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Comments for Dirty Jokes and Orchids

Dirty Jokes and Orchids: 08/10/04

I just finished reading the Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean, having heard good reviews on NPR. The book is 288 pages and up through those first 200, I was captivated. She starts with the background of John Laroche, the man arrested for trying to steal and clone the Ghost Orchid. In the process of explaining his passion for orchids, she investigates the history of orchid collecting and the local culture of orchid growers in Florida. These chapters fascinated me until near the end of the book when Orlean stops briefly again with Laroche to note the outcome of the trial. Yet, there is almost another hundred pages of what now seemed like rambling thoughts. What started so strongly, ends up petering out.

So now I'm finishing up Dirty Jokes and Beer by Drew Carey. It reminds me a great deal of Stephen King's On Writing in that the first half is a very intimate monologue of the author's life and work with nothing held back. The writing style here is disjointed and sometimes sloppy and it makes no apologies for it. The second half is more of a nuts and bolts discussion of how the sitcom business works. After such a densely detailed book as The Orchid Thief, I am enjoying this rather fuffy and crude memoir.

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