A hilarious and sparkling collection of essays on people, famous, infamous and obscure, told with the gloriously eccentric wit that have made Susan Orlean one of America's best-known journalists and The Orchid Thief into a bestseller.
Susan Orlean's collection of profiles ranges from the well-known (Marky Mark) to the unknown (Colin Duffy, a typical American man, aged ten) to the formerly known (the cult sixties girl group the Shaggs). Orlean meets with Cristina Sanchez, Spain's first fully-qualified female matador, Silly Billy, New York's most successful children's clown, an African king who is a New York taxi-driver, and a champion show dog called Biff, who from a certain angle looks like President Clinton. As in her remarkable bestseller The Orchid Thief, soon to be the basis of Spike Being John Malkovich Jonze's new film, starring Meryl Streep and Nicholas Cage, Orlean' s eye for the fascinatingly bizarre and her wonderfully witty way with language make her take on the world utterly original and unique.
“Orlean is compulsively curious... sinfully enjoyable[Orlean] is a kind of latter-day de Tocqueville... She makes her subjects and the places they inhabit seem utterly new as well as noble, sad and loopy... a powerful portrait of life on the edge of the mainstream”
New York Times