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The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon | [David Grann]

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon

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. After stumbling upon a hidden trove of diaries, acclaimed New Yorker writer David Grann set out to find out what happened to the British explorer Percy Fawcett and his quest for the Lost City of Z.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (922 )
5 star
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4.1 (396 )
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4.0 (389 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Botwentyone 10-09-12
    Botwentyone 10-09-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    119
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not what I was expecting"
    What disappointed you about The Lost City of Z?

    I was expecting a tale of adventure or something along those lines, this is just a recount of history, told in a fairly monotone way that makes it hard to pay attention. I eventually got lost enough to give up and didn't finish the listen. For those into history on this subject, it is very factual and would prove to be interesting, just not for me.


    Has The Lost City of Z turned you off from other books in this genre?

    As a rule history books do not interest me. I wasn't aware this was more of a history book than a story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John McEachern 08-19-12 Member Since 2010
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    3
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating...with an extraordinary conclusion"
    Would you listen to The Lost City of Z again? Why?

    Yes, some years hence. The interplay of diverse characters, ethnic groups, cultural practices and geographic locations combine to offer a unique adventure that transcends space and time.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The author. He successfully orchestrates and integrates the disparate elements of the story, while implying that he is just an ordinary guy, and not an adventure seeker.


    What does Mark Deakins bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Prounciation of geographic name places and persons is most effective.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The descriptions of expedtion members strengths and frailities when facing obstacles of injury, sickness, insufficient food and mental stress.


    Any additional comments?

    I became so caught up in the story that I found myself referring to a map of Brazil to follow the route. This helped clarify the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Truly 04-27-12
    Truly 04-27-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A bit of a ho-hum"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. I thought it would be an adventure but it read more like a piece of history.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I'll be tuning into Deep Survival


    What about Mark Deakins’s performance did you like?

    The performance was fine, very even keel.


    Was The Lost City of Z worth the listening time?

    No. I didn't even finish it. I got to about the last 20 minutes and decided it was enough. I may return to finish it up.


    Any additional comments?

    The story was hard to follow. There was the central thread of Percy Fawcett's exploration but there were so many other search parties going on that I couldn't follow what year it was and which exploration was being discussed. A little confusing and not really an adventure. More a historical dissection of the exploration of the Amazon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terence DAHLONEGA, GEORGIA, United States 11-04-11
    Terence DAHLONEGA, GEORGIA, United States 11-04-11

    Dahlonega, Georgia USA

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Good Story Expertly Written"

    A very entertaining listen that is very well produced in all aspects of the audio format. The author does a great job with admittedly sometimes scant and speculative material.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne IRvine, CA, United States 11-08-10
    Wayne IRvine, CA, United States 11-08-10 Member Since 2013
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    "Another Piece of the Amazon Adventurers Puzzle"

    It was enlightening to hear another super-adventurer's enticement with the Amazon, although the author uses the shot-gun approach to tell everything rather than the direct story-line of Roosevelt's "River of Doubt."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 06-21-10
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 06-21-10 Member Since 2010

    Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very interesting"

    I was fascinate by this book. There were some very gruesome descriptions, however of what was suffered by the explorers that were very difficult to listen to during my lunch hour. But if yo can stand the graphic descriptions it is worth the listen. Very very interesting and engaging.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan Carter 06-21-10
    Joan Carter 06-21-10 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    "Push me, pull you"

    I found this book enthralling by fits and starts. The portions that discussed the experiences of the turn of the century Amazon explorers were very absorbing. My attention drifted, however, during the portions that discussed the author's own preparations and ultimate experience. Those parts left me finally feeling like I'd listened to a shaggy dog story, with an ending crafted toward meeting a deadline.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Jones 04-26-10 Listener Since 2003
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    "Very Boring - Not what the advertising indicated."

    This is my first book review and I was compelled to write how poor a listen this book was. I kept hoping it waould turn into an adventure, but it was just a documentary of a guy seaching through the jungle. No suspense or adventure.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex 04-08-10
    Alex 04-08-10 Listener Since 2009
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    REVIEWS
    57
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    "I miss it!"

    One of my new all time favorites. A fascinating subject and very well written, not to mention excellently narrated. So good it compelled me to write my first review after being an audible subscriber for over a year. "The Lost City of Z" will leave you wanting more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael D. 04-23-09
    Michael D. 04-23-09 Member Since 2014
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    "Exciting amazing true adventure!"

    I absolutely loved the book. I'm surprised to find the occasional negative review as I thought the book started out amazingly exciting and kept on rolling until the end. The story is told in a well thought out fashion that jumps throughout time to show several different journeys into the Amazon. The ending was interesting and surprising as well and not exactly what I expected.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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