Katharine Ott's Reviews > The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession

The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean
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's review
Jun 07, 2012

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Read in June, 2012

Before I arrived at the screen to enter my review of The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean, I saw the comment that the book was "wickedly funny." I beg to differ. Admittedly, I will view the orchids at my grocery store with a fresh eye henceforth - the image seared on my brain right now is the existence of "orchid kennels" where enthusiasts house their orchids until they bloom and once that momentous event occurs, it's back to the kennel! The overall sense of the book was the single-minded lives that many enthusiasts live while satisfying their jones for orchids and other rare plants. Not being an ardent admirer of Florida, the book reinforced my feeling that some residents are searching for, but not always finding, happiness and their only community is other like-minded collectors. Orlean does a competent research job on the history and her writing style is quite readable, although many of the anecdotes were a rehash of similar events with different players. Certainly her book is a good peek inside this world that many don't know exists and I would recommend it to interested collectors.

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