After stumbling upon a hidden trove of diaries, acclaimed New Yorker writer David Grann set out to solve "the greatest exploration mystery of the 20th century": What happened to the British explorer Percy Fawcett and his quest for the Lost City of Z?
In 1925 Fawcett ventured into the Amazon to find an ancient civilization, hoping to make one of the most important discoveries in history.
For centuries Europeans believed the world's largest jungle concealed the glittering kingdom of El Dorado. Thousands had died looking for it, leaving many scientists convinced that the Amazon was truly inimical to humankind. But Fawcett, whose daring expeditions helped inspire Conan Doyle's The Lost World, had spent years building his scientific case. Captivating the imagination of millions, Fawcett embarked with his 21-year-old son, determined to prove that this ancient civilization, which he dubbed "Z", existed. Then he and his expedition vanished.
Fawcett's fate, and the tantalizing clues he left behind about "Z", became an obsession for hundreds who followed him into the uncharted wilderness. For decades scientists and adventurers have searched for evidence of Fawcett's party and the lost City of Z. As David Grann delved ever deeper into the mystery surrounding Fawcett's quest, and the greater mystery of what lies within the Amazon, he found himself, like the generations who preceded him, being irresistibly drawn into the jungle's "green hell". His quest for the truth and his stunning discoveries about Fawcett's fate and "Z" form the heart of this complex, enthralling narrative.
©2009 David Grann; (P)2009 Random House
"The story of Z goes to the heart of the central questions of our age. In the battle between man and a hostile environment, who wins? A fascinating and brilliant book." (Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and The Tipping Point)
As a voracious audible listener Im very familiar with publishers marketing of a title. However in this example its misleading. In effect you will listen to the biography, admittedly of a very interesting character, but its not what is advertised.
As another reviewer stated..how many times can you say the same thing in different ways? The answer in this case ad infinitum! The story is disjointed and feels in all honesty like a rewriting of someone's memoirs.
However three stars as the narration and production are excellent.
I really enjoyed learning so much about south america and exploration throughout the last decade. the timeline was a bit hard to stay with as the author bounced between present and pasts a lot.
I couldn't offer a better review than that given by Jennifer, except that I rate this book a five because it succeeded in completely captivating my attention for several days - without any distractions that detract from the story. The narration was excellent.
This book brought back memories of trudging through the forests of Upper Michigan with my Dad and friends during the 1960's, in search of the mythical (to us) Cliff Lake which was reputed to offer some of the best fishing anywhere. It took us many summers but we eventually found it.
Extensive press raised my expectations that this would be a notable and memorable book.
Unfortunately, the so so writing failed to bring the subject matter to life. This book pails in comparison to RIVER OF DOUBT (though it quotes from this earlier work).
Here's another situation where the author is unable to bring his characters to life on the page -- or to convey the arc of their journey.
The books promise is sadly done in by its feeble execution.
Not terrible...however, I would advise checking out better options first.
This ausio mp3 is amazing. It is riveting and kept me at the edge of my seat. For anyone who is into the history of Amazonian exploration, this is a good book. Narraiton is excellent!
This is an amazing story about early twentieth century Amazonian exploration, interwoven with the author's own experience writing the book. It's a truly remarkable take, both riveting and horrifying. And there's a little twist at the very end that makes it all seem like a dream come alive. Highly recommended!
The book was fine, but never really grabbed me. I think a large part of the problem was the narrator. He didn't speak in a monotone, but he never really varied the cadence of his voice to show different emotions in the story.
I chose this book as it was something different from my usual history and wartime reading. The narrator has a pleasant voice did a great job. I would recommend this book to anyone that seeks adventures in the jungles of South America
Took me a few chapters to become invested in the story. After becoming aware the story was being written from a biographical point of ideas an autobiographical view.
Almost unbelievable the hardships and the little monetary gain Percy Fawcett and those that joined him received from his explorations.
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