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The Orchid Thief
The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession | Susan Orlean
31 posts | 42 read | 31 to read
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK 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 From the Trade Paperback edition.
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review
HeathHof
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Pickpick

Read the bulk of this #staycationintime book on my actual staycation. Vacation fell through so I made the best of it and did lots of reading by the channel. I SO enjoyed this one. So many rich descriptions of beautiful plants and places ♡ It did take a little longer to get through because I was constantly googling images of all the different orchids. I love the way the author tied so many aspects of Orchid history and current culture. 🌸💕

HeathHof Thank you again for this fab pick! @amyg 3mo
SamAnne Have you watched the movie Adaptation based on the book? Loosely based on the book…. 3mo
HeathHof @SamAnne Yes I have. Before I knew there was a book that it was based on. Definitely time for a rewatch though because it's been several years. 3mo
AmyG I am so happy you liked this. Ha…I googled the orchids, too, when I read this. 3mo
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HeathHof
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I cannot say enough about how much I love the package that you sent! @AmyG You hit the nail right on the head with your choices in books, snacks, stationary, bookmarks, seeds and PROPAGATION STATION!!! I'm going to dive right into The Orchid Theif today. I saw the film years ago but wasn't aware that it was based in real events/a book and I adore Meryl Streep so totally looking forward to a rewatch after the book! I also have big plans ⬇️

HeathHof For the prop station! Also, poppies are some of my absolute fave, and I hope I can get them to grow! Everything is just lovely, thank you so much!! ☺️ and thanks for hosting @Chrissyreadit & @DinoMom 3mo
Avanders 🤩🤩🤩 3mo
AmyG I had so much fun shopping for you. I,too, love plants so I am happy you like the Propagation Station! Have a great holiday weekend. 3mo
DinoMom Lovely 3mo
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bookishbitch
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Not only did I save my orchid from the brink of death, (She was down to only 2 leaves.) I got her to bloom! NOT an easy feat! Orchids are not easy to keep alive long term. And I've never had a green thumb so that didn't help either. Thanks to some fb groups I figured out what worked. For me it was going to full water culture. Anyone else out there orchid fans? I did read the tagged book and enjoyed it. Though I found it sad too.

Tianarose I love orchids. Sadly I don‘t have good light where I live and can‘t have them 😔 8mo
bookishbitch @Tianarose Sorry to hear. Yeah, light is important in the process. 8mo
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Conservio
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starting #2022 off right

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TheSpineView
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#Movie2BookRecs @Klou
Prompt: Chopper

Klou Sounds interesting! Great choice! 11mo
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Smarkies
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Pickpick

A borderline pick because the author managed to put the information in an interesting manner. But the main issue I had with this was that it was not so much about the one “orchid thief“ that she was trying to highlight but also about the many throughout the centuries, making it a bit too tangential.

Tamra Have you seen the movie yet? 1y
Smarkies @Tamra I only found out about it from the threads in Litsy on the book. So am now going to hunt for it. 😁 1y
Tamra @Smarkies I enjoyed it. 😊 1y
SamAnne I'm not a big Susan Orlean fan but I LOVED the movie based on her book Adaptation. 1y
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DAB
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#ThankfulThursday
@Cosmos_Moon

1. It was uncommon.
2 Thankful for my time of meditation that takes me through the day.

@EadieB

EadieB Nice name and nice answers! Thanks for playing! 2y
Cosmos_Moon Meditation is great! I wish I took more time to do this. 2y
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DogEaredBooks
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I can see why this has been described as Tiger King for flowers. The Orchid obsessives in this book have similar fascinating yet disturbing pull.

I‘m not done yet but it‘s been really interesting so far. Also the narrator has the best voice for this. She sounds intrigued but baffled. (And sounds so familiar).

MicheleinPhilly I love the movie Adaptation. 2y
SamAnne I thought the movie was the best!!!! A crazy Charlie Kaufman film with Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper and Nic Cage. Doesn‘t get any better than that. Called Adaptation. 2y
DogEaredBooks @SamAnne @MicheleinPhilly I had seen mention of the movie but I didn‘t know what it was called. I‘ll have to watch it now! 2y
18 likes3 comments
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bookishbitch
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Pickpick

There is lots of info in this one, much of it quite sad. Peoples obsessions plundering forests, stealing from others, and overall ruining themselves. There was also some interesting history of orchids in this country as well as some history of the Seminole Indians in Florida. And of course lots of info about orchids. Also WAY different than the movie version. There was definitely no romance between the author and the man she interviewed, John.

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DAB
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DAB This book has given me more information about Orchid than I ever wanted to know and it was fun while it did it. Really enjoyed this and it gives me one more place in Florida to visit the next time I am there. (edited) 2y
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Ang203l
Orchid Thief | Susan Orlean
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Looking forward to starting this random indie bookstore pickup. I can‘t just walk past tables of books on the sidewalk without getting a book!

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stephothebesto
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#7days7covers - Day 7

Tagging anyone who hasn't played yet - maybe a new follower or a past swap partner? 😊

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Schnoebs
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Mehso-so

A in Herbology NEWTs: 3⭐️

This was a fun read when you want something a bit ridiculous and weird to shake up your reading. With the whole Florida man news trend, this is definitely that idea in a book. It followed the trial of a man who stole orchids from a protected park and it showed how the results of that trial impacted his life and those involved in the issue. It was definitely a weird read and not for everyone but I‘m happy I gave it a try.

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bookishbitch
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Thanks eBay. This new orchid is one I bought for my daughter so she wouldn't steal mine. I'm guessing she might want to borrow the book too.

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bookishbitch
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My son had this shipped to me for mother's day. He is currently stationed overseas but never forgets me. 😊 Now I need to read this book.

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Abby2
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Pickpick

Great nonfiction. Orleans pick odd topics and immerses herself. She wanders about the story and tells tangential tales. But it is all fascinating.

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Billypar
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#Psychokiller #MarchIntothe70s
In the film Adaptation, Donald Kaufman shares an idea with his screenwriter brother for a film about a serial killer that sends demented clues to the police with a twist ending revealing he has multiple personalities. Charlie is not a fan of the idea.
This is a film, but partly adapted from Susan Orlean's novel The Orchid Thief. But screenplays of the real-life Charlie Kaufman should count- they remind me of books.

tournevis Agreed! 4y
Cinfhen This is the second time this week The Orchard Thief came up...I think it‘s a sign from the #BookGods 🙏🏻 4y
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Billypar @tournevis I heard he has finished screenplays that he couldn't ever get produced.. which is unacceptable 😤 4y
Billypar @Cinfhen I still need to read it. It without be fair to compare with the film since it's really only half an adaptation (if that). But it still sounds like a good story in its own right. 4y
tournevis @Billypar Most good screenwriters so have stacks like that, afaik 4y
Billypar @tournevis True- all the more frustrating considering what production companies do spend their money making! 💰🗑️ 4y
Suet624 After reading The Library Book I think I have to read Orchid Thief. She is a great narrator of events. 4y
Billypar @Suet624 I have The Library Book on hold, but would like to try both from all I've heard. 4y
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mdm139
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My hubby got me flowers with a matching book for Valentine's day. He knows me well. It is raining and flooding so we are planning a nice evening at home. I am making goulash and corn bread for dinner.

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TheKidUpstairs
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Yaaasss! So pumped for the #ReadtheMoviesSwap hosted by @DoonTheGoon 🎞🎉🎞🎉

Like movies? Like books? Do like I did and head to @DoonTheGoon 's page to sign up!

DoonTheGoon Woo! Thanks for the share! 4y
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Maedre-the-broken-tree
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Mehso-so

There were parts of the book where I absolutely couldn‘t put it down but much of the book was a lot of information that I just found boring.

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bluegreenmarina

reading this definitely made me want to rewatch adaptation

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Lynnsoprano
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It's been a busy day, with errands and a meeting of the education committee at the botanical garden (of which I'm a member). Fortunately, it was a brief meeting, and I took a few minutes to enjoy the garden on a day when the weather is perfect. Now it's time to settle in for#litsypartyofone!

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bellasocks
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..love this book and it takes place in Florida, where I live #BIGYELLOWBALL @Liberty thanks for the rad give-away

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Mindyrecycles
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Pickpick

Mystery, fiction, non-fiction. #3books3differentgenres #bookishspring2017

Reviewsbylola I just bought the Backman. 6y
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AMVP
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#FunFridayPhoto - favorite film adaptations.

Still haven't finished the source material, though I'm well aware of the distinctions. Need to give the movie a rewatch too.

Adaptation was one of those slow burns for me, the kind if movie that doesn't do much for me initially, but later becomes an all-time favorite.

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Sandra
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Sometimes this kind of story turns out to be something more, some glimpse of life that expands like those Japanese paper balls you drop in water and then after a moment they bloom into flowers, and the flower is so marvelous that you can't believe there was a time when all you saw in front of you was a paper ball and a glass of water.

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B.Reader
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I think my orchid is confused. #blizzard #christmasorchid

Redwritinghood Beautiful! 6y
lynneamch Beautiful orchid and beautiful view. What a contrast. I see you are reading the Young Readers edition of Malala. I'm listening to the adult version for book club tomorrow. Learning so much more than I expected to. 6y
B.Reader @lynneamch Thanks! I think I am actually listening to the full version but tagged the wrong title. I know what you mean about learning so much. It is a region and time period I know disgracefully little about and am so impressed with the book. 6y
17 likes4 comments
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AMVP
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#FunFridayPhoto : books w/ flowers on the cover.

Really need to get around to finishing this, though I already saw the movie, so I guess the ending's kinda spoiled. 😜

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Notmacaroniandcheese
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Here is my tbr pile for @24in48 (in partnership with @Litsy ) reading challenge. I tried to pick books that I knew I would get through quickly. They ended up being all YA. I'm looking forward a bit of a break from reading dense adult novels.

Penny_LiteraryHoarders The stack is so pretty!! 6y
pppooraikul Spotted Lemony Snicket! 🤓 6y
MrBook Nice stack! 😊 6y
Notmacaroniandcheese Thank you! All the cool kids read Snicket. 😎 6y
rynae The Mysterious Benedict Society is amazing! 6y
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StaceGhost
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I love barbecue weather; I can cook while I read!

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ReadingRailroader
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Pickpick

I recently bought an orchid for my wife and cannot stop thinking about this amazing book. When buying the orchid, I bored the woman at the flower shop with all my stolen orchid facts!

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