momentous natural history crime of all time, and the centuries-old obsession at its heart

On a warm June evening in 2009, after performing a program of Hayden and Handel at London's Royal Academy of Music, American musical prodigy Edwin Rist packed up his flute - along with a pair of latex gloves, a miniature LED flashlight, and a glass cutter - and boarded a train. He was on his way to a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. But Edwin wasn't there for a tour; it was coppery orange, turquoise, and purple feathers he was after. He needed them to feed his obsession, one he shared with a small but dedicated group of men around the world: the Victorian art of fly-tying, which involves arranging brightly-colored feathers in intricate patterns around a large hook. The amateur thief stuffed as many of the exotic and extinct bird specimens and skins as he could into his suitcase, and climbed out the window the way he'd come in.

What could possess a person to steal birds from a museum? At what expense and personal risk had these specimens been obtained, and what was the loss to science? Had Edwin paid the price for his crime, and, perhaps more important, were the skins ever returned? These were the questions that launched author Kirk Johnson's own obsession, a years-long quest for justice that had him infiltrating fly-tying conventions across the U.S., meeting with the lead investigator in Edwin's case, tracking down a suspected accomplice in a remote Scandinavian village, and combing the online forums where the tiers traffic illegal feathers in plain sight. Rollicking and fascinating, The Feather Thief is at once a gripping true-crime adventure and a thought-provoking exploration of man's relationship to nature, and the human desire to possess natural beauty. Download and start listening now!

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About the Author

Kirk W. Johnson is the founder of the List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies, and the author of To Be a Friend Is Fatal. Prior to the List Project, Johnson served in Iraq with USAID. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Policy, among others. He is the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the American Academy in Berlin.

About the Narrator

Lindy West is a Seattle-based writer, editor, and performer whose work focuses on pop culture, social justice, humor, and body image. She’s currently a culture writer for GQ magazine and GQ.com and a weekly columnist at the Guardian, as well as the founder and editor of I Believe You | It’s Not Your Fault, an advice blog for teens. In January of 2015 she wrote and recorded a story for This American Life about confronting an internet troll who impersonated her dead father.