Length: 320 pages
Audiobook Length: 8 hours and 45 minutes
First Published: 1998
A modern classic of personal journalism, The Orchid Thief is Susan Orlean’s wickedly funny, elegant, and captivating tale of an amazing obsession. Determined to clone an endangered flower—the rare ghost orchid Polyrrhiza lindenii—a deeply eccentric and oddly attractive man named John Laroche leads Orlean on an unforgettable tour of America’s strange flower-selling subculture, through Florida’s swamps and beyond, along with the Seminoles who help him and the forces of justice who fight him. In the end, Orlean—and the reader—will have more respect for underdog determination and a powerful new definition of passion.
Quotes from The Orchid Thief
If you had really loved something, wouldn’t a little bit of it always linger?
Sometimes I think I’ve figured out some order in the universe, but then I find myself in Florida.
I would argue that it might be easier to endure loneliness than to endure the idea that you might disappear.
Movie Trailer for Adaptation (2002)
About Susan Orlean
Susan Orlean is a staff writer for The New Yorker. She is a bestselling author whose works include The Library Book, The Orchid Thief, and Rin Tin Tin. She splits her time between Los Angeles, California and the Hudson Valley of New York. Visit the author’s website →