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)
Yes! History buffs and adventurers alike will enjoy this work. This work transported me to the early 20th century, then back to the late 20th century. I found myself wanting to visit Brazil in search of Z, however, the experience described was so real, I knew I would never survive. I will be listening again and again.
This book is a valiant attempt to make a history read accessible and exciting. The reader was monotone and boring and this may have infected the story for me. honestly the end is interesting but the time wasted to get there was not worth it.
I'm a fan of mystery, science-fiction, and the unusual.
There's not a lot in the way of a story, but I liked it. The descriptions of things that the jungle explorers had to deal with were fantastic, and I got very interested in the topic. It's not the sort of book that I usually read, but it was good, and perhaps I've found a genre I should dig deeper into.
This is a story no less miraculous than that of Troy. Early South American civilization in the Amazon rivaled that in other civilizations in Central America and even Europe. Remarkable!
The narrator was perfect. The author did incredibly detailed research on this topic. The parallel style of his & Fawcett's search for Z was very effective. The historical value of his research is priceless! This true story of mystery & suspense was well told. The descriptions made me feel like I was right there in the jungle with him!
This book, really digs into the public psyche and scientific thinking of the late 1800's and early 1900's. All the while you experience through multiple perspectives, the horrors of the Amazon. I myself will never complain about the occasional mosquito bite again.
It is fascinating on every level of which there are many. If one has any complaints about this book, one must take it up with history, which of course seldom ties up events in an easy to unwrap present. Recommended
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