ᗭ Free The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century ᛯ By Kirk Wallace Johnson 잭

ᗭ Free The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century ᛯ By Kirk Wallace Johnson 잭 ᗭ Free The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century ᛯ By Kirk Wallace Johnson 잭 PROLOGUE By the time Edwin Rist stepped off the train onto the platform at Tring, forty miles north of London, it was already quite late The residents of the sleepy town had finished their suppers thelittle ones were in bed As he began the long walk into town, the Midland line glided off into darkness A few hours earlier Edwin had performed in the Royal Academy of Musics London Soundscapes, a celebration of Hayden, Handel, and Mendelssohn Before the concert, hed packed a pair of latex gloves, a miniature LED flashlight, a wire cutter, and a diamond blade glass cutter in a large rolling suitcase, and stowed it in his concert hall locker He bore a passing resemblance to a lanky Pete Townshend intense eyes, prominent nose, and a mop of hair, although instead of shredding a Fender, Edwin played the flute There was a new moon that evening, making the already gloomy stretch of road even darker For nearly an hour, he dragged his suit case through the mud and gravel skirting the road, under gnarly old trees strangled with ivy Turlhangers Wood slept to the north, Chestnut Wood to the south, fallow fields and the occasional copse in between A car blasted by, its headlights blinding Adrenaline coursing, he knew he was getting close The entrance to the market town of Tring is guarded by a sixteenth century pub called the Robin Hood A few roads beyond, nestled between the old Tring Brewery and an HSBC branch, lies the entrance to Public Footpath 37 Known to locals as Bank Alley, the footpath isnt than eight feet wide and is framed by seven foot high brick walls Edwin slipped into the alley, into total darkness He groped his way along until he was standing directly behind the building hed spent months casing All that separated him from it was the wall Capped with three rusted strands of barbed wire, it might have thwarted his plans were it not for the wire cutter After clearing an opening, he lifted the suitcase to the ledge, hoisted himself up, and glanced anxiously about No sign of the guard There was a space of several feet between his perch on the wall and the buildings nearest window, forming a small ravine If he fell, he could injure himselfor worse, make a clamor that would summon security But hed known this part wouldnt be easy Crouched on top of the wall, he reached toward the window with the glass cutter and began to grind it along the pane Cutting glass was harder than he had anticipated, though, and as he struggled to carve an opening, the glass cutter slipped from his hand and fell into the ravine His mind raced Was this a sign He was think ing about bailing on the whole crazy scheme when that voice, the one that had urged him onward these past months, shouted Wait a minute You cant give up now Youve come all this way He crawled back down and picked up a rock Steadying himself atop the wall, he peered around in search of guards before bashing the window out, wedging his suitcase through the shard strewn opening, and climbing into the British Natural History Museum Unaware that he had just tripped an alarm in the security guards office, Edwin pulled out the LED light, which cast a faint glow in front of him as he made his way down the hallways toward the vault, just as hed rehearsed in his mind He wheeled his suitcase quietly through corridor after corridor, drawing ever closer to the most beautiful things he had ever seen If he pulled this off, they would bring him fame, wealth, and prestige They would solve his problems He deserved them He entered the vault, its hundreds of large white steel cabinets standing in rows like sentries, and got to work He pulled out the first drawer, catching a waft of mothballs Quivering beneath his fingertips were a dozen Red ruffed Fruitcrows, gathered by natural ists and biologists over hundreds of years from the forests and jungles of South America and fastidiously preserved by generations of curators for the benefit of future research Their coppery orange feathers glimmered despite the faint light Each bird, maybe a foot and a half from beak to tail, lay on its back in funerary repose, eye sockets filled with cotton, feet folded close against the body Tied around their legs were biodata labels faded, handwritten records of the date, altitude, latitude, and longitude of their capture, along with other vital details He unzipped the suitcase and began filling it with the birds, emptying one drawer after another The occidentalis subspecies that he snatched by the handful had been gathered a century earlier from the Quindo Andes region of western Colombia He didnt know exactly how many hed be able to fit into his suitcase, but he managed forty seven of the museums forty eight male specimens before wheeling his bag on to the next cabinet Down in the security office, the guard was fixated on a small television screen Engrossed in a soccer match, he hadnt yet noticed the alarm indicator blinking on a nearby panel Edwin opened the next cabinet to reveal dozens of Resplendent Quetzal skins gathered in the 1880s from the Chiriqu cloud forests of western Panama, a species now threatened by widespread deforestation and protected by international treaties At nearly four feet in length, the birds were particularly difficult to stuff into his suitcase, but he maneuvered thirty nine of them inside by gently curling their sweeping tails into tight coils Moving down the corridor, he swung open the doors of another cabinet, this one housing species of the Cotinga birds of South and Central America He swiped fourteen one hundred year old skins of the Lovely Cotinga, a small turquoise bird with a reddish purple breast endemic to Central America, before relieving the museum of thirty seven specimens of the Purple breasted Cotinga, twenty one skins of the Spangled Cotinga, and another ten skins of the endangered Banded Cotinga, of which as few as 250 mature individuals are estimated to be alive today.The Galpagos island finches and mockingbirds gathered by Charles Darwin in 1835 during the voyage of the HMS Beaglewhich had been instrumental in developing his theory of evolution through natural selectionwere resting in nearby drawers Among the museums most valuable holdings were skeletons and skins of extinct birds, including the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon, along with an elephant folio edition of John James Audubons The Birds of America Overall, the museum houses one of the worlds largest collection of ornithological specimens 750,000 bird skins, 15,000 skeletons, 17,000 birds preserved in spirit, 4,000 nests, and 400,000 sets of eggs, gathered over the centuries from the worlds most remote forests, mountainsides, jungles, and swamps But Edwin hadnt broken into the museum for a drab colored finch He had lost track of how long hed been in the vault when he finally wheeled his suitcase to a stop before a large cabinet A small plaque indicated its contents paradisaeidae Thirty seven King Birds of Paradise, swiped in seconds Twenty four Magnificent Rifle birds Twelve Superb Birds of Paradise Four Blue Birds of Paradise Seventeen Flame Bowerbirds These flawless specimens, gathered against almost impossible odds from virgin forests of New Guinea and the Malay Archipelago 150 years earlier, went into Edwins bag, their tags bearing the name of a self taught naturalist whose breakthrough had given Darwin the scare of his life a r wallace The guard glanced at the CCTV feed, an array of shots of the parking lot and the museum campus He began his round, pacing the hallways, checking the doors, scanning for anything awry Edwin had long since lost count of the number of birds that passed through his hands He had originally planned to choose only the best of each species, but in the excitement of the plunder, he grabbed and stuffed until his suitcase could hold no The guard stepped outside to begin a perimeter check, glancing up at the windows and beaming his flashlight on the section abutting the brick wall of Bank Alley Edwin stood before the broken window, now framed with shards of glass So far everything had gone according to plan, with the exception of the missing glass cutter All that remained was to climb back out of the window without slicing himself open, and melt into the anonymity of the street.Fascinating a complex tale of greed, deception, and ornithological sabotage The New York Times Book ReviewFascinating from the first page to the lastyou wont be able to put it down Southern LivingA fascinating book the kind of intelligent reported account that alerts us to a threat and that, one hopes, will never itself be endangered The Wall Street JournalThrilling This book is The Orchid Thieffor the fly fishing and birding set Paris Review, Staff PicksFascinating a complex tale of greed, deception, and ornithological sabotage The New York Times Book ReviewJohnson, like Susan Orlean before him, is a magnifier he sees grand themesnavet, jealousy, depression, the entitlement of man That vision makes a book about things like Victorian salmon fly tiers feel heavy as gold The New Yorker, What Were Reading This Summer A true crime caper recounted with relish O, The Oprah Magazine, 10 Titles to Pick Up NowVivid and arresting Johnson is a wonderfully assured writer The Times London One of the most peculiar and memorable true crime books ever Johnson is an intrepid journalist with a fine knack for uncovering details that reveal, captivate, and disturb Christian Science MonitorAn uncommon book that informs and enlightens A heist story that manages to underline the enduring and continuing importance of natural history collections and their incredible value to science We need books like this one ScienceThe best compliment I can give a nonfiction writer is that they make me care deeply about an obscure topic I would otherwise never have been interested in Thats the case with Kirk Wallace Johnsons The Feather Thief Eva Holland, Outside, The Best Summer Books A fascinating account of a bizarre crime The Feather Thiefis one of the peculiar and gripping crime stories in recent memory LitHub CrimeReads, The Essential True Crime Books of Spring 2018 Johnson succeeds in conveying the gravity of this natural history heist of the century, and one of The Feather Thiefs greatest strengths is the excitement, horror, and amazement it evokes Its nonfiction that reads like fiction, with plenty of surprising moments Outside A riveting read NatureA literary police sketchpart natural history yarn, part detective story, part the stuff of tragedy SmithsonianWithin pages I was hooked This is a weird and wonderful book Johnson is a master of pacing and suspense Its a tribute to his storytelling gifts that when I turned the last page I felt bereft Maggie Fergusson, The Spectator London A riveting story about mankinds undeniable desire to own natures beauty and a spellbinding examination of obsession, greed, and justice told in engrossing detail Agripping page turner BustleEnthralling HelloGigglesRichly informative, with handy illustrations, endlessly fascinating and crackingly entertaining, The Feather Thief is the kind of true crime narrative that gives Erik Larson s much lauded The Devil in the WhiteCity a run for the money Shelf AwarenessHighly entertaining journalism at its best If you know nothing about fly fishing or tying, it doesnt matter, as long as you like a well written story Karen Gallagher, The Balti Sun s Roughly SpeakingpodcastReads like a whodunit I could not put it down.Tom Rosenbauer, TheOrvis Fly Fishing Guide PodcastThis is the type of book I absolutely love one that takes a seemingly obscure topic and shines a brilliant and bizarre and endlessly fascinating light upon it The crime itself is riveting, but Kirk Wallace Johnsons portrayal of the crazy world of feather fanatics makes this an unforgettable read.Michael Finkel, author of The Stranger in the WoodsCaptivatingEverything the author touches in this thoroughly engaging true crime tale turns to storytelling gold Johnson s flair for telling an engrossing story is, like the beautiful birds he describes, exquisite A superb tale about obsession, nature, and man s unrelenting desire to lay claim to its beauty, whatever the cost Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review An enthralling account of a truly bizarre crime Johnson goes deep into the exotic bird and feather trade and concludes that though obsession and greed know no bounds, they certainly make for a fascinating tale The result is a page turner that will likely appeal to science, history, and true crime readers Publishers Weekly,Starred ReviewA remarkably compelling story of obsession and history Booklist, Starred ReviewYou ll never look at a feather the same way again after reading this riveting detective story The Feather Thief brilliantly weaves together Alfred Russel Wallace, the surprisingly shadowy history of fly fishing, conservation and the plumage of the most beautiful birds on earth The Bookseller UK A true crime tale that weaves seemingly unrelated threadsa museum break in the development of evolutionary theory a case of post Iraq PTSD endangered birds and above all the murky underworld of fly tying obsessivesinto a spellbinding narrative tapestry Mark Adams, author of Turn Right at Machu Picchu Acaptivating tale of an unlikely thief and his even unlikely crime, and a meditation on obsession, greed, and the sheer fascination in something as seemingly simple as a feather.Paul Collins, author of The Murder of the CenturyA stirring examination of the devastating effects of human greed on endangered birds, a powerful argument for protecting our environmentand, above all, a captivating crime story.Peter Wohlleben, author of The Hidden Life of TreesThis gem of a book, about a heist of archival birds, is marvelous, moving, and transcendent I cant stop thinking about it.Dean King, author of Skeletons on the Zahara and The FeudThis extraordinary book exposes an international underground that traffics in rare and precious natural resources, yet was previously unknown to all but a few A page turning read you wont soon forget, The Feather Thief tells us as much about our cultural priorities as it does about the crimes themselves Theres never been anything like it Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Life of Dogs The Feather Thief Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural The proves that most obscure, candy ass activities can be made interesting for general reader Johnson makes his tale as vivid arresting a quetzal s tail THE TIMES OF LONDON Within pages I was hooked An Best Book of May title smartly echoes Susan Orleans Orchid Thief, has good reason to compare itself such an admired book Strange niches history Obsessives who refuse adhere law Author History Heist Century, To Be Friend is Fatal Fight Save Iraqis America Left Behind Founder List Project Resettle Iraqi Allies by Kirk Wallace Century NPR NPR coverage News, author interviews, critics picks A Weird But True Story Takes Flight In Apr , it depressing learn, we do early on in this book, Edwin Rist, feather thief, never served any time prison THE FEATHER THIEF Kirkus Reviews A captivating beautiful, rare, priceless, stolen feathers Journalist Is fly fishing New Mexico stream when he first heard about thief from guide one peculiar gripping crime stories recent memory LitHub CrimeReads, Essential Crime Books Spring succeeds conveying gravity natural heist century, greatest strengths excitement, horror, This American Life After hearing heist, gets sucked into underground He ends up discovering things people charge theft investigation didn t called minutes compelling blend mystery, quirky salmon flytiers, dogged enthusiasts, highlights obsessive lengths will go destroy Johnson, like Orlean before him, magnifier sees grand themes navet, jealousy, depression, entitlement man in, say, plumes king bird paradise, collected nineteenth century naturalist Alfred Russel between bouts fever Pacific Interview frothy waters river told him whopper could hardly believe forewarned, once you start born moment, ll just Kirk W Home Facebook K likes Wikipedia April new chronicles real life rare skins Britain Tring Museum Maureen Corrigan says reads seen hard days As officer US Agency International Development, given brief rebuilding city Fallujah after years war CrimeReads founder His writing appeared Yorker, York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles among others amazement evokes It nonfiction fiction, with plenty surprising moments INTERVIEW WITH KIRK WALLACE JOHNSON Man Who Stole Bird Feathers Times Jun recounts Rist odd its even curious aftermath The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century

    • Broché
    • 110198161X
    • The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century
    • Kirk Wallace Johnson
    • Anglais
    • 2016-11-08T07:32+02:00