The Lost City of Z a book review

The explorer Percy Fawcett is most likely the toughest man to ever live.  His powers of suffering  in the darkest jungles of the Amazon reach epic proportions.  Lost, starving with half his party dead from disease, wild animals, and angry natives is only the beginning. 

Fawcett explored parts of the Amazon for the Royal Geographical Society in an age where many parts of the globe were still unknown.  Indeed after reading The Lost City of Z I felt as if our own age had somehow shrunk compared to the larger than life exploits of Fawcett.  

The author David Grann describes Fawcett as “the last of the great Victorian explorers who ventured into uncharted realms with little more than a machete, a compass and an almost divine sense of purpose.”

Fawcett chases vapors from native indian and early Spanish exploreers stories of a lost civilization deep within the jungle.  His obsession leads to one of todays most curious mysteries, Fawcett's disappearance during an in-fated "last push" to find the Lost City of Z.  One of the most fascinating parts of the book comes at the end where Gramm visits with the archaeologist Michael Heckenberger.  Heckenberger has uncovered evidence of a large, well organized city buried beneath the jungle near where Fawcett disappeared.  It seems that Fawcett in the end was on to something and it is even possible had found his lost city before he died.  Oh... it just kills me!  I would love to know what really happened and we never will.  Maybe that's what makes it such a good read.  A fantastic story, decently written and I say read it you won't be disappointed. 

Much more in-depth review by the NYT's Michiko Kakutani here

Percy Fawcett... a bad ass to the core.

The Author David Grann info here

Cover shot for help while exploring the shelves of your local used book store.

Gossip attack: Word is the actor Brad Pitt bought the movie rights to the book and plans to play Percy Fawcett in an upcoming production.  Ugghh...

1 comment:

reverend dick said...

Well, I hear what you're saying with regard to the diminishing return in our own time, but...I thought Fawcett was a bit of an asshole.

I prefer Shackleton.