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Shell Games: Rogues, Smugglers, and the Hunt for Nature's Bounty download epub

by Craig Welch


Epub Book: 1228 kb. | Fb2 Book: 1202 kb.

Includes bibliographical references.

Includes bibliographical references. This thrilling examination of the international black market for wildlife is filled with butterfly thieves, bear slayers, and shark-trafficking pastors-all part of one of the largest illegal trades in the world.

Welch brings us into the underworld of shellfish smuggling from multiple angles. True Eco-Crime readers have found their brainy new voice in "Shell Games. Author Craig Welch keeps his eye on the ecosystem while telling a good yarn about the unlikeliest of mass-market heroes: fish cops protecting a clam that would make a nun blush. Shell Games delivers the police procedural meat True Crime readers savor, without losing sight of the larger issues at the heart of Eco-Crime.

Shell Games" will change the way you read the news and some passages will find their way into thoughtful conversations the .

Shell Games" will change the way you read the news and some passages will find their way into thoughtful conversations the way Michael Pollan's books change the way you eat and trigger interesting debates. Two-thirds the way through Craig Welch's fast-paced tale of geoduck smugglers and the wildlife cops dedicated to reversing their fortunes, we meet a hitman hired to take out the competition. Welch is there as the would-be killer steps off the plane. Dressed in a black turtleneck and a blazer on this hot summer day, the thug is carrying a teddy bear.

A unique blend of natural history and crime drama, Shell Games by Craig Welch is a riveting tale of rogues, scoundrels, and the hunt for nature’s bounty in the tradition of The Orchid Thief.

A unique blend of natural history and crime drama, Shell Games by Craig Welch is a riveting tale of rogues, scoundrels, and the hunt for nature's bounty in the tradition of The Orchid Thief

A unique blend of natural history and crime drama, Shell Games by Craig Welch is a riveting tale of rogues, scoundrels, and the hunt for nature's bounty in the tradition of The Orchid Thief. A n true story centered around a larger-than-life character who pursued a larger-than-life clam-the Geoduck-and then led wildlife police on a two-year-long chase, Shell Games is enthralling and remarkable from page one on. Download from free file storage.

Shell Games, by Craig Welch, is hands-down one of the most interesting wildlife stories I’ve read in decades. Welch is an environmental writer at the Seattle Times, and the book grew from stories he first reported for his newspaper about wildlife trafficking in the Puget Sound

Shell Games, by Craig Welch, is hands-down one of the most interesting wildlife stories I’ve read in decades. Admittedly, the subtitle, Rogues, Smugglers, and the Hunt for Nature’s Bounty, snookered me from the outset. Welch is an environmental writer at the Seattle Times, and the book grew from stories he first reported for his newspaper about wildlife trafficking in the Puget Sound. The more he looked into it, the more convoluted the tales became.

A unique blend of natural history and crime drama, Shell Games by Craig Welch is a riveting tale of rogues, scoundrels, and the hunt for nature’s bounty in the tradition of The Orchid Thief

A unique blend of natural history and crime drama, Shell Games by Craig Welch is a riveting tale of rogues, scoundrels, and the hunt for nature’s bounty in the tradition of The Orchid Thief.

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I was surprised to learn that Shell Games is Craig Welch's first book. Yet Welch masterfully hooks his readers like fishes and reels us in little by little on a barely visible thread, perplexing and enlightening us along the way. This was one of the best true crime stories I've read in years and I devoured it in one sitting

A unique blend of natural history and crime drama, Shell Games by Craig Welch is a riveting tale of rogues, scoundrels, and the hunt for nature’s bounty in the tradition of The Orchid Thief. A stranger-than-fiction true story centered around a larger-than-life character who pursued a larger-than-life clam—the Geoduck—and then led wildlife police on a two-year-long chase, Shell Games is enthralling and remarkable from page one on.


Comments: (7)

Nicanagy
One of the best parts about reading this book, I have to say, was that when people asked me what it was about and I answered, "geoduck poachers," I got the greatest looks. Looks that said, "Whozzit what now?" Looks that said, "What's a `gooeyduck' and why would I want to poach one?" People were invariably curious at first, and then totally dumbstruck once filled in. Which makes sense, I suppose, because this is one weird, wild story.

The bulk of this tale is about an elaborate, surprisingly enormous ring of geoduck poachers that's been operating in the Pacific Northwest for years (author Craig Welch is an environmental reporter at the SEATTLE TIMES). Believe it or not, the poaching of these giant clams involves all the same sorts of things you'd expect to find in a drug smuggling operation: undercover officers, intricately planned stings, death threats, and millions of dollars in black market revenue. Giant clams! Selling overseas for $200+ apiece! Get out -- that's loco like bananas (as my niece would say).

Welch mostly focuses on a specific operation by the Fish and Wildlife department, describing the methods and motivations employed by all the various parties: the officers in charge, their snitch/informant (a former poacher himself, perfectly happy to turn on his "colleagues"), and the poachers themselves, who are not, I repeat: NOT!, messing around here. Tick one off and the next thing you know, there'll be a price tag on your phallic-looking-clam-smuggling head.

Along the way, Welch also tells us about a variety of other wildlife thefts, everything from moss stolen from the forests of the Northwest (moss! stolen! for money! boggles! the! mind!) to women smuggling small monkeys onto airplanes in their hair. A long passage about a butterfly thief from Japan (selling his finds on Ebay, of all places) kept me up way past my bedtime, as the undercover cop in charge of bringing him down tried repeatedly to endear himself to the man, only to find himself constantly pissing him off instead. As it turns out, butterfly smugglers also have extremely short fuses -- somewhat surprising given the delicate nature of their work. Also: they can really hold a grudge.

Every chapter in this book is as riveting as the last, but aside from the stories themselves, what makes Shell Games a true pleasure to read is the writing. Welch is a gifted author, with an astonishing talent for describing a scene -- not what I expected, to be honest, from a newspaper reporter. And, of course, the stories themselves read like white-knuckling fiction: You're going to blow that guy up because he's. . . encroaching on your black market profits on. . . GEODUCKS? Blow him up? For CLAMS? Again: boggled!

Once I picked this book up, I had a hard time putting it back down again. It's an absolute must-read for anyone interested in protecting our wildlife, or, for that matter, anyone who simply loves a brilliantly weird story. SHELL GAMES is a fascinating and thoroughly bizarre thrill-ride that'll make you go "Huh?" and then "Hmmm. . ." and finally "WTF?!" (in a good way). Highly recommended!
Yggfyn
When my family and friends asked about my current reading material, and I told them that I was reading a fast-paced page turner about the shellfish industry... let's just say that I got more than a few confused stares. But then I told them about the good guys (wildlife cops), the bad guys (shellfish smugglers), and just how much this good vs. evil battle resembled the highly volatile drug trade.

At times in Shell Games, these criminals take rare clams so seriously (and risk so much to smuggle them), that it's almost impossible to believe that you're reading nonfiction. Craig Welsch has a real knack for non-fiction, and keeps you interested and turning pages furiously... while reading a book about shellfish. Again, it's hard to believe - but this book really is that fascinating!
Perius
Welch presents a well written tale about his efforts to combat Geoduck poaching on the West Coast of the U.S. His was an incredibly difficult job that wasn't limited to the fishermen and divers who did the actual harvest, but was instead focused on taking down the controlling organization for the entire industry. Welch describes both the successes and troubles he encountered during the investigation and really gives life to the characters that were involved. It's an excellent book that shows the determination and dedication required to combat an expansive threat to a finite natural resource, which today is on the road to recovery because of Welch and men like him.
olgasmile
This is beach reading for the brainy.
"Shell Games" will change the way you read the news and some passages will find their way into thoughtful conversations the way Michael Pollan's books change the way you eat and trigger interesting debates.
True Eco-Crime readers have found their brainy new voice in "Shell Games."
Author Craig Welch keeps his eye on the ecosystem while telling a good yarn about the unlikeliest of mass-market heroes: fish cops protecting a clam that would make a nun blush.
Shell Games delivers the police procedural meat True Crime readers savor, without losing sight of the larger issues at the heart of Eco-Crime. Without lecturing, Welch keeps Eco-savvy readers focused on the devastation in the wake of poachers.
True Crime writers could borrow a page from Welch, stepping away from all the techy-talk to think about the cost of crime on a grand scale, to characters, but also to human communities where unchecked predators' victims sometimes become barbarians themselves.
Shell Games is clearly written by someone who has spent a lot of time on the ground with experts, studying the complex dynamics of life from the sea floor to the surface and along the shoreline. Its almost better that the geoduck isn't cuddly.
That's the thing about True Eco-Crime as a genre is its willingness to think big thoughts on behalf of odd creatures.
Welch's gift to readers is that he takes seriously their role at the top of the food chain, while most Eco-Crime books emphasize our helplessness.
Past True Eco-Crimes (oil spills, chemical dumps, etc) were written by finance experts to please New York editors by emphasizing human stakeholders (the promising yuppie-turned-whistleblower who "sacrifices" a fat job with perks).
But across the rest of the country, there's an audience for writers who keep an eye on the science of eco-crimes.
True Eco-Crime must be a puzzle to Manhattan publishers, who sometimes seem to think Central Park is nature and Cooper's Beach at Southampton is wilderness.
It's true that the book needed an editor who took more care to rein in the writer's love for a couple extra sections of context. True Eco-Crime is such a new genre that such digressions take readers into virgin terrain.(Moonies in the poaching business? Who knew?)If you're patient, it's cool stuff. If you're not, you can skip back to the plot-thickening.
More like this, please. It's a rich bouillabaise.
Shell Games: Rogues, Smugglers, and the Hunt for Nature's Bounty download epub
Nature & Ecology
Author: Craig Welch
ISBN: 0061537136
Category: Science & Math
Subcategory: Nature & Ecology
Language: English
Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (April 6, 2010)
Pages: 288 pages