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Download The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce and Obsession Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce and Obsession Audiobook, by Adam Leith Gollner Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (442 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Adam Leith Gollner, Stephen Hoye Narrator: Stephen Hoye Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2008 ISBN: 9781400177455
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Tasty, lethal, hallucinogenic, and medicinal—fruits have led nations into wars, fueled dictatorships, and even lured us into new worlds. Adam Leith Gollner weaves business, science, and travel into a riveting narrative about one of earth’s most desired foods.

Listeners will discover why it is that although countless exotic fruits exist in nature, only several dozen varieties are available in supermarkets. Gollner explores the political machinations of multinational fruit corporations, exposing the hidden alliances between agribusiness and government and what that means for public health. He traces the life of mass-produced fruits—how they are created, grown, and marketed—and he explores the underworld of fruits that are inaccessible, ignored, and even forbidden in the western world.

Gollner draws readers into a Willy Wonka–like world with mangoes that taste like piña coladas, orange cloudberries, peanut butter fruits, and the miracle fruit that turns everything sour sweet, making lemons taste like lemonade. Peopled with a varied and bizarre cast of characters—from smugglers to explorers to inventors—this extraordinary book unveils the hidden universe of fruit.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “You’ll delight in Gollner’s globe-trotting adventures seeking exotic produce.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Fascinating, sexy, dangerous and tasty.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • “This is a fascinating chronicle of strange and wonderful food…Written with verve and ripe with detail, Gollner is certain to do for rare fruit what Susan Orlean did for rare orchids.”

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robin | 1/31/2014

    " non-fiction - interesting book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam | 1/13/2014

    " There are some great passages in here, ones that are definitely worth reading. As a whole, the thing doesn't really follow much of a structure, instead seeming to plop into little notes or narratives as they come together. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, considering the seeming unfocused focus of the crazies that Gollner meets with throughout his travels. More than anything, this read like a list of fruits that you should try accompanied by some wacky characters. I have no basis for discussing the science or whether any of it was valid, but it certainly was a fun, interesting read. I wish that his discussion of the way that fruits do come to us in our markets was more fully fleshed out, rather than remaining a side note to the tropicalia. I'd also have liked more adventure-y style writing, as the chapter on tracking down miracle fruit was very well written and very interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie | 1/8/2014

    " A. Gollner has a great way with words, describing fascinating fruits and his passion for them. The adventure of travel will now include seasonal fruits! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martha | 12/24/2013

    " About 1/3 way into this and I love it. It is an unusual non-fiction book about fruits, including the characters that unabashedly seek them. The pages are dripping with absurd and delightfully colorful descriptions, irreverent liberties with simile and metaphor, and a passion for life and all its fruits. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 12/21/2013

    " Fascinating topic, clumsy execution. Like many other books of its kind, The Fruit Hunters takes a seemingly mundane object and exposes the history, science, politics, and personalities behind it. While Gollner's research and dedication are admirable, his book is wildly overcrowded. While each chapter ostensibly has a single topic, the jumble of science, travelogue, interview, and introspection is dense and sometimes boring. There's an interesting, focused book in here somewhere, but you have to wade through a lot of excess material to find it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 12/14/2013

    " I skipped the chapter on bananas as I'd read or tried to read a book about that before. Maybe I'm just not that interested in fruit. I got about 5/6 finished and then just started turning pages. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacy | 11/19/2013

    " And now I want to travel the world, eating cloudberries, miracle fruit, exotic mangos and also sorts of produce you can't get at Shaw's... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie | 10/17/2013

    " Exotic Travel + Grey Gardens Cranks+ Mafia = great Metro Read!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan | 9/2/2013

    " Great topics and impressive research, but the writing just tends to ramble and be unfocused. It's 10 thousand anecdotes strung into a book and it was just hard to feel like i was learning or digesting much. The best you can hope is to find some fun tidbits for a dinner party. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erica | 7/3/2013

    " Truly a celebration in fruit, and a fun read! (Although I could have done with less about the Fruit Detective at the end.) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrew | 6/1/2013

    " you need to read it next to the laptop so you can google the fruit you've never heard of (there are lots) and see what he's writing about..... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Sellers | 12/4/2012

    " Engaging story of fruit and its impacts on us and history. Must experience the Miracle Berry! Not as good as Michael Pollen (of Omnivore's Dilemma) perhaps, but an easy informative read with a very personal touch. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melody | 10/1/2012

    " There's a lot of fascinating information in this wildly discursive book. There's also a fair bit of meandering and repetition, which knocked my rating down some. It's worth a look but might be better skimmed than read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 4/18/2012

    " Fruit hunters turn out to be fruitcakes but this is a marvelous book. Just to know that so many different fruits exist -- and how very different they are from what's available in the typical U.S. supermarket -- is a revelation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 3/13/2012

    " It has re-awakened my interest in fruit. It is true that groceries have replaced tasty fruit often with "pretty fruit." It is good to know that tasty fruit is still out there to be found with more on the horizon. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shasta | 10/22/2011

    " I liked this book, but the writing could have been so much tighter. It also fell apart at the end. The transition from chapter to chapter was rough throughout, but by the end, there really wasn't any. Despite all that, this book definitely whet my appetite for more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 3/15/2011

    " Excellent book, full of amazing details and fruits I never knew existed! It was really difficult not to stop every page or so to share some neat tidbit with Josh. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 11/15/2010

    " Excellent book, will re-read eventually. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 10/23/2010

    " I loved when I first started this book , but then the disorginazation of the presentation really wore on me. It was scattershot. The ending was awful. He had to tell a story about his hot beautiful girlfriend and how he was in a punk band. Please stop, I just want to hear about interesting fruit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 7/12/2010

    " Fruit hunters turn out to be fruitcakes but this is a marvelous book. Just to know that so many different fruits exist -- and how very different they are from what's available in the typical U.S. supermarket -- is a revelation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 6/7/2010

    " This book was a marvelous, hallucinatory yet edifying read.
    Since I opened the first page, I've been quoting from it nonstop. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 5/9/2010

    " I skipped the chapter on bananas as I'd read or tried to read a book about that before. Maybe I'm just not that interested in fruit. I got about 5/6 finished and then just started turning pages. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 reed | 3/17/2010

    " He's not a good enough writer to make this book interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren | 2/16/2010

    " You can tell a lot about a book when chapter one starts off with a Simpsons quote... Plus a whole chapter about a fruit that looks like lady parts? Right on. "

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About the Author

Adam Leith Gollner has traveled around the globe to report on the fruit underworld. He has written for the New York Times, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and Good magazine. A former editor of Vice magazine, he is also a musician. He lives in Montreal and Los Angeles.

About the Narrator

Stephen Hoye has worked as a professional actor in London and Los Angeles for more than thirty years. Trained at Boston University and the Guildhall in London, he has acted in television series and six feature films and has appeared in London’s West End.