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

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 London?s Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpos A rollicking true-crime adventure and a thought-provoking exploration of the human drive to possess natural beauty ...

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Title:The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century
Author:Kirk W. Johnson
Rating:
Genres:Nonfiction
ISBN:B074DGMF88
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Kindle Edition
Number of Pages:320 pages pages

The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century Reviews

  • Sarah
    May 17, 2018
    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. ...
  • sarah  morgan
    Jun 06, 2018
    I love this sort of narrative nonfiction. A story within a story within a history of something I know little about but find fascinating. In this case, a natural museum theft. Of feathers, of all things. But not just any feathers. Feathers of endangered and, in some cases, extinct birds...
  • Carol
    May 25, 2018
    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? ...
  • Mary
    Jun 04, 2018
    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 enviro...
  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)
    May 18, 2018
    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...
  • Carol
    May 27, 2018
    An online forum recently posted a list of true crime without murder or violence. The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century would fit the bill as no murder nor physical harm befalls any person. Yet is any crime without a victim? Each reader would...
  • Rebekah
    Jun 05, 2018
    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, bac...
  • Sheila Garry
    May 29, 2018
    This is a true crime adventure that happens in 2009 in England. It begins with a brief chapter explaining the history of bird preservation at the time of Darwin in 1823. It culminates with the obsession with feathers in the fashion industry. It?s a quirky story about strange birds, o...
  • Sammi
    May 03, 2018
    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 i...
  • Robert Sheard
    May 29, 2018
    The Feather Thief is marketed as similar to one of my favorite nonfiction books, Susan Orlean?s The Orchid Thief. And it?s an apt comparison. The books is a tale of obsession, the desire to capture and ?own? beautiful nature, and the frenzied lengths some people will go to i...
  • Jo Barton
    May 24, 2018
    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...
  • Brandi
    May 21, 2018
    Such an interesting read about the world of fly-tying and the crime of Edwin Rist. This book covered the theft dangers to museum collections and a great history on Alfred Russel Wallace and his work. ...
  • Kasa Cotugno
    May 07, 2018
    Reminds me of The Orchid Thief in its readability and theme. ...
  • Ann
    May 29, 2018
    Who would have thought that there is a market in feathers of rare, endangered or extinct bird species? For the purpose of ...making fishing flies? That are not actually used for fishing ? And that there is a thriving culture of feather-obsessed fly-lovers who are willing to pay high pr...
  • Kristen Beverly
    Mar 29, 2018
    This is such a weird but fantastic book. I can?t tell you how many times I thought, i mean, we?re talking about feathers, right? Feathers? Aren?t there bigger issues going on in the world right now? But it sucks you in & somehow you find yourself thinking, what happened to th...
  • Randal White
    Apr 13, 2018
    As a fly fisherman, fly tier, and former policeman, I found this book to be an absolute home run! A young "savant", Edwin Rist, had everything going for him. A brilliant flautist, he and his brother (also a savant), discovered the art of tying Atlantic Salmon flies. Throwing themselv...
  • Nicki
    Apr 04, 2018
    What a fascinating book this was! The fact that somebody had the audacity to even consider breaking into the British Natural History Museum and let alone do it, was intriguing enough for me to request this on NetGalley. The author tells an absorbing tale of how he first heard about ...
  • Rebecca Foster
    May 20, 2018
    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 hea...
  • KC
    Jan 27, 2018
    This is the truly amazing story of how a twenty year old American flute prodigy pulled off an unbelievable museum heist of rare and exotic bird skins and feathers. Edwin Risk loved music but also was quite enthralled in the world of fly fish tying. He spent hours perfecting his craft a...
  • Samuel
    May 03, 2018
    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 fa...
  • Jill
    May 03, 2018
    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. ...
  • Jeimy
    May 02, 2018
    This was a fascinating look into the world of salmon fly-tying. It tells the story of a young savant and how his obsession with recreating classic lures led his to steal birds from the largest museum collection in England. The author became obsessed with the case and decided to hunt do...
  • Mac
    May 13, 2018
    I'm fascinated by stories of obsession where people are all-in pursuing a goal. I'm intrigued by the combination of years-long focus, intensity, and dedication; and I want to know if the pursuit will end in success or failure. (My recent review of Cork Dork describes another obsession ...
  • Becky B
    May 28, 2018
    While fly-fishing to destress from his work with advocating for refugees, the author was introduced to a strange theft in England by his fishing guide. Just years before a young man broke into the British Museum of Natural History and made off with hundreds of rare birds driven by an o...
  • K.
    Apr 27, 2018
    That was a far quicker and absorbing read than I had expected, even with the uncomfortable topic of how the skins/feathers came into place. It was particularly interesting to see that when we see the feathers as gorgeous and breathtaking, others may see it more valuable in other aspect...
  • Peggy
    May 21, 2018
    This is quite a story! It?s an important read but also disturbing at times. It?s sad to be reminded of the greed and disregard of life that some people have. Hopefully most of us will cherish all birds and animals and let them be. ...
  • Annette Jordan
    Apr 19, 2018
    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 ...
  • Natalie
    Apr 22, 2018
    I never thought I?d care so much about a museum heist involving birds! I really enjoyed Johnson?s writing and I?m so happy to have won this book ahead of publication from Goodreads. ...
  • RMazin
    Apr 06, 2018
    The Feather Thief has it all: a mystery, a hunt, quirky characters, arcane birding history, fly-tying and a great story. How all these elements weave together in a successful book is a tribute to the author. Kirk Wallace Johnson happened to be fly-fishing on a New Mexico river when his...
  • JackiexA1
    Mar 27, 2018
    March Book Review A quick look at the details of the true crime story that drives this narrative and I was hooked. A 19-year old flute-playing savant who steals an invaluable collection of rare bird skins by breaking into a British museum, all so he can tie Victorian salmon flies? B...