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)
This was the best impulse buy I've ever made! This story makes me want to strap on a pack, heft a machete, and charter my own expedition into the unknown!
Very informative. Historically and scientifically accurate. Thorough, almost to the point of exhaustion. With that being said, not exactly the book if you're looking for an adventure in the likes of H. Rider Haggard, but it's true, or at least based on fact, and that's what makes it equally as intriguing. Author could've been a little more romantic with the stories. I mean, little exaggeration to get the blood pumping would've done it some good, but then again I do appreciate the factual-based, TRUE, accounts... and the fact that he had the balls to get out there and look for himself. Impressive.
Fantastic narration. I felt like i was in the jungle and the mosquitos were on my arms. Grann is a great storyteller creating threads with the past and present.
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.
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