"You can get off alcohol, drugs, women, food and cars, but once you're hooked on orchids you're finished. You never get off orchids...never." - Joe Kunisch, Commercial Orchid Grower, Rochester, New York
In 1993 Eric Hansen led an expedition through the steaming jungles of Borneo to find the world's rarest orchid. Five years later he was still on the trail of the true story behind one of the world's strangest plants and humanity's oddest obsessions. From the Orinoco River to the hothouses of Kew, and the clandestine nurseries of Europe to the peat bogs of northern Minnesota, this is a tale of orchid smugglers, ice-cream makers and visionary breeders; of corruption, murder and moths with twelve-inch tongues; and of the vicious, bizarre world of international plant politics, and the wide range of gentle people whose overriding passion in life is the cultivation of these beautiful, fragile flowers. Funny, weird, poignant and completely unputdownable, Orchid Fever is an exhilarating, provocative journey to the heart of orchidaceous darkness.
"A wonderful book. I was up all night reading it, laughing and crying out in horror and clucking at the vivid images of bureaucracy with the bit in its teeth...ORCHID FEVER is a bitterly funny, lubricious, lunatic journey in the unsettling company of the orchid world's most outrageous screwballs, some so bizarre and irrational they seem to have fallen among us from a flying saucer" (Annie Proulx)
About Eric Hansen
Eric Hansen lives in San Francisco, but over the last twenty-five years he has travelled throughout Europe, the Middle East, Australia, Nepal, and Southeast Asia. He is the author of Stranger in the Forest, Motoring with Mohammed, and Orchid Fever all available from Methuen. His articles, photographs, and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, National Geographic, Travel & Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, and Outside magazine, among other publications worldwide.
"Entertaining, hilarious and hugely enjoyable... I laughed aloud" Val Hennessy, Daily Mail
"A cracking read and a testament to the twisted relationship between man and nature. It will make you look at the humble pot plant in a whole new light" Scotsman
"It reads like a comic thriller ... You don't have to be a classicist or a horticulturalist to enjoy this book. Plant politics are more gripping than the American primaries" Literary Review