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)
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.
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.
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!
Probably not, I would try to help them find something better.
Too much filler. It got slow at times, and didn't really get interesting until the latter part.
I felt the book could have been shortened by 1 hour to 1.5
I would recommend it but with the caveat that it was longer than necessary to be truly exciting.
The performance was fine and suited the contents of the book.
Maybe as the visual and soundtrack would bring out more of the story. And one would assume it would be 2 hrs or less.
Not that I don't commit to longer books 11-14 hours this book just didn't sustain the excitement I was hoping as an abridged version may have
I'll never underestimate the Amazon jungle again. The writing keeps you hooked. The author interweaves his experience of being drawn in to this 'Green Hell' as a modern city-dweller turned adventurer with that of the indefatigable Colonel Fawcett, the last great Victorian explorer who, after many grand successes, disappeared without a trace within the Amazon jungle. The author throughly reports as a true journalist. He investigates the global interest that surrounded these explorations into such an anti-paradise. He also, with great effect, holds up a mirror to humanity, revealing an honest look at mankind both 'civilized' and 'uncivilized' and leaves a lasting impression on the reader by the end of the book.
My take away: the 'primitive' people are not 'primative' humans. The theory of evolution from ape-like ancestor is not a valid explanation of origin. Humans have been intelligent from day 1.
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