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Thursday, June 16, 2016

REVIEW: The Lost City of Z by David Grann

For a non-nonfiction reader, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon is right up my alley.  I love a good historical mystery based on fact and the search for a legendary city of riches speaks to my love of fantasy and classical humanities background.

Grann's narrative explores two parallel narratives. First, a glimpse into the past and one of the 20th century's greatest exploration mysteries: What happened to explorer Percy Fawcett and his quest for the lost city of Z?

In a fateful 1925 excursion, Fawcett, his son and his crew travel deep into the Amazon hoping to discover an ancient lost civilization, rumored to be El Dorado. Thousands before them had died in such a pursuit; however, Fawcett believed he had the scientific facts for success. Never returning, their disappearance is one of explorations' greatest enigmas. Did they perish from disease or another environmental woe? Or, were they killed and/or held captive by an Indian tribe?

Shifting to his own quest for truth, Grann chronicles his own exploration into a treasure trove of diaries and other writings as he embarks on his own journey for answers to this mystery. Readers will be compelled from start to finish as we discover what truths Grann finds along the way.

Overall, I enjoyed this work if a bit long.  If I'm going to read nonfiction, this is the kind I crave. I kept imagining a lost Indiana Jones movie and how Harrison Ford would have ventured through the jungle, escaped multiple dangers and discovered the city only to have to hide its existence once again to save the world from utter destruction! (A bit like Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull but not awful!)

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @DavidGrann



#lostcityofz #eldorado #mystery #nonfiction #exploration #history

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