The lost city of Z A tale of deadly obsession in the Amazon

David Grann

Book - 2008

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Subjects
Published
New York : Doubleday c2008.
Edition
1st ed
Language
English
Item Description
Includes map on endpages.
Physical Description
339 p. : ill., map
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9781400078455
9780385513531
Main Author
David Grann (-)
  • We shall return
  • The vanishing
  • The search begins
  • Buried treasure
  • Blank spots on the map
  • The disciple
  • Freeze-dried icecream and adrenaline socks
  • Into the Amazon
  • The secret papers
  • The green hell
  • Dead Horse Camp
  • In the hands of the gods
  • Ransom
  • The case for Z
  • El Dorado
  • The locked box
  • The whole world is mad
  • A scientific obsession
  • An unexpected clue
  • Have no fear
  • The last eyewitness
  • Dead or alive
  • The colonel's bones
  • The other world
  • Z.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Percy Fawcett, a celebrated member of the Royal Geographical Society, explored the Amazon the hard way: on foot, hacking his way through the jungle. Single-minded and exceptionally tough, he captured the imagination of a public hungry for tales of far-off adventure. His exploits were widely reported, especially when he told of his belief in a lost city—enigmatically, he called it "Z"—that would offer proof an advanced civilization had once thrived despite the region s hostile environment. In 1925, having vowed to find Z, he disappeared into the jungle and was never seen again. Grann, of the New Yorker, was no outdoorsman. But captivated by the story, he joined the ranks of the "Fawcett Freaks," determined to discover the explorer s fate. (It is estimated that more than 100 people have lost their lives trying to find out how Fawcett lost his.) He interweaves Fawcett s story with rich period detail and an account of his own trip to the receding jungle. The historical passages, peerlessly researched, are the best; the first-person parts could have been a useful way of illustrating the tale s irresistible lure—but compared to Fawcett s relentless monomania and astonishing travels, Grann s own journey pales. The device pays off in the final scene, however, when, through Grann s own eyes, we experience the thrill of discovery—and learn that Percy Fawcett just may have been right all along. Copyright Booklist Reviews 2008.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Grann, a staff writer at The New Yorker, gives a gripping, detailed account of the fate of English explorer Percy Fawcett. Fawcett disappeared into the jungles of Brazil in 1925 with his son and his son's best friend. It was not the first time that Fawcett had plunged into Amazonia or confronted pestilence and natives not keen on receiving trespassers. Colonel Fawcett was a soldier, sometime spy, and expert surveyor and explorer who helped define the border between Bolivia and Brazil. But he was primarily obsessed with finding a rumored great city in the jungles of South America, which he simply called Z partly because it did not have a name and partly to throw off others who were looking for it. Grann's experience following this mystery to England and Brazil was an adventure in its own right. He alternates chapters on Fawcett's adventures, based on his diaries and contemporary accounts, with his own and others' efforts to find Fawcett or at least the truth about his demise. Like the books of Simon Winchester (e.g., The Man Who Loved China), this is a compelling and entertaining read. Recommended for all public and academic libraries. [Page 86]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In 1925, renowned British explorer Col. Percy Harrison Fawcett embarked on a much publicized search to find the city of Z, site of an ancient Amazonian civilization that may or may not have existed. Fawcett, along with his grown son Jack, never returned, but that didn't stop countless others, including actors, college professors and well-funded explorers from venturing into the jungle to find Fawcett or the city. Among the wannabe explorers is Grann, a staff writer for the New Yorker , who has bad eyes and a worse sense of direction. He became interested in Fawcett while researching another story, eventually venturing into the Amazon to satisfy his all-consuming curiosity about the explorer and his fatal mission. Largely about Fawcett, the book examines the stranglehold of passion as Grann's vigorous research mirrors Fawcett's obsession with uncovering the mysteries of the jungle. By interweaving the great story of Fawcett with his own investigative escapades in South America and Britain, Grann provides an in-depth, captivating character study that has the relentless energy of a classic adventure tale. (Feb.) [Page 44]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Interweaves the story of British explorer Percy Fawcett, who vanished during a 1925 expedition into the Amazon, with the author's own quest to uncover the mysteries surrounding Fawcett's final journey and the secrets of what lies deep in the Amazon jungle.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Interweaves the story of British explorer Percy Fawcett, who vanished during a 1925 expedition into the Amazon to find an ancient civilization, with the author's own adventure-filled quest into the uncharted wilderness to uncover the mysteries surrounding Fawcett's final journey and the secrets of what really lies deep in the Amazon jungle. Reprint. A best-selling book.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

The #1 New York Times bestseller from the author of Killers of the Flower MoonIn 1925, the legendary British explorer Percy Fawcett ventured into the Amazon jungle, in search of a fabled civilization. He never returned. Over the years countless perished trying to find evidence of his party and the place he called “The Lost City of Z.” In this masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, journalist David Grann interweaves the spellbinding stories of Fawcett’s quest for “Z” and his own journey into the deadly jungle, as he unravels the greatest exploration mystery of the twentieth century.