A rollicking true-crime adventure and a thought-provoking exploration of the human drive to possess natural beauty for readers of The Stranger in the Woods, The Lost City of Z, and The Orchid Thief.On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at Londons Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. Home to one of the largest ornithological collections in the world, the Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens whose gorgeous feathers were worth staggering amounts of money to the men who shared Edwins obsession: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying. Once inside the museum, the champion fly-tier grabbed hundreds of bird skinssome collected 150 years earlier by a contemporary of Darwins, Alfred Russel Wallace, whod risked everything to gather themand escaped into the darkness.Two years later, Kirk Wallace Johnson was waist high in a river in northern New Mexico when hi...
|Title||:||The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century|
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||320 pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century Reviews
This book hooked me from the moment I read the description. True crime about a fly tier trying to earn money to buy a gold flute? I'm there.
The book was a great mix of the author's obsession with this case, the history of 19th century naturalists and the quest for exotic birds, background on a young prodigy in both the flute playing and fly tying world, an unexpected museum heist, and the investigation and trial of this case in London courts.
Excellent audiobook narrator.
The Feather Thief is a delightful read that successfully combines many genres – biography, true crime, ornithology, history, travel and memoir – to tell the story of an audacious heist of rare bird skins from the Natural History Museum at Tring in 2009. Somehow I managed not to hear about it at the time, but it was huge news in terms of museum collections and endangered species crime. The tendrils of this thorny case wind around Victorian explorers, tycoons, and fashionistas through to modern ob ...more
FANTASTIC Nonviolent True Crime
I had wanted to read this one for the nonviolent true crime roundup
I’d done but hadn’t been able to get a copy until now. Now if you’re thinking “But really how interesting can bird specimen theft be?” let me just tell you this book was super interesting from beginning to end, and read like a thriller that I couldn’t put down. Just 10% into the book I felt as if I’d read 10 books worth of information and adventure. You start with a museum heist by a 20-year-old flu ...more
I was absolutely captivated by this book! Who knew there was this obsessive group who made salmon fishing ties using the feathers of endangered birds? Amazingly, they often don’t even fish with them and the salmon themselves don’t really care what’s on the tie. For many, it is an art form and an obsession so strong they commit burglary to feed it. This was a great look at wildlife research and a strange subculture at odds with it.
An interesting true crime story that also dealt with several obsessions; naturalists from the 1850’s who sacrificed their lives to discover and collect new species, fishing fly tiers who selfishly sought rare bird feathers and the author bent on discovering the truth. I was hoping for a better ending, but a worthy read.
The first half of this book is worth the read for the excellent cocktail party conversation fodder: the history of the feather trade, the niche community of contemporary Victorian fly tyers, and an absolutely bonkers amateur heist carried out by a young "celebrity" fly tyer and concert flutist.
The second half was an unfortunate, meandering tale of the author's frustrating and ultimately ill-fated quest to locate the stolen goods.
Read about the crime, stop when the author inserts himself into th ...more
Every so often a gem of a book comes along, a book with a story so strange that you would struggle to find it plausible as a work of fiction, How much more surprising and fascinating to find out that not only could the events have happened, they actually did. The Feather Thief by Kirk W Johnson is just such a book, and I found myself engrossed in the strange tale of the musical museum thief and his obsession with feathers.
To briefly sum up the events that the book is base on, in 2009 an America ...more
What a story! Who knew that were people so obsessed with the art of tying fishing flys that they would spend huge amounts of money and purchase feathers they should suspect were stolen. But then, who would have ever thought that we would elect a president with no respect for the environment or humanity.
Edwin Rist thief, accomplished flautist, and Master Flytier is the subject of this book and his daring robbery of irreplaceable scientific bird specimens from the British Museum of Natural Histor ...more