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Download The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession (Unabridged), by Susan Orlean
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,668 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Susan Orlean Narrator: Jennifer Meyers Publisher: Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The orchid thief in Susan Orlean's mesmerizing true story of beauty and obsession is John Laroche, a renegade plant dealer and sharply handsome guy, in spite of the fact that he is missing his front teeth and has the posture of al dente spaghetti. In 1994, Laroche and three Seminole Indians were arrested with rare orchids they had stolen from a wild swamp in south Florida that is filled with some of the world's most extraordinary plants and trees. Laroche had planned to clone the orchids and then sell them for a small fortune to impassioned collectors. After he was caught in the act, Laroche set off one of the oddest legal controversies in recent memory, which brought together environmentalists, Native American activists, and devoted orchid collectors. The result is a tale that is strange, compelling, and hilarious.

New Yorker writer Susan Orlean followed Laroche through swamps and into the eccentric world of Florida's orchid collectors, a subculture of aristocrats, fanatics, and smugglers whose obsession with plants is all-consuming. Along the way, Orlean learned the history of orchid collecting, discovered an odd pattern of plant crimes in Florida, and spent time with Laroche's partners, a tribe of Seminole Indians who are still at war with the United States.

There is something fascinating or funny or truly bizarre on every page of The Orchid Thief: the story of how the head of a famous Seminole chief came to be displayed in the front window of a local pharmacy; or how 700 iguanas were smuggled into Florida; or the case of the only known extraterrestrial plant crime. Ultimately, however, Susan Orlean's book is about passion itself, and the amazing lengths to which people will go to gratify it. That passion is captured with singular vision in The Orchid Thief, a once-in-a-lifetime story by a truly original journalist. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Fpat Murray | 2/18/2014

    " LaRoache is a fun character eh? Not nearly enough of him to fill an hour and a half though eh? This book was stolen from me twice, both times i got up to roughly page 87 and the book went missing. About 3 years later I managed to hold onto it long enough to finish. It was worth the collective $15 or so i spent on used copies. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Kathleen | 2/6/2014

    " I abandoned the book 1/3 of the way through. I was intrigued by the main character but could not, no matter how hard I tried, get interested enough in the orchid lessons to hang in there. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Adrienne | 2/5/2014

    " A really brilliant book. A wonderful weaving of ethnography, history, botany, and crazy-assed stories that made me feel as though I myself were waist-deep in muddy, alligator-infested swamp, searching for the ineffable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Steph Cooper | 1/30/2014

    " I do not care nearly enough about orchids for this book to have been entertaining. "

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