The Lost City of Z

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Lost City of Z
A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
by David Grann

In the 1920s exploration into unknown lands was still incredibly popular. In this nonfiction tale, Grann tells the story of three men who headed off on the adventure of a life time. They went to the Amazon to find a fabled lost city, which they call “Z.” They’re never heard from again.

The party included Percy Fawcett, his son and another man, all of whom disappeared in 1925. Grann follows in the footsteps of dozens of others, who have all searched for any sign of what happened to them. The book is wonderfully written and hard to put down. The story is part mystery and part adventure novel. Grann’s own experiences don’t overshadow Fawcett’s story, but instead they add to the reader’s understanding of what the man must have gone through.

The Amazon is full of hundreds of life-threatening elements, including the bugs, Oh my gosh the bugs, there are mosquitoes, blood-sucking gnats, sweat bees and more. There are also huge snakes, tribes of cannibals, diseases in the water and more. Part of my fascination with the book was bred not from a desire to go there, but to understand the people who were driven to explore that intimidating terrain.

This book is exactly how I like my nonfiction. It’s fascinating to read, I’m learning about a subject I have limited knowledge of, but it doesn’t overload me with unnecessary details. It was just right and I loved all the literary connections the story has (with King Solomon’s Minds and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle).


Amanda said...

I just listened to this one recently and it's exactly how I like my nonfiction too!

Gerbera Daisy Diaries said...

I have this on my shelf...another one of the many I need to read sooner than later!

Jenners said...

Wasn't this good? Though it makes me never want to visit the Amazon!!!

She said...

King Solomon's Mines, eh? I'm in.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jenners - Me too, I love to travel, but I don't even have the faintest desire to go there.

She - Isn't it interesting that nonfiction events (like Fawcett) can inspiring fiction (like King Solomon's Mines), which can then inspire our real lives. It really comes full circle.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed that book so much myself. if you so desire, here is my own review:
Emma @ Words And Peace

Anonymous said...

It sounds great! A friend at work was also telling me about this one just last week. & I join the chorus of those who find that area fascinating but wouldn't dare go there myself.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

wordsandpeace - Your review is great! It really is a page turner.

bibliophilica - Whenever I hear many different sources recommending the same book around the same time I always feel like I'm suppose to read it. I hope you enjoy!

Swapna said...

I enjoyed this one as well. Great review!