Libby's Reviews > The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
by David Grann
by David Grann
I read this book while camping in a tent, being the main course for mosquitoes and trying to keep caterpillars out of my underpanties. It gave me a sort of fellow feeling with the explorers of the Amazon, although I always had the relief of knowing I was less than a couple of miles from an interstate highway. The book itself gave me cold chills, thinking of the strength and duration of man's obsession with the Amazon Valley and its mysteries. Our hero, Percy Harrison Fawcett, is one of those redoubtable British heroes, like T. E. Lawrence and Sir Richard Francis Burton, an amazingly durable being, flexible and able to accustom himself to the unusual, obsessed with finding something fabulous and impatient with others less gifted. He was an Edwardian, effortlessly superior to all lesser breeds, sure of his country's dominion, rigid with honor, yet desiring fame. Just as the Spanish Conquistadores before him, he sought a fairy tale treasure city in the Amazon, following age old tales, petroglyphs, Spanish maps and mining camp rumors. It must be conceded that he had several advantages. He was an experienced explorer, having surveyed borders for the Bolivian government and having taken part in exploration parties for both British and American sponsors. He was in top physical condition and seemed to be immune to the horrid illnesses others contracted in the jungle. He got along well with native tribes and insisted that his expedition members maintain a peaceful and friendly approach with the Indians. On his last expedition, he was accompanied by his oldest son and his son's best friend. Several messages for his family came back along his route until---nothing. The endless greenery had swallowed him and no traces of the party remained. More than one expedition attempted to rescue him or even find some clue, but often they, too, disappeared into the dank shadows and muddy waters. David Grann spins the tale of danger, mystery and desire from Spanish adventurers to modern day businessmen. This book is intriguing and scary, but most of all, it's a terrific yarn.
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