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The Orchid Thief centers on south Florida and John Laroche, a quixotic, charismatic schemer once convicted of attempting to take endangered orchids from the Fakahatchee swamp, a state preserve. Laroche, a horticultural consultant who once ran an extensive nursery for the Seminole tribe, dreams of making a fortune for the Seminoles and himself by cloning the rare ghost orchid Polyrrhiza lindenii. Laroche sums up the obsession that drives him and so many others:
I really have to watch myself, especially around plants. Even now, just being here, I still get that collector feeling. You know what I mean. I'll see something and then suddenly I get that feeling. It's like I can't just have something--I have to have it and learn about it and grow it and sell it and master it and have a million of it.Even Orlean--so leery of orchid fever that she immediately gives away any plant that's pressed upon her by the growers in Laroche's circle--develops a desire to see a ghost orchid blooming and makes several ultimately unsuccessful treks into the Fakahatchee. Filled with Palm Beach socialites, Native Americans, English peers, smugglers, and naturalists as improbably colorful as the tropical blossoms that inspire them, this is a lyrical, funny, addictively entertaining read. --Barrie Trinkle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Read this one-of-a-kind book and then watch the film, Adaptation, which is based on the book but has a real twist.
Aside from LaRoche I enjoyed learning about some other historic orchid collectors and the history of orchid collecting around the world.
From that standpoint, this is a book that will hold your interest although there is too much "me" in the book.
Weirdest book I have ever read and I only read it because it was required for an English class.Published 9 days ago by Emily Parker
Very interesting & informative read. Enjoyable true story full of lively characters. An unexpected pleasure in the world of orchidsPublished 20 days ago by msc
I loved this book and wanted a copy of my own to loan out. This copy is in good shape and was incredibly cheap.
Thank you very much.
Very unusual book. Great reading for fans of orchids and Florida. I'm both!Published 1 month ago by Robert
The author goes a little too much into the history of past orchid collectors but the book was interesting, the issues concerning the Native Americans and the law were interesting... Read morePublished 1 month ago by kathryn long
I never realized that the orchid industry was so cutthroat! I loved her descriptions of everything and could envision them all. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sharon A
Good book. My wife said she enjoyed the story. I didn't read it but i take her word for it.Published 1 month ago by Gary Parlato
Fascinating information about orchid lovers, but the story just kicked around.Published 2 months ago by BDS