I purchased The Feather Thief because I met author Kirk Wallace Johnson on Nantucket at the Nantucket Film Festival several years ago. He was the subject of a Beth Murphy documentary about his difficult time serving in Iraq. His story was riveting and subsequently I bought his memoir. He is an extraordinary writer. When I first heard about the subject of his second book, The Feather Thief, I was torn. I personally don't like to fish and I haven't a big love for birds but I felt a loyalty to Kirk so I decided I would venture into a world I knew nothing about. Little did I know it would become my favorite read of the summer! This book reads like detective novel yet is non-fiction. I couldn't put it down as I followed the unfolding story of a bird feather heist in a museum in England. As the story unfolds, I was totally absorbed with all of the characters, the history of exotic bird features and the fashion industry, the underground world of makers of fishing lures, the role Darwin and other scientists played in capturing wild birds across the globe, and most of all the destructive nature of greed. This book has it all! Johnson is a brilliant detective and storyteller.
After finishing the book at top speed... I bought 20 plus copies to give to friends, family and even a sales person at a cashmere store who listened to me rave about this great story! I sent a copy to a doctor who has retired and only fishes ...and to a woman on her 40th birthday...wrapping the book in feathers!
Should you read this book? YES!!!!!! And let me know how much you enjoyed the story once you've finished reading! Make sure you come to the NBF this June to hear Kirk in person tell about his journey and his work on this book!!