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The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
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Book 25: Lost City of Z > Book 25: Lost City of Z

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message 1: by Ben (last edited Jun 02, 2012 09:38AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ben (benroberts) | 85 comments Mod
I recently finished this book and am torn.

I agree with Mark that it just wasn't that interesting, yet I also feel it had some interesting things to say. Unfortunately, they were all minor. There's plenty for the imagination to play off of, but if a book requires one's imagination to run rampant, is it truly succeeding?

I'm running into the same issue, only worse, with regards to Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. I read it, find an idea so fascinating (and not dwelled upon) that I pause momentarily to daydream about it and find myself drifting off to sleep with wild dreams. It's both wonderful and maddening, as I feel as though I'm not making much progress.

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon doesn't elicit this response as strongly. It's fanciful and fascinating at times, and utterly mundane and factual at others (with only slight overlap).

Ultimately, I'm left asking what this book brings to the discussion? Is it evidence of advance societies in the Amazon validating Fawcett's death? Is it a gripping tale of adventure? Is it one man's narcissism that he might be able to find the truth? Or is it redemption, if only a tiny bit, for the poor amazonian tribes so devastated by the West?

The truth is that all of these things exist in minute amounts, but they don't add up to enough to make the book a must-read or even a might-want-to-read.

Williwaw | 193 comments Mod
For me, part of the value of this book is Grann's portrait of Fawcett: an exceptionally fearless, virtually indestructible adventurer, the likes of which are seldom seen throughout history. And then, how Fawcett was internationally famous in his time, and how so many other adventurers became obsessed with the mystery of his disappearance. Fawcett's story has continuously fired our collective imaginations, and his flame has never died. Grann's book has probably turned up the heat for at least another 20 years!

I had never even heard of Fawcett, so Grann's history was an eye-opener for me. I'm still amazed by Fawcett's story because it's like something out of an outlandish adventure novel, except that it is completely true.

"Lost City" has tragedy, mystery, and adventure, and impressive historical scope; plus countless factoids about the Amazon; and persuasive evidence of an ancient civilization, in support of Fawcett's seemingly wild theory of a lost city.

It's hard for me to imagine that anyone could be bored by this book. While it's not among the very best books that I have ever read, it was nevertheless a smooth, entertaining read that filled me with a sense of wonder.

message 3: by Mark (new) - rated it 1 star

Mark (mark_krebs) | 168 comments Mod
Yes Ben you can say it, GG&S SUCKED. Diamond can take an obvious point "don't chop down the last tree" which makes an excellent, poignant and timeless Dr. Seuss book, I'll mention, and inflate it to 500 pages of mind numbing drivel. GG&S is the same only Mooooooreeeee.
I saw Diamond on some Ted talk. With a time limit, he's compelling.

message 4: by Mark (new) - rated it 1 star

Mark (mark_krebs) | 168 comments Mod
Bill, as for you, name a few bad books. If you can't draw a distinction, then everything's just shades of grey, eh?

Williwaw | 193 comments Mod
If I named a few, it would "shake your bones" for sure, Grandpa Krebs! And I'd rather not send you to the hospital, 'k?

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