Gold Gato, November 25, 2013 (view all comments by Gold Gato)
The Indiana Jones of his day, Colonel Percy Fawcett was obsessed with a legendary city he was convinced existed in the Amazon. Obsession would actually be an understatement. The explorer believed El Dorado was there for him to find, but he disappeared without a trace. Did he and his son die by disease, by the hands of evil bandits, by giant anacondas, or by stone-age tribes?
David Grann does his best to answer the questions surrounding Fawcett, while providing a basic bio of the titular hero of the story. The story is exciting, after all. Giant spiders. Deathly insects. Headhunters. Conquistadores. At times the re-telling gets a bit dry, but I did enjoy being an armchair adventurer with this book.
saram, January 4, 2012 (view all comments by saram)
I picked up this book by chance, looking for something different, but fully expected to put it down after a few pages because most non-fiction just doesn't capture my attention like well-written fiction does. Much to my surprise I could not put this book down! This is one of those rare non-fiction books that reads like fiction, but since it is a true story, it ends up being one of your favorite books of all time. The story hops between two different men, in two different eras, both seeking "The Lost City of Z." You feel like you are trudging through the Amazon right along with them. Read the first chapter and I bet you won't be able to put it down.
Fay, January 8, 2011 (view all comments by Fay)
A very well-written account of Fawcett's obsession to find the lost city, as well as the travails of everyone who subsequently attempted to find Fawcett, and of course the author's adventures in following in all of their footsteps. Vivid descriptions of the jungle environment should be required reading for anyone who is casually thinking of undertaking such a trip.
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Connie Kennedy, August 4, 2009 (view all comments by Connie Kennedy)
This book rocks! It reminded me of "In Thin Air," another book I couldn't put down. The characters in "The Lost City of Z" are larger than life - operating in a society still facing great swaths of terra incognita - hard to imagine today with satellites and Google Earth. The courage they display and the single-mindedness of their quests is hard to identify with - borders on megalomania. The ending of this book is almost the best part - I won't say anything in detail about it, but it brings the story of the search for "Z" to a very satisfying end point - I won't say "conclusion," because it's obvious there's lots more to be discovered, even 80 years after Percy Fawcett disappeared into the "green hell."
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Grann's riveting book, The Lost City of Z, delves into the intrepid life and mysterious disappearance of legendary British explorer Percy Fawcett. Armchair travelers will be whisked away to the Amazon on a wild ride with a surprising finish.
by Michal D.
A true-life, amazing Amazon adventure-mystery. David Grann, mild-mannered reporter, treks into the Amazon to retrace the path of the legendary (and seemingly super-human) British explorer Percy Fawcett. Skillfully researched and written, The Lost City of Z is an fascinating read.
"Review A Day"
by Greg Grandin, the Nation,
"'I call it Z,' wrote Fawcett of his fabled metropolis, 'for the sake of convenience'....Fawcett's case for the existence of Z grew out of his appreciation of the expertise native Amazonians demonstrated in extracting medicine and food from their harsh environment...." (read the entire Nation review)
by Thom Geier, Entertainment Weekly,
"A fascinating yarn that touches on science, history, and some truly obsessive personalities. Grade: A-"
by Michiko Kakutani, New York Times,
"The Lost City of Z is at once a biography, a detective story and a wonderfully vivid piece of travel writing that combines Bruce Chatwinesque powers of observation with a Waugh-like sense of the absurd."
by Malcolm Gladwell,
"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."
by Hampton Sides,
"What a wild and adventurous life! In the deft storytelling hands of David Grann, explorer Percy Fawcett emerges as one of the most ambitious, colorful, just plain intrepid figures ever to set foot in the New World. Part Indiana Jones, part Livingstone, and part Kit Carson, Fawcett has found his perfect biographer in Grann, who has gamely endured every conceivable Amazonian hardship to piece together the story of this British swashbuckler and his crazed search for a vanished civilization."
by Doris Kearns Goodwin,
"With his riveting work, David Grann emerges on our national landscape as a major new talent. His superb writing style, his skills as a reporter, his masterful use of historical and scientific documents, and his stunning storytelling ability are on full display here, producing an endlessly absorbing tale about a magical subject that captivates from start to finish. This is a terrific book."
by Candice Millard,
"A fantastic story of courage, obsession, and mystery, The Lost City of Z is gripping from beginning to end. In the pantheon of classic exploration tales, this stands out as one of the best."
by Walter Isaacson,
"A wonderfully researched true story about an intrepid adventurer, a colorful cast, and an obsession that grips both him and the author."
by Nathaniel Philbrick,
"The Amazon has had many chroniclers but few who can match David Grann's grasp of history, science, and especially narrative. Shifting seamlessly between the past and present, The Lost City of Z is a riveting, totally absorbing real-life adventure story."
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