The New York Times best-selling author of Turn Right at Machu Picchu sets out to uncover the truth behind the legendary lost city of Atlantis. A few years ago, Mark Adams made a strange discovery: Everything we know about the lost city of Atlantis comes from the work of one man, the Greek philosopher Plato. Then he made a second, stranger discovery: Amateur explorers are still actively searching for this sunken city all around the world, based entirely on the clues Plato left behind. Exposed to the Atlantis obsession, Adams decides to track down these people and determine why they believe it's possible to find the world's most famous lost city and whether any of their theories could prove or disprove its existence. He visits scientists who use cutting-edge technology to find legendary civilizations once thought to be fictional. He examines the numerical and musical codes hidden in Plato's writings, and with the help of some charismatic sleuths traces their roots back to Pythagoras, the sixth-century BC mathematician. He learns how ancient societies transmitted accounts of cataclysmic events - and how one might dig out the "kernel of truth" in Plato's original tale. Meet Me in Atlantis is Adams's enthralling account of his quest to solve one of history's greatest mysteries; a travelogue that takes listeners to fascinating locations to meet irresistible characters; and a deep, often humorous look at the human longing to rediscover a lost world.
©2015 Mark Adams (P)2015 Recorded Books
On Audible since the late 1990s, mostly science fiction, fantasy, history & science. I rarely review 1-2 star books that I can't get through
When I started the book I wondered whether it would veer towards crystals-and-harmony New Age acceptance of Atlantis or else be a mocking catalog of crazy Atlantis belief; but, to my surprise, it did neither. Instead, we are treated to a witty travelogue in the spirit of Bill Bryson - a well-written and thoughtful discussion of scholarly (and serious amateur) efforts to locate the source of the Atlantis myth interspersed with personal asides and observations. Adams takes us on a tour of candidate locations, and gives us sharply written encounters with the people behind each potential theory. It is a fascinating (and fun!) listen.
The book hinges on the account of Atlantis in Plato, and, as a result, there is a lot of deep discussion of Plato and his beliefs in an attempt to identify the truth behind the accounts. Along the way, we are treated to bits on volcanology, archaeology, ancient trade routes, and 19th century cranks. It may sound dry, but it is almost all told in a breezy, entertaining style, focused around interviews with interesting people.
Surprisingly, it also takes the subject seriously: Adams actually draws some conclusions at the end that wraps things up on a (relatively) satisfying note. The reading is also excellent. Overall, a great find for anyone looking for witty history with a personal flavor, I am really happy I found it.
Adams is a talented writer, as anyone who read his previous book, Turn Right at Machu Picchu, can attest. He writes with wit, enthusiasm and a healthy skepticism (arguably a little too healthy at times) and although the enduring mystery of Atlantis lies at the heart of this book, it's really Adams' journey to learn about that mystery, and the fascinating people he encounters and interviews along the way, that make it such a good read/listen. Through those people, serious, devoted researchers into Atlantis, we get some insight into possible locations for the fabled land while also developing an appreciation for why they search. Adams develops that appreciation too, and eventually, he's drawn into the search and dreams of finding Atlantis himself.
The end, of course, is unsatisfying, as it must be without a real resolution on the subject. Atlantis remains an unsolved and much-debated mystery but this book provides an excellent, entertaining overview and it's anything but dull or dry. Highly recommended.
Andrew Garman does an excellent job as the narrator.
There is something about ancient mysteries that proves to be an irresistible draw for many of us and that really is what Mark Adams' exploration into the legend of Atlantis is about. If you're looking for a book about the woo woo world of ancient aliens, super beings or alternate dimensions, this will not be the book for you--although there are brief forays into the beliefs of Madame Blavatsky, Edgar Cayce and even Nazi Occultists (who believed that the "superior" Aryan race was descended from the inhabitants of Atlantis).
Rather, Adams engages us in a thoughtful and intelligent quest into the meaning of Atlantis and its potential reality. Large sections are devoted to an analysis of Plato's writings on the topic (our sole source for the existence of Atlantis) as well as the writings of other contemporary philosophers and historians in the ancient world. We also learn a lot about the history of the ancient world culturally, meteorologically and geologically. Adams explores current thinking about the topic, interviewing archeologists, scientists (including a physicist whose interest in Atlantis was initially spurred by a Scrooge McDuck cartoon) and a plethora of amateur investigators. He treats his subject seriously and with an open mind as to the possible origins and veracity of the legend.
The book can be pretty dense at times and would have benefitted from an accompanying pdf with maps and diagrams of some of the concepts, but Adams does a good job of not overwhelming the reader with technical information--breaking it up with often humorous descriptions of his travels. I learned a lot from this book and not just about Atlantis. Narration is excellent. A good and thought-provoking read.
This was a little dry, but I've always been interested by the idea that certain legends and myths have a genesis in real events. Adams has spent a lot of time interviewing experts and scholars, some quacks, regarding this subject. Will we ever really find Atlantis? Perhaps not, but it does seem plausible that somewhere at sometime there was a place where a great disaster occurred and water covered up the land. Was this related to Noah's ark and other ancient flood stories? I think so. Which of any of these stories holds all of the truth? Well,I'm not sure that can ever be answered.
I enjoyed listening to Mark Adams's journey. He assumes the pose an intelligent everyman, and buzzes around the world interviewing people engaged in the search for Atlantis. It's great fun to go on the journey with him. He admits that along the way, he got the bug of wanting to find Atlantis too. It is, after all, a lost utopia. I learned a lot about Plato, as well.
Skillfully narrated by Andrew Garman.
This book was an outstanding read, however sending a boy on a man's errand is the only major criticism I will make. All the information this writer gathered was intriguing and much of it thought provoking. I truly was engaged throughout the book and had trouble walking away or answering the phone. All the interesting people who spend their spare time or retirement trying to solve this most incredible of mysteries is truly amazing.
However the writer truly caved! How these few such as he, could possibly believe, that a serious writer and committed teacher like Plato could possibly write down such an event without doing his research, is a wonder to me. Plato was the most skilled mathematician of his time, and some of his findings amazes scholars today. This was a serious man and not prone to writing crap. I must equate the mindset of these people to the "nay sayers" about the Iliad and Oddesy. Proof that the information there was based on ancient truths was found which would exonerate the author in recent times.
The facts, the measurements and precise details Plato laid out are truly fascinating.To suggest that this was a fantasy he authored and that Atlantis didn't exist is akin to heresy. Don't give up people, I know proof will show up, possibly in the written language not yet decoded by a professional or some physical evidence will be found some day in the future.
Final opinion, this book is a very good, thought provoking read.
I would put this book in the top middle of what I've listened to so far. The Topic is interesting and the narration is very easy to follow.
This book reads almost like a travel log for an eccentric. It's full of anecdotes, stories, meetings with interesting people in exotic places.
There is such a wide range of characters that pop up from time to time again and again, Garman seamlessly blended them into his work and so I could tell by their character voice alone who was doing the speaking. Fantastic.
I had a few chuckle moments and a handful of smirks at witty comments or situations.
This book is not what I expected but I still feel highly satisfied with it. I was expecting to find various tales of the people who have searched throughout the ages for atlantis. I did not expect that the story would be centered around the modern searchers! I found the insights into Plato's work to be both highly interesting and satisfying, especially if you are an amateur philosophy buff like I am. Now armed with so much new information, I'm really dying to visit some of the places mentioned in the book!
Not sure what would do it. I guess I was expecting something more concusive in the search for Atlantis.
Not sure what to recommend!
A little disappointment
I really enjoyed it and kept rereading many sections. this is the second book of his I have read and both were very good
I heart audiobooks! Best way to "read"!
I bought this book for my boyfriend and I to listen to on a road trip. It's so boring I fell asleep while listening (he was driving, thank goodness!) and we didn't even finish it. Very historical and technical, not at all "thrilling".
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