Retail pak Random House Audible 2002
CD ISBN 0553756567 $39.95 Eight CDs
John Laroche hopes to clone a rare orchid, POLYRRHIZA LINDENII, and benefit financially from the hybrid. Instead, he is arrested for stealing the endangered blossoms. Journalist Susan Orlean sees a news item about the arrest, senses a story, and begins a journey as strange as a slog through the Fakahatchee Swamp in Florida's Everglades. Enthusiastic narration by Jennifer Jay Myers highlights Orlean's eye for exquisite detail of flora and fauna. Myers conveys the author's witty take on obsession-driven collectors, outrageous conmen, and Laroche's eventual trial. Orlean's descriptions are as exotic as the orchids themselves, and in some of the more bizarre stories, she sounds like a nonfiction Hiaassen. Of course, at the center are the magnificent orchids and their ability to inspire passion, obsession, compulsion--and the highly contagious "orchidelirium." S.J.H. (c) AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB / MAR 03]
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