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Winged Obsession: The Pursuit of the World's Most Notorious Butterfly Smuggler

por Jessica Speart

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16027172,620 (3.3)14
Describes how the author found herself in the middle of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent's hunt for notorious butterfly smuggler Yoshi Kojima.
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I enjoyed the topic, but found myself somewhat turned off by the whole undercover nature of the investigation. I guess that is what has to be done to get these people. ( )
  cspiwak | Mar 6, 2024 |
I picked up this book at a little bookstore in Iowa that had a box of ARCs at the door that you could pick through if you made a purchase. The butterfly on the cover caught my eye.

When I finally got around to reading it I had some reservations at first. It wasn't that the book was anti-science, but it was a bit light in science where I would have wanted more, and some of the characterizations struck me a little "dime story mystery novel" -- which made more sense when I looked up the author and discovered that she primarily writes mysteries. But once I got going, of course I was hooked, because Yoshi Kojima is such a strange person -- the kind of oncoming disasters is hard to look away from, and it's hard not to root for Ed Newcomer -- who just wants to save wildlife and keeps getting drawn into increasingly bizarre and uncomfortable undercover situations to do so.

Butterfly smuggling is a strange and depressing world -- the kind you just hope doesn't exist -- that all those framed insects you see for sale were responsibly harvested, etc. -- but of course it does. If only the legal system took it more seriously. I'm thankful for those who do. ( )
  greeniezona | Jan 24, 2019 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
Completely absorbing story about the world's best butterfly smuggler, Yoshi Kojima, and how Agent Newcomer from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finally brought him down.

Speart's writing is straightforward and easy to understand. She shares information about the world of smuggling, plus specific butterfly trends and secrets, without overcomplicating the rhetoric. Her insider's perspective of the operations of Fish and Wildlife, along with the background in butterflies in particular, flesh out the story and add authority to the narrative.

I don't usually enjoy nonfiction, but I got this book because I do enjoy reading about animals. I learned so much about butterflies, not to mention beetles and other bugs, that I'm now quite appreciative of them. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about endangered animals and the U.S. laws that leave us exposed to their continued smuggling. ( )
  cemming | Oct 3, 2011 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
Coming from a family of do-it-yourself insect collecting I was appalled to learn of the booming black market for butterflies. This is a grim nonfiction heartbreak recast as a Hollywood thriller. If you can wade through the stilted dialog it is an entertaining read. Not recommended for for serious consumers of science writing, others may enjoy. ( )
2 vote BookWallah | Sep 29, 2011 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
Yoshi Kojima is a butterfly smuggler. So what, you might say, it's only butterflies after all. Ed Newcomer would disagree with you. As an agent of the US Fish and Wildlife Agency he is on the front lines of the battle against this crime. The amount of money involved in this trade is staggering; the amount used to fight against it is laughable. You will never look at a butterfly the same way again.

Jessica Speart uncovers the high stakes involved by following in the footsteps of Kojima and Newcomer and writing about the cat and mouse games they play with each other. At times heartwrenchingly sad, at others eerily perverted, the story is interesting and informative. Reading more like a crime novel than the non-fiction work that it is, this book highlights the heroic efforts of Fish and Wildlife agents against impossible odds.

I found this book to be a worthwhile read although it did drag in spots from a bit too much dialogue. Especially interesting to me was the "roller" pigeon/raptor side plot. This book is recommende for anyone interested in animal issues and/or environmental policy. Readers who enjoy true crime/spy type books would also find much of interest with this book. ( )
  buchowl | Sep 7, 2011 |
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Man has been endowed with reason, with the power to create, so that he can add to what he's been given. But up to now he hasn't been a creator, only a destroyer. Forests keep disappearing, rivers dry up, wild life's become extinct, the climate's ruined and the land grows poorer and uglier every day.
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Describes how the author found herself in the middle of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent's hunt for notorious butterfly smuggler Yoshi Kojima.

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Jessica Speart's book Winged Obsession was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

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