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Jungleland: A Mysterious Lost City, a WWII Spy, and a True Story of Deadly Adventure
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Jungleland: A Mysterious Lost City, a WWII Spy, and a True Story of Deadly Adventure

3.25 of 5 stars 3.25  ·  rating details  ·  613 ratings  ·  120 reviews
Deep inside “the little Amazon,” the jungles of Honduras’s Mosquito Coast—one of the largest, wildest, and most impenetrable stretches of tropical land in the world—lies the fabled city of Ciudad Blanca: the White City. For centuries, it has lured explorers, including Spanish conquistador Herman Cortes. Some intrepid souls got lost within its dense canopy; some disappeared ...more
Hardcover, 263 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Harper
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Will Byrnes
In reading Jungleland, I was reminded of the tale of the blind men who all describe an entirely different thing based on touching various parts of an elephant. There are significant elements there, and one can appreciate each, and somehow still not get a sense of the whole.

Jungleland is the tale of Wall Street Journal writer Christopher Stewart, on a quest. He had come across information about a remarkable American, Thomas Morde, who, in 1940, had discovered a long-lost city in the jungles of Ho
Nancy Kennedy
This story of a man's quest to find the "lost city" of Ciudad Blanca in the Honduran jungle has been compared (at least by the publisher) to Lost in Shangri-La, the story of a plane crash in Dutch New Guinea at the end of WWII. I loved Mitchell Zuckoff's book of the survival of three of the crash victims.

But, this book in no way compares to Mr. Zuckoff's book. Unfortunately, author Christopher Stewart doesn't have the advantage of reporting on an event in which he doesn't have to participate. Mr
Just finished the book, still waiting for something to happen. The subtitle suggests espionage, death and adventure and it's just not in here. I got the feeling that Stewart expected an epic trip filled with danger and adventure. He hyped the trip and all along he knew he would return to write a book about his adventure. Probably had the book deal already lined up. I'm guessing Stewart had to exaggerate a bit and build up near interesting events to make this book happen. The death in the sub tit ...more
Jungleland tells the story of one journalist’s search for the White City (Ciudad Blanca) in the Honduran Jungle based upon some notes found from a World War II spy and adventurer named Theodore Morde who had claimed to discover the city prior to World War II. The city which resides in one of the most heavily wooded rain forests surrounded by indigenous tribes, drug runners and bandits. From the notes for Theodore Morde and interviews with his family the author decides to take a trip to find this ...more
I was warned. I read enough reviews to know that this book does not live up to the exciting title, but I really love these tales of Amazon exploration: the dangerous natives, the many deadly creatures, the rain, the mud.

This book tries to do too much and falls far, far short of the goal. The narrative alternates between the story of Theodore Morde and Stewart's own quest to find the fabled "White City" in modern day Honduras.

Morde claimed to have found what he called the "Lost City of the Monk
Nicola Mansfield
A modern day reenactment of an old explorer's search for a lost city in the same vein as David Grann's The Lost City of Z but not of the same calibre as that book. Christopher Stewart follows in the footsteps of Theodore Morde who explored Honduras during the late 1930s looking for the fabled "White City". Chapters alternate between telling Morde's story and Stewart's. Morde's story comes from extensive diaries he kept during his expedition and life. An entertaining story, well-written and an en ...more
Luanne Ollivier
Journalist Christopher Stewart first heard of the lost White City on the Mosquito Coast in the Honduras while reporting on the country's drug trade. It piqued his interest and he continued to investigate for his own curiosity. And then curiosity turned into obsession when he stumbled across the journals of Theodore Morde. Morde discovered a lost city in 1940 after four months spent hunting in the jungle. But Morde died before he revealed the location or was able to return to Honduras.

"I just ke
Stewart does a great job bringing the reader into the sweltering and oppressive jungle of Honduras through his own personal journey retracing the footsteps of explorer Theodore Morde. During Morde’s own venture into the depths of this perilous land in the late 30’s, he claims to have found the legendary White City, and 70 years later, Stewart is determined to uncover what Morde found. Stewart alternates between Morde’s narrative and his own. Leaving his family and the comfort of his Brooklyn hom ...more
I really don't know why this book has such a low average rating, 'cause it's an enjoyable book and worth the four stars I gave it.

In some ways the jacket description is misleading, because the focus is really on Thomas Morde, explorer and spy, rather than Native culture or even the Cuidad Blanca itself. The reason for the author's obsession with Morde--the many similarities and parallels in their lives--is developed throughout the book. The narrative alternates between Stewart's adventures and M
Another book in the style of "The Lost City of Z" except instead of Brazil we are in Honduras. Same alternating between the present quest and the early 20th Century quest of another explorer, this time an explorer turned OSS agent during WW II. This is a quick read and it's written in a can't put it down manner. Great maps too. Lots of them. And it even has pictures. Would have liked more of the actual ruins though. The author seems like the last type of guy to undertake this journey and it's en ...more
There's a fascinating story in here somewhere. Unfortunately the writing doesn't bear it out.

Stewart alternates chapters about his own adventures in the Honduras jungle with chapters about explorer Theodore Morde, who seems like a great story waiting to happen. But going back and forth between the two narratives is to the detriment of both. Chapters are almost absurdly short -- some are only a page or two -- so the reader has little chance to get involved in either thread before shifting to the
Intrigued by the tale of a fabled lost city and the adventures of an enigmatic explorer, a journalist plunges into the Honduran jungle in search of answers.

The legend of Ciudad Blanca, the White City, goes back to Spanish colonial days and has been compared to the search for El Dorado. It has attracted the attention of dreamers and gold-seekers and men like Charles Lindbergh, Frederick Mitchell-Hedges and George Heye, founder of the Museum of the American Indian, who bankrolled Theodore Morde’s
Harpercollins Canada
Confession: I love reading adventure stories. I love traveling to exotic locations through the pages of a book (and wouldn’t mind going to a few of them in real life!!).

But, I’m getting away from my point here.

The point is that I loved traveling deep into the jungle with Christopher S. Stewart in Jungleland.

It’s hard to believe sometimes that there are places on this planet that we have yet to explore, but Stewart finds one in his quest in Jungleland. Here, he travels to Honduras in search of t
Author follows the journal and writings of Ted Morde who searched the jungles of Honduras to find the long-lost "White City", Cuidad Blanca, during the days of World War II. Includes maps to highlight the treks of both Morde and Stewart for comparison.
Greg Talbot
Author, explorer Chris Stewart ventures to Honduras to find the mythical Lost City of the Golden Monkey. Feeling an itch from domestication and waiting to find a story to capture his imagination, he ventures during a perilious time with a military coup underway, and rival drug gangs claiming parts of the jungle as their turf.

Stewart excels in setting up the suspense and adventure of this book. He brings in the haunting of Trujillo, recalling for me Junot Dioz's exquisite "The Brief Wondrous Lif
I can't believe how much I enjoyed this book. I normally shy away from biographies as they are typically written with so many dates, names, times, etc. that I can't absorb it all. This book felt like a fiction novel and I couldn't wait to keep reading it to find out if they found the White City.

The story is told in two timelines, one of Theodore Morde's exploration in the 30's and one of Stewart's in the present day. It's hard to fully understand trekking through the jungle but I was fully engr

This book dragged and dragged. It jumped back and forth. Just not something I would have read if I knew what it would be like. But I started it, so I had to finish it. The author painstakingly traces the steps of an adventurer from decades ago, to find the White City in Central America, risking his life doing so. Seems like an insane thing to do, a midlife crisis of sorts. But he and his crew march forward and succeed in finding nothing. The title was really misleading. Actually, t
I am going to have to agree with most of the reviews here. I love stories about the jungle and adventures....but this falls short. although quick and entertaining enough, it was lacking.

His interweaving of the stories was nice and read well, but his side of the story was a bit too whiny. I know he confessed to not really liking camping and not being too outdoorsy, but at a certain point, when you've placed yourself in a situation, you need to accept the difficulties and grow with it. He never di
Courtney Hartley
I didn't realize this was going to basically be a story of a dude having a quarter life crisis and going on an adventure to find meaning or something. I didn't find either story particularly engaging, and I felt no empathy for the author and his struggles on the journey.
I went into it without any specific expectations, so it was weird to feel let down. I didn't expect them to find the Lost White City, because I figured it was like most lost cities and mostly a legend and whatnot, so even that w
Linda Hunt
I think sometimes of all the wonderful and mysterious places in the world that are too hidden or too high or too deep or too cold for regular people to be able to see, and I'm grateful that the people who are able to see them often take the time to write a book about their experience so that others may share by proxy. This is such a book.
The author had the desire, and the opportunity, to travel to Ecuador in search of The White City, a fabled place said to have been peopled by a civilization tha
Richard Rothaus
Jungleland is a fast-paced adventure into the deep jungle of Honduras. The book recounts a journalist’s quest to retrace the path of a mysterious explorer and finally reveal the truth of the lost city of ‘Ciudad Blanca.’ The clarity and pacing of the book will move you along quickly. You will not want to put it down, nor do you have to, as it is not overly long. Jungleland, however, is something more than it appears at first glance. Stewart, a writer and editor at the Wall Street Journal, has pa ...more
Don't get me wrong, I did really enjoy this book. I love any kind of "explorer lost in the jungle" type non-fiction book. It's the best kind of armchair traveling that I can imagine. And, this books doesn't disappoint. In 1940, an American named Henry Morde went in search of the fabled "Ciudad Blanca" in the Mosquita region of Honduras. His journey was fraught with peril, disease, poisnonous snakes and all the other exciting and dangerous things that could possibly happen while traipsing through ...more
Titanic Buff
When I first picked Jungleland up I was a wee bit wary. Was it going to be another Lost in Shangri-La? Tentatively I began reading. Pretty soon it had become a page turner. Christopher Stewart alternates between his present-day jungle adventure and that of Theodore Morde’s during the 1930s. Through the perils of the Honduras jungle both men went in search of lost cities. Morde made his discovery only to die a semi-mysterious death never having given the exact location of his lost city. Now Stewa ...more
Apr 03, 2013 Marti rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: adult
This was a really interesting book about a journalist searching for lost ruins in Honduras. His expedition was based on the travel diary of an adventurer who made the same trek in 1940. It was especially fascinating to me as I had been in many of the same parts of Honduras w/ an archaeological expedition 17 yrs ago. And the author's archaeologist travel partner was one of the archaeologists that I had worked with all those years ago. It brought back a lot of memories and I learned some new thing ...more
My feelings about Stewart's Jungleland are sort of all over the place. The book chronicles Stewart's attempts to piece together the life of Theodore Morde--an explorer of the Honduran jungle and WWII spy--and continue his mission to find the lost White City.

I loved precisely half of it.

The other half was a slog.

I should probably tell you now that I'm not usually much for non-fiction. Unless the blurb on the back sounds like fiction, I'm probably not reading it.

The half of the book that I love
Cathy Cole
First Line: The man called himself Rana, or Frog.

Armed with a World War II spy's personal notebooks and the mysterious coordinates carved into the man's walking stick, journalist Christopher S. Stewart goes to Honduras to see if he can do what the spy (Theodore Morde) claimed he did in 1940: find the Ciudad Blanca-- the white city of gold hidden deep in the rain forest of the Mosquito Coast, one of the wildest places on Earth. What the journalist would learn is that the journey itself oftentimes
Elena (Gone Bookserk)
A Gone Bookerk Perspective

Ah, the deep jungle of Honduras from the perspective of a freelance writer. Christopher S. Stewart first heard of the lost city of Honduras in 2008 when he was reporting on the growing Honduran drug trade. This book is incredibly full of adventure and danger. It's really well written. It's a very definitely a unique and exciting account of a travel adventure...

I'm not sure, still, what I have to say about this book. It's just one of those travel accounts massively en
Susan Segal
So far I am totally entertained. The author has an engaging, quirky style. He alternates telling his own quest in the Honduran jungles during a recent coup with the explorer, WWII spy, who plotted to kill Hitler, Theodore Morde, who also trekked the Honduran jungles in search of the fabled Cuidad Blanca in the 1940s. I could totally relate to an urban city dweller (Brooklyn native, author Christopher Stewart) landing in the tropical rainforest secure in the knowledge that if the fer de lance did ...more
Sean McBride
I picked up Jungleland because I was looking for a fun adventure. The reviews of the book say that it's a "real life Indiana Jones" and after reading that I jumped right into it.

The book itself was a little disjointed, pairing short vignettes of Stewart's journey into the Honduras Rain forest with the story of an earlier adventurer.

Without giving too much away; the writing was just ok, simplistic, journalistic, "Just the Facts" kind of writing a la Sebastian Junger of Perfect Storm fame. The re
Jean-Paul Adriaansen
In 1940, a certain Thomas Morde comes out of the jungle of Honduras and claims to have found a lost city. In the same year he becomes a WW II spy and his adventure is soon forgotten.
Christoper Stewart, interested in lost civilizations, finds the journals of Morde and decides to go on a search for Morde's lost "White City."
Stewart, an adventurer but not prepared as explorer, never having gone on a camping trip once, alternates his story with Morde's adventures.
Both stories give a good picture of
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Christopher S. Stewart is a writer and editor at the Wall Street Journal and author of Hunting the Tiger, a book about Zeljko Arkan Raznatovic, the Serbian mobster and warlord at the center of the 1990s Balkan wars. Jungleland is his second book.

His work has also appeared in GQ, Harper's, the New York Times Magazine, New York, Paris Review, Wired, and other publications. Earlier, he served as depu
More about Christopher S. Stewart...
Hunting the Tiger: The Fast Life and Violent Death of the Balkans' Most Dangerous Man

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“David Grann’s book The Lost City of Z), of the University of Florida,” 0 likes
“Frederick Mitchell-Hedges,” 0 likes
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