This incredible true story reads like a no-holds-barred adventure novel. Douglas Preston joins a crew as they venture into the treacherous Honduran wilderness to uncover a sacred lost city. His account of the expedition is mesmerizing. Recommended By Moses M., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A five-hundred-year-old legend. An ancient curse. A stunning medical mystery. And a pioneering journey into the unknown heart of the world's densest jungle.
Since the days of conquistador Hernan Cortes, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location.
Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization.
Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn't until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease.
Suspenseful and shocking, filled with colorful history, hair-raising adventure, and dramatic twists of fortune, The Lost City of the Monkey God is the absolutely true, eyewitness account of one of the great discoveries of the twenty-first century.
Novelist Preston’s irresistibly gripping account of his experiences as part of the expedition to locate an ancient city in the Honduran mountains reads like a fairy tale minus the myth. “There was once a great city in the mountains” he writes “struck down by a series of catastrophes after which the people decided the gods were angry and left leaving their possessions. Thereafter it was shunned as a cursed place forbidden visiting death on those who dared enter.” In 2012 Preston was present as the expedition team attempted to use light detection and ranging technology to identify the city’s location in the uncharted wildernesses of Honduras; they “ billions of laser beams into a jungle that no human beings had entered for perhaps five hundred years.” The effort succeeded in locating two large sites apparently built by the civilization that once inhabited the Mosquiteria region. The discovery led to a return trip in 2015 to explore the sites on foot a physically and emotionally draining experience that resulted in remarkable archeological finds specifically a cache of stone sculptures. Preston author of The Monster of Florence and co author with Lincoln Child of the bestselling thriller series featuring FBI agent Pendergast brings readers into the field while enriching the narrative with historical context beginning with 16th century rumors of the city’s existence reported by explorer Hernán Cortés after his conquest of Mexico. Along the way Preston explains the legendary abandonment of the City of the Monkey God and provides scientific reasoning behind its reputation as life threatening. Admirers of David Grann’s The Lost City of Z will find their thirst for armchair jungle adventuring quenched here. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
"Douglas Preston, at great risk to his own life, has produced a thrilling and powerful adventure story. Not only does he leave the reader fitfully turning the pages, he sheds an important light on what the Americas looked like before the arrival of Christopher Columbus and on the fragility of our own civilization."
David Grann, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost City of Z
"If you're going to explore a lost city-in this case one that vultures, poisonous snakes, sand flies, and mudholes have protected for 500 years-you really only want to do it with Douglas Preston. A tale of bravado, chicanery, and impossible dreams, arresting at every turn, no less so in its unexpected, pulse-racing coda."
Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Witches: Salem, 1692, and Cleopatra: A Life
"For anyone who dreams of lost times and places — and who doesn't? — this is the book. Revelatory, chilling, creepy, and alive with deadly snakes and insects bearing incurable disease, it's high adventure at its best, and all true."
Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Dead Wake and The Devil in the White City
"Replete with informative archaeology lessons and colorful anecdotes about the challenges Elkins' crew faced during the expedition, including torrential rains and encounters with deadly snakes, Preston's uncommon travelogue is as captivating as any of his more fanciful fictional thrillers."
"A story that moves from thrilling to sobering, fascinating to downright scary-trademark Preston, in other words, and another winner."
Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
About the Author
Douglas Preston worked as a writer and editor for the American Museum of Natural History and taught writing at Princeton University. He has written for The New Yorker, Natural History, National Geographic, Harper's, Smithsonian, and The Atlantic. The author of several acclaimed nonfiction books — including the bestseller The Monster of Florence — Preston is also the co-author with Lincoln Child of the bestselling series of novels featuring FBI agent Pendergast.
Douglas Preston on PowellsBooks.Blog
My book The Lost City of the Monkey God
tells the true story of the discovery of an unknown “lost city” in the jungles of Honduras. The ruins, covering a square mile in an unexplored valley in the Mosquitia mountains, were originally located in 2012 from the air using a powerful technology called LIDAR...