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A modern classic of personal journalism, The Orchid Thief is Susan Orleans wickedly funny, elegant, and captivating tale of an amazing obsession. Determined to clone an endangered flowerthe rare ghost orchid Polyrrhiza lindeniia deeply eccentric and oddly attractive man named John Laroche leads Orlean on an unforgettable tour of Americas strange flower-selling subculture, through Floridas swamps and beyond, along with the Seminoles who help him and the forces of justice who fight him. In the end, Orleanand the readerwill have more respect for underdog determination and a powerful new definition of passion.
In this new edition, coming fifteen years after its initial publication and twenty years after she first met the orchid thief, Orlean revisits this unforgettable world, and the route by which it was brought to the screen in the film Adaptation, in a new retrospective essay.
Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Readers Circle for author chats and more.
Praise for The Orchid Thief
Stylishly written, whimsical yet sophisticated, quirkily detailed and full of empathy . . . The Orchid Thief shows [Orleans] gifts in full bloom.The New York Times Book Review
Fascinating . . . an engrossing journey [full] of theft, hatred, greed, jealousy, madness, and backstabbing.Los Angeles Times
Orleans snapshot-vivid, pitch-perfect prose . . . is fast becoming one of our national treasures.The Washington Post Book World
Orleans gifts [are] her ear for the self-skewing dialogue, her eye for the incongruous, convincing detail, and her Didion-like deftness in description.Boston Sunday Globe
A swashbuckling piece of reporting that celebrates some virtues that made America great.The Wall Street Journal