Star Wars Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN!

Weekly drawing for $100 credit. Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

More at Powell's


From the Authors

Interviews


Original Essays


Powell's Q&A


Tech Q&A


Kids' Q&A


spacer

PowellsBooks.Blog

Authors, readers, critics, media — and booksellers.

 

Journey to the Center of the Earth

When reporting I'm often drawn into unfathomable places. For my first book, The Lost City of Z, I wound up in the heart of the Amazon, even though I hate camping and am terrified of snakes. For many of the stories in my new book, The Devil and Sherlock Holmes, I ended up in equally unfamiliar places: hunting a giant squid, in the middle of a cyclone off the coast of New Zealand; crisscrossing the European countryside on the trail of an imposter. But perhaps the place that most surprised me, which I describe in one of the stories, was the secret world under New York Citythe place that most surprised me, which I describe in one of the stories, was the secret world under New York City. Hundreds of feet beneath the ground, sandhogs are racing to build an intricate maze of water tunnels before the older water tunnels, which are badly damaged and leaking, collapse, leading to cataclysmic disaster.

These water tunnels go as deep as the Chrysler Building is high and span thousands of feet. The newest water tunnel has been under development since 1969, and was initially billed as "the greatest nondefense construction project in the history of Western civilization." Already, 24 people have died building it — roughly a man a mile — and it is not expected to be completed for at least another decade. As an engineering feat, the water-tunnel system rivals the Brooklyn Bridge and the Panama Canal. Yet it has the odd distinction that almost no one will ever see it.

÷ ÷ ÷

David Grann is the author of The Devil and Sherlock Holmes and The Lost City of Z, and a staff writer at the New Yorker.


Books mentioned in this post

  1. The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales...
    Used Hardcover $10.50
  2. The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly...
    Used Trade Paper $5.95


David Grann is the author of The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession

Post a comment:

 
Get Your Gravatar

  1. Please note:
  2. All comments require moderation by Powells.com staff.
  3. Comments submitted on weekends might take until Monday to appear.
PowellsBooks.Blog uses Gravatar to allow you to personalize the icon that appears beside your name when you post. If you don't have one already, get your Gravatar today!
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.