Chasing the thrill Obsession, death, and glory in America's most extraordinary treasure hunt

Daniel Barbarisi

Large print - 2021

"A full-throttle, first-person account of the treasure hunt set in motion by Forest Fenn--an eccentric art dealer and, some would say, robber baron--in 2010 that lasted a full decade and became the stuff of contemporary legend. When Forest Fenn was told he was going to die, he hid a chest full of jewels and gold in the wilderness and published a poem that contained a series of clues about the treasure's secret location. But he didn't die, and he wouldn't reveal the location. ...The wild hunt went on for another ten years. Daniel Barbarisi first learned of Fenn's hunt in 2017 when a friend began decoding the poem and convinced Barbarisi to catalogue his search. What began as a great story documenting the history of Fenn's treasure hunt--the rumors, characters, and pitfalls--quickly turned into a personal quest, as Barbarisi found himself on a sometimes reckless and possibly dead-end path, despite having a family at home. Over the course of the next three years, several searchers would die, endless controversies would erupt, and one anonymous unknown would find the ultimate prize. Rich with mystery, danger, and break-neck action, Barbarisi's account of the imagination and drive of desire, of obsession, and of a particularly unbridled adventure is pure gold on the page"--

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Subjects
Published
New York : Random House Large Print [2021]
Edition
First large print edition
Language
English
Physical Description
viii, 560 pages (large print) : map ; 24 cm
ISBN
9780593414460
0593414462
9781648383403
1648383408
Main Author
Daniel Barbarisi (author)
  • You can't take it with you
  • Detective work
  • From Colorado to Oak Island
  • In the den of Forrest Fenn
  • A delightful masquerade
  • Fennboree
  • Death comes to the hunt
  • Back on the hunt, out with the best
  • The blogs, and what they say about Forrest Fenn
  • A famous family, a fabulous treasure
  • Sacha and the Fenntubers
  • Beep's revelation
  • The Candyman's conspiracy
  • In the crosshairs
  • Fortune and glory
  • The next best thing to finding a treasure.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Journalist Barbarisi spent several years researching and writing this mesmerizing account of a modern-day treasure hunt, which reveals a whole subculture of Indiana Jones types willing to travel across the country and invest life savings in the search for something special. In 2010, an eccentric millionaire and art dealer Forrest Fenn wrote a memoir titled The Thrill of the Chase, in which he provided a clue-filled poem to the location of a bronze chest filled with gold nuggets, rare coins, and valuable artifacts that was purportedly hidden "somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe." Barbarisi picked up the hunt in 2017, when he agreed to document a friend's attempt to make sense of the poem, soon becoming swept up in the chase himself. Was there actually a treasure chest, or was this a grand publicity hoax created by an octogenarian seeking a lasting legacy? Throughout the quest, conspiracy theories proliferate among the hunters, and there's plenty of controversy (blog wars, allegations of sexual misconduct, lawsuits). Barbarisi's narrative splendidly captures the timeless allure of buried treasure. Armchair adventurers will be riveted right up to the suspenseful conclusion. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Journalist Barbarisi (Dueling with Kings) chronicles in this captivating account the exploits of an eccentric community of treasure hunters who scoured the Rocky Mountains from 2010 to 2020 in search of New Mexico art dealer Forest Fenn's hidden chest of gold and jewels. Following the nine clues in Fenn's cryptic poem ("Begin it where warm waters halt...."), Barbarisi started searching for the treasure in 2017. Interweaving his own search efforts with profiles of fellow hunters, Barbarisi documents how the "Fenn blogosphere" helped turn the treasure hunt from a "lark" into a "community hazard." One man spent $30,000 digging holes in a state park, and at least five people died searching for the treasure, including a Colorado pastor who was looking in an area Barbarisi had explored the week before. Barbarisi eventually dropped out of the hunt, but he interviews the searcher who discovered the treasure chest in a Wyoming forest in June 2020 and gets an up-close look at its contents. Shot through with dramatic plot twists, colorful personalities, and insights into the nature of obsession, this rollicking account will appeal to fans of The Orchid Thief and Born to Run. (June) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

An intrepid treasure hunter documents his chaotic, four-year search for a chest of jewels concealed in the wilderness, its location described in a cryptic poem and hidden by an eccentric millionaire art dealer upon his fatal cancer diagnosis in 2010. (travel). Simultaneous. Illustrations. Maps.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"A first-person account of the treasure hunt set in motion by Forest Fenn--an eccentric art dealer and, some would say, robber baron--in 2010 that lasted a full decade and became the stuff of contemporary legend. When Forest Fenn was told he was going todie, he hid a chest full of jewels and gold in the wilderness and published a poem that contained a series of clues about the treasure's secret location. But he didn't die, and he wouldn't reveal the location"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

“Daniel Barbarisi plunges into an adventure from another era when he goes in search of buried treasure, guided only by a cryptic poem, a mischievous art collector, and the footsteps another pursuer who died on the quest… Every page draws you deeper into this no-man’s-land where fortune—or tragedy—awaits.” —Christopher McDougall, author of Born to RunWhen Forrest Fenn was given a fatal cancer diagnosis, he came up with a bold plan: He would hide a chest full of jewels and gold in the wilderness, and publish a poem that would serve as a map leading to the treasure's secret location. But he didn't die, and after hiding the treasure in 2010, Fenn instead presided over a decade-long gold rush that saw many thousands of treasure hunters scrambling across the Rocky Mountains in pursuit of his fortune.  Daniel Barbarisi first learned of Fenn's hunt in 2017, when a friend became consumed with decoding the poem and convinced Barbarisi, a reporter, to document his search. What began as an attempt to capture the inner workings of Fenn's hunt quickly turned into a personal quest that led Barbarisi down a reckless and potentially dangerous path, one that found him embroiled in searcher conspiracies and matching wits with Fenn himself. Over the course of four chaotic years, several searchers would die, endless controversies would erupt, and one hunter would ultimately find the chest. But the mystery didn't end there. Full of intrigue, danger, and break-neck action, Chasing the Thrill is a riveting tale of desire, obsession, and unbridled adventure.