Book Review: The Lost City of Z by David Grann

May 23, 2011

“The Lost City of Z” by David Grann (website) is a non-fiction account of the author’s trip to Brazil following the footsteps of previous explorers. The book is part character study, part history, part archeological and part adventure story.

  • 352 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday
  • ISBN: 0385513534

My rating for The Lost City of Z – 5

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I have visited the Amazon region way back in 1992 and have enjoyed my adventures there immensely. I’m glad I did it in my early 20’s, I don’t think that I’d have the time or the fortitude for such a trip, even though, to be honest a few days in the jungle did me some good (I hope, some of the more descriptive consequences of being in the jungle which can be discovered decades later left me a bit leery).

Which is why I read “The Lost City of Z” by David Grann, possibly reliving my youthful adventure? I actually wish I would have read these books before going, I would have appreciated what I was doing much more, even though getting stung by fire ants would still have sucked with or without the knowledge.

Man of la Gator??? (circa 1992)
At the Pantanal Region of the Amazon

The book tells about Grann’s fascination with “Z”, a mythical city mentioned by famed explorer Percy Harrison Fawcett. Mr. Fawcett disappeared in the Amazon region and left no clue as to where he was going. The opposite is true, at the time exploring was a competitive field and he actually left false information thinking that someone else might beat him to find the lost city.

Percy Harrison Fawcett

This compelling book brings together two colorful tales of adventure. The chapters alternate between a history lesson on Fawcett, the Amazon and the Royal Geographical Society and the author’s research, perpetration and finally the trip itself.

Fawcett starts off as a heroic figure, but ultimately ends up as a tragic one. He puts his life, family and fortune with his focused obsession, however he looked at the trees and ultimately missed the forest.

The ending of the book left me dumbfounded – I must do more research on the information presented, especially in the last chapter. That information that Michael Heckenberger discovered could literally change the history we think we know and our appreciation of the Indian tribes living in the area.

So tell me, do you like reading books about places you visited?

Percy Fawcett was a British explorer who disappeared in the Amazon region looking for a lost city which he named “Z”. Many explorers have tried trace his footsteps and even find him while his legend kept on living and growing larger.

David Grann, an American journalist, decided also to try his luck, but instead of gathering equipment and bulldozing ahead, he first did some amazing research and what he found is astounding.

Buy & Save on“The Lost City Z” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on:
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Zohar – Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I bought this eBook.

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  • Ash Bruxvoort May 23, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I’m not sure I’ve ever realized this book was nonfiction before and I think that is what has kept me from it. Sounds like a great book though!

    • zohar May 23, 2011 at 9:46 am

      LOL, probably due to all the zombie books out there “World War Z”, etc.

  • Carin S. May 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I read this before I started blogging – liked it very much though! I also recommend The River of Doubt, about Theo. Roosevelt tramping through the same geography post-presidency. I like your alligator.

    • zohar May 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm

      Thanks for the comment Carin. I read “River of Doubt”, it was fantastic.

  • Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) May 29, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    How fun, to read a book about a place you visited in the past. I was astonished by the last chapter too, but haven’t read much about it since finishing this book.

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