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 his fly-fishing guide told him about the heist. He was soon consumed by the strange case of the feather thief. What would possess a person to steal dead birds? Had Edwin paid the price for his crime? What became of the missing skins? In his search for answers, Johnson was catapulted into a years-long, worldwide investigation. The gripping story of a bizarre and shocking crime, and one mans relentless pursuit of justice, The Feather Thief is also a fascinating exploration of obsession, and mans destructive instinct to harvest the beauty of nature....
|Title||:||The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century|
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||320 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Download » The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century|
The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century Reviews
The tale of a man who steals birds from a museum in order to sell them to salmon fly tyers. Yes, it's a true story and a fascinating one at that! I thoroughly enjoyed this one and will now go look for Kirk's first book to read while I eagerly await his next book.
In 2009, 20-year-old American Edwin Rist broke into the Tring museum, a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. His quest: to steal rare bird specimens - some collected more 150 years earlier - with gorgeous feathers sought the world over by people who shared Edwin's obsession of the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying.
Author Kirk Wallace Johnson's own interest in fly fishing drew him to learn more about Rist's daring caper. But when Johnson first heard the story, he had no idea...more
A very unusual book. Who knew there would be intrigue from a heist of rare, dead, endangered birds? Who knew fly-tying is an obsession for many?
This book really took me by surprise as I had no idea that bird feathers were such a valuable commodity, and, as such, are open to thievery on really a grand scale. That's just what happened in the summer of 2009 when twenty year old musician, Edward Rist broke into the Natural History Museum at Tring in Hertfordshire and stole a huge assortment of wild bird specimens which had been collected centuries before by some of the very first naturalists.
I expected the book to mainly concentrate on this ...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.
This book was so weird and so fascinating. If you told me that someone had written a book about a man who was a world class flutist who was obsessed with tying fish hook ties (but didn't fish) and who robbed a museum of almost 300 exotic birds, I would almost never have believed that it was a true story. Everything about it sounds crazy. Honestly the theft was interesting to read about, if a little heartbreaking, but I thought the most interesting "character" in the book was Alfred Russell Walla ...more
This is about 100% more interesting than a book about obsessive Victorian fly tiers and the flautist who robbed a natural history museum of its rare bird skins has any right to be. A weirdly good adventure/science/extremely esoteric and dorky true crime caper.
Finished this book in two days. Had no idea that there was such a thing as an underground feather market or that a story about bird feathers can be this gripping. The author, a former aid worker in Iraq, says that he got interested in it as a distraction from the work he did and was failing to do (procuring refugee status for the Iraqi interpreters that helped the US) and the PTSD he was suffering. He never says directly how this work with the feathers ties into that, but somehow, without him sa ...more