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Stolen World by Jennie Erin Smith

Stolen World

Best Seller
Stolen World by Jennie Erin Smith
Jan 04, 2011 | ISBN 9780307720269

Available from:

  • Jan 04, 2011 | ISBN 9780307720269

    Available from:

Product Details


“Vile, venomous and best kept under lock and key – and that’s just the people in this gripping book. Jennie Erin Smith spent a decade investigating the strange world of reptile collectors and dealers who specialise in rare species. I couldn’t put this book down, partly because it’s a ripping yarn of wildlife cops versus reptile robbers, but also because I was mesmerised by the horror of it all.”
New Scientist
“[An] accomplished, often uproarious account of the international reptile trade.”
New Yorker
“Discoveringeccentric people who are passionately engaged in a fringe activity is the journalist’s equivalent of striking gold. In “Stolen World,” Jennie Erin Smith’s investigation into the exotic-animal trade finds a rich vein. Ms. Smith has an eye for offbeat detail, and there’s something startling or funny on nearly every page.”
Wall Street Journal
“VERDICT: All readers will be amazed at the sordid details of how these exotic animals get to pet shops and zoos.”
Library Journal
“A remarkable book…as exciting as a well-written novel. Stolen World is haunting, passionate, and cuts to the very heart of the illegal reptile trading world.”
—Larry Cox, King Features Syndicate
“Deeply funny ….Smith couldn’t have found a better collection of characters than the “risk junkies” she’s assembled.”
The Week
“As alarming, bizarre and occasionally as grimly funny as any tale of smugglers and their booty….this is a mournful story for anyone who loves nature, who hopes to encounter out there somewhere along the trail something rare and beautiful.”
Dallas Morning News

“I’m trying to think of the best way to say how absolutely marvelous Stolen World is and wondering if the answer can’t be found in the subtitle: ‘A Tale of Reptiles, Smugglers, and Skulduggery.’ Yes, it’s got all that, along with screwball comedy and a subtle, understated sermon on ecological values. But wait! – as they say in those zany TV commercials – there’s more! At some point in her creative process, journalist Jennie Erin Smith has added, in semi-invisible ink, ‘And That Crazy Brother of Yours, Who Hides in the Basement and Plays With Mamba Snakes, Even Though He’s 53 Years Old’…this book is a treat.”
—Washington Post
“Any work of nonfiction that contains the sentence ‘He boarded a plane to Stuttgart with a Tasmanian devil in his hand luggage’ is a title worth attending to, but when the man with the carnivorous marsupial in his carry-on is merely a supporting character — and not the most interesting one at that — it’s time to cancel your dinner date and take the phone off the hook. Jennie Erin Smith’s Stolen World is a book that fully justifies such measures, a flabbergasting chronicle of atrocious behavior, foolhardy schemes and dangerous animals that reads like a real-life Elmore Leonard novel.”

“Science reporter Smith debuts with an exciting tale of reptile smuggling . . . A richly detailed narrative of global malfeasance.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Very disturbing and very entertaining chronicle of reptile smugglers… Science reporter Smith’s affection for these unsavory people gives the book an intriguing moral ambiguity (which might make some environmentalists cringe), but the subculture’s brazen shenanigans make for a convoluted, fascinating tale.”  —Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review

“IF DARWIN, DOSTOYEVSKY, AND GEORGE LUCAS had collaborated on a novel, it might have resembled Stolen World. But it’s all true. The characters of Henry Molt and Tommy Crutchfield are Indiana Jones wannabes rewritten by Monty Python, as bizarre, dark, funny, and irresistible as any of the nobler yet loonier protagonists of fiction. Jennie Erin Smith has unearthed a riveting tale of the collision of the old world of zoological adventuring and the new world of Greenpeace and political correctness. And her writing serves it up superbly, the equal to every fantastic element of this wondrous, strange, endearing story of human folly.”
Peter Nichols, author of A Voyage for Madmen
“The snakes in the grass are not necessarily reptiles in Jennie Erin Smith’s marvelous book. They’re smugglers in love with wild life in all of its manifestations, and you’ll find yourself
rooting for them against the zooreaucrats who lust after the same beautiful and often deadly beasts. Smith conveys this stolen world with—dare I say it?—a viperish wit.”
—Will Blythe, author of To Hate Like This is to Be Happy Forever

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