Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Lost City Of Z by David Grann


A grand mystery reaching back centuries. A sensational disappearance that made headlines around the world. A quest for truth that leads to death, madness or disappearance for those who seek to solve it. The Lost City of Z is a blockbuster adventure narrative about what lies beneath the impenetrable jungle canopy of the Amazon.

My Thoughts

This is not a fictionalized account of Percy Fawcett's adventures in the Amazon basin. This strives to recount quite accurately the information that Fawcett recorded about his explorations. It is mixed with the stories of a couple of other explorers that also attempted to find the lost city of El Dorado...and David Grann who tried to follow the footsteps exactly that Percy had travelled while searching for his mythical city of Z. It is unsure about why he even called it Z but he seems to have become obsessed with the idea of it and it had assumed an almost nirvana-like mysticism in his dreams.

This was a time in history when technology hadn't caught up with the dreams and needs of the adventurers in the jungle and when people went exploring they often disappeared for months and sometimes years...with no way of contacting those in the civilized world. Some never returned to their loved ones and the assumption was that they had perished in the 'green hell' that had taken over their lives. Hostile natives, disease or being the prey of carnivorous hunters was most probably the fate of all who disappeared but these mysteries just seemed to fuel the enthusiasm for hundreds of men and they all hoped to be the one to crack the mystery of The Lost City Of Z.

I was intrigued in spite of myself ( I have always enjoyed a good adventure story) and quickly read through this book although it was a little dry and I needed to read it over several nights. It required thinking about as I was reading unlike a piece of fiction. The account also felt disjointed through parts of the book and I grew to wish that David Grann had just written about Fawcett and not muddied the waters by introducing some other explorers. After all, David Grann was interested in following Mr. Fawcett's one else's.

I did enjoy the story and was thrilled to read the last chapter. It brought the quest for the lost city of Z to a satisfactory conclusion. This book has been sold and is presently in production for a 2010 release starring Brad Pitt as Colonel Percy Fawcett.


Luanne said...

Okay I just skipped to the end of your review to see if you liked it as this one's still on my TBR pile. Glad you did! I'll be back after I've read it.

Cindy said...

Great Review. This is also on my TBR pile. Can't wait to read it now.

Lisa said...

This one is sitting on my shelf - now I'm really looking forward to it. Thanks for the review.

Stephanie said...

Hi, thanks for following my blog! (Now hopefully I'll post some reviews or something soon, grrr.) I'm glad you reviewed this book; it sounded very interesting, and now I think I may have to get my hands on a copy!

Anonymous said...

I loved how you said "I was intrigued in spite of myself..." That's neat!