The Feather Thief

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

4.03 (5,626 ratings by Goodreads)

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Description

Who is Edwin Rist?

Genius or Narcissist? Mastermind or Pawn?

One summer evening in 2009, twenty-year-old musical prodigy Edwin Rist broke into the British Museum of Natural History. Hours later, he slipped away with a suitcase full of rare bird specimens collected over the centuries from across the world, all featuring a dazzling array of priceless feathers.

Kirk Wallace Johnson was waist-deep in a river in New Mexico when he first heard about the heist, from his fly-fishing guide. When he discovered that the thief evaded prison, and that half the birds were never recovered, Johnson embarked upon a years-long worldwide investigation which led him deep into the fiercely secretive underground community obsessed with the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying.

A page-turning story of a bizarre and shocking crime, The Feather Thief shines a light on our fraught relationship with the natural world's most beautiful and valuable wonders, and one man's relentless quest for justice.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 23mm | 457g
  • Hutchinson
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1786330148
  • 9781786330147
  • 7,170

Review Text

"The Feather Thief truly is a tale of obsession ... A wonderfully assured writer, [Johnson] takes us on a curious journey into the past ... Vivid and arresting" The Times
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Review quote

"The Feather Thief truly is a tale of obsession ... A wonderfully assured writer, [Johnson] takes us on a curious journey into the past ... Vivid and arresting" * The Times * "A fascinating investigation of a seriously ridiculous crime" * New Scientist * "The questions [The Feather Thief] raises are more pertinent than ever" * Daily Mail * "The book is The Orchid Thief for the fly-fishing and birding set: worth its weight in exotic bird feathers, which you'll learn are very expensive" * The Paris Review * "Weird and wonderful" * The Tablet *
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About Kirk Wallace Johnson

Kirk Wallace Johnson served in Iraq with the US Agency for International Development in Baghdad and Fallujah as the Agency's first co-ordinator for reconstruction in the war-torn city. He went on to found The List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies. His work on behalf of Iraqi refugees was profiled by This American Life, 60 Minutes, the Today Show, the subject of a feature-length documentary, The List, and a memoir, To Be a Friend is Fatal.

A Senior Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy, and the recipient of fellowships from the American Academy in Berlin, Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the Wurlitzer Foundation, his writing has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times and the Washington Post. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, son and daughter.
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Rating details

5,626 ratings
4.03 out of 5 stars
5 30% (1,694)
4 48% (2,709)
3 18% (1,013)
2 3% (152)
1 1% (58)
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