The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson

The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson Book cover with feathery background, true crime book recommendation

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A true Crime Caper about a topic that I didn’t even know was a topic, The Feather Thief is a loaded book! I mean “I didn’t know” it was a topic in the very narrow sense of “I didn’t know there was an illicit market, specifically, for feathers”.  I mean loaded in a grand way. There are more subjects in this book then I can list—at least, in a list short enough someone would read it!  I’ll spare you a boring subject list if you’ll read this NOT boring book instead!  Then you’ll know what could’ve been on the list.

Among the things I found interesting and intriguing in this book are (don’t complain, this isn’t the list I almost listed above! This is a fun list! It’s a short list, too!):

  1. The large, bold characters involved, from determined, imaginative naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, wealthy and eccentric Walter Rothschild (huge collector), multiple conservationists, fly tiers from days of yore, and the author of this very book—to name a few.
  2. The contextual structure, or various histories, if you will, that build an excellent and enlightening framework for the whole.
  3. The downsides of obsession, especially in selfish pursuits; but perhaps even in a good cause.

Alright, the listing portion is done.  Well, I must mention: the writing is good, the topic(s) of interest and pertinent, and there’s a lot to ponder.  For example, what type of law enforcement would be…but I said no more lists!  I hope you both enjoy this book and feel inspired by it to exert yourself in a good cause. 

I need to go now and cross “write about The Feather Thief” off of my “to do” list.


This Abibliophobe