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Orchid Fever: A Horticultural Tale of Love, Lust, and Lunacy Paperback – February 13, 2001
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With such willing customers, it's no wonder that a thriving black market now exists. To serve it, orchids are taken illegally from sensitive ecological areas in places like Thailand, Borneo, and darkest Minnesota. In scenes reminiscent of Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief, Hansen follows the trail of orchid smugglers, pursuing money and plants in a whodunit tale that involves botanical gardens, scholars, scientists, ordinary enthusiasts, and "plant cops"--international eco-police whose job it is to stop the traffic in rare and often endangered plants. Those vigilantes have their work cut out for them, Hansen writes, especially because some of the current laws may be misguided, causing more harm than good and equating honest breeders with botanical desperadoes. The laws are bound to fail in any event, he suggests, if only because the plant trade, like that of the drug trade, is simply too big to curtail.
Orchid enthusiasts and admirers of good journalism alike will find plenty of interest in Hansen's vivid, richly anecdotal investigation. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Dr. Joseph Arditti Editor, Orchid Biology Irvine
This book is a fast read because Hansen's style includes frequent utilization of humor. The vivid descriptions of the personalities Mr. Hanson encountered and the places he visited while preparing to write this book are captivating and entertaining.
"Orchids" I said, by Hansen? Well I bought it and now I am trying not to buy one of these orchid creatures. The orchid world described by Hansen encompasses all the world has to offer; life, beauty, culture, pleasure, excitement, and the mis-use of power and guidance of those entrusted with political and regulation ability. It is strange how organizations such as CITES are created to preserve, protect, and educate and the results appear to be less than desirable.
Another book to be read and enjoyed by Mr. Hansen. I would recommend it to anyone, not just orchid lovers.
Chapter by chapter, alternating hilarious episodes with the downright unsettling or just plain unbelievable, Eric Hansen gradually lays bare the seedy underbelly of a world that perhaps few of us realise exists. He reveals an alarming world-wide conspiracy, fuelled by greed, protected and upheld by idiotic international bureaucracy and a network of power politics, which daily threaten innocent lives and legitimate livelihoods as well as vast swathes of natural fauna that they purport to be protecting.
Populated as it is by gentle, likeable heroes, blackguardly villains, utter buffoons and the most outrageously bizarre of characters, it is sometimes easy to forget that this book is factual, so far-fetched are some of the events and scenarios that its author recounts. And yet, this somehow makes the book all the more scary, for occasionally things happen to make you realise that it is not a work of fiction. And at that point, the anger sets in... anger that things should be this way and are likely to remain so, despite the best efforts of some of the book's obvious heroes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I ordered this by mistake, thinking it was a guide (read too many synopses in too short a period of time). Read morePublished 3 months ago by RP
This unusual book is a delightful blend of eclectic travel writing and creative journalism that reads at times like a crime novel with tones of botanical erotica. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Donkeyoattea
From the very first sentence, I was in love with this engaging account. If it hasn't yet been optioned as a comedic screenplay, I'd consider pawning the cats to pick it up as a... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Allena Hansen
Great Orchid history book. If you love orchids you will enjoy their story.Published 10 months ago by Leslie B. Mudd
I enjoyed this book for its truth, adventure & for my love of ordhids.Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
“You can get off alcohol, drugs, women, food, and cars but once you’re hooked on orchids, you’re finished. You never get off orchids...never. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Michelle Hoyer
Interesting!! Never thought that orchids could have such a history and so much control of the buying, selling and collecting of such a beautiful plant.Published 19 months ago by susan Velasquez
I don't raise orchids. In general, I don't bother raising flowers. So, why read this? I'm interested in conservation of wild things... Read morePublished 19 months ago by liberal warrior