Ernie's Reviews > The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon

The Lost City of Z by David Grann
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Jan 13, 12

Read in January, 2012

This is a story about Percy Fawcett, victorian era (okay a little later, but of the same mold) explorer who wanted to find the Lost city of El Dorado. The background story was the recognition that much of the world was unmapped and the Royal Geographic Society and the American Geographic Society supported and organized explorers into Africa, South America and the Artic regions. The men who became explorers were exceptional in many ways. They were single minded. They were largely amateurs. They were physically tough. ---- This fellow became fascinated with El Dorado. There were early stories from the Spaniards who contacted the indians in South America about rich civilizations hidden in the jungle. ---- So.. .mapping and discovery were the two goals. Fawcett went missing during an expedition in 1925 with his son and a friend of the son. The book describes the activities leading up to this fatal expedition and the attempts to find what became of him. --- The back drop of the story... and not too strong but there... was the recognition that civilzations are a moving target. And what the Spaniards saw... what may have existed 1000 years ago... what exists today.... can change rapidly based on diseases, technology, social/political interactions....

Nice story. The theme of Fawcett shows up in literature frequently. I will recognize it next time. --- The chapters alternated between the modern day (2005) experiences of the author during his investigations and biographical chapters about Fawcett. Very effective.

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message 1: by Klkoegler (new)

Klkoegler My personal take on the El Dorado myth is that the Amerindians were more wily than the Roadrunner's coyote. Once they figured out what the Spaniards were up to, they simply told them that the fabulous lost city of gold or the fabulous ruler who was covered in gold dust or whatever it was--these things weren't in their particular area, but just over the next hill or down the river, there was another group of Indians who were much richer. In other words, keep the Spaniards (and their deadly microbes) moving.

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