A True Story of Beauty and Obsession by Susan Orlean
At the center of New Yorker writer Susan Orlean's mesmerizing true story of beauty and obsession is John Laroche, a renegade plant dealer who was arrested for removing an endangered species of orchid from Florida's Fakahatchee Swamp. Laroche had planned to clone the orchid and then sell it for a small fortune to impassioned collectors. His case set off one of the oddest legal controversies in recent memory, bringing together environmentalists, Native American activists, and devoted orchid collectors. The result is a tale that is strange, compelling, and hilarious.
''Ms. Orlean, an intrepid sociologist among the orchid fanatics, is also a poetic observer of the Fakahatchee Swamp.... But the most compelling sections of this fascinating book are those that deal with the orchids themselves.'' -The Wall Street Journal