"This is basically what it sounds like, so if you aren't already slightly enamored of that pulpy, juicy masterpiece we call an orange, perhaps this isn't the book for you. If anyone can convince you to change your mind, though, it might be Mr. McPhee—his patient prose and unerring childlike interest in his subject are a breath of fresh air. One of his first books, this is an early example of how McPhee manages to weave scientific particularities and esoteric processes into a story that unfurls as easily as a lullaby.
I recommend buying a 'golden apple' before you begin—you'll be craving one before long."
A classic of reportage, Oranges was first conceived as a short magazine article about oranges and orange juice, but the author kept encountering so much irresistible information that he eventually found that he had in fact written a book. It contains sketches of orange growers, orange botanists, orange pickers, orange packers, early settlers on Florida’s Indian River, the first orange barons, modern concentrate makers, and a fascinating profile of Ben Hill Griffin of Frostproof, Florida who may be the last of the individual orange barons. McPhee’s astonishing book has an almost narrative progression, is immensely readable, and is frequently amusing. Louis XIV hung tapestries of oranges in the halls of Versailles, because oranges and orange trees were the symbols of his nature and his reign. This book, in a sense, is a tapestry of oranges, too—with elements in it that range from the great orangeries of European monarchs to a custom of people in the modern Caribbean who split oranges and clean floors with them, one half in each hand.