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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

Hardback

By (author) David Grann

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  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell
  • Format: Hardback | 339 pages
  • Dimensions: 157mm x 236mm x 33mm | 680g
  • Publication date: 24 February 2009
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0385513534
  • ISBN 13: 9780385513531
  • Illustrations note: illustrations
  • Sales rank: 240,029

Product description

A grand mystery reaching back centuries. A sensational disappearance that made headlines around the world. A quest for truth that leads to death, madness or disappearance for those who seek to solve it. "The Lost City of Z" is a blockbuster adventure narrative about what lies beneath the impenetrable jungle canopy of the Amazon. After stumbling upon a hidden trove of diaries, acclaimed "New Yorker" writer David Grann set out to solve "the greatest exploration mystery of the twentieth century" What happened to the British explorer Percy Fawcett and his quest for the Lost City of Z? In 1925 Fawcett ventured into the Amazon to find an ancient civilization, hoping to make one of the most important discoveries in history. For centuries Europeans believed the world's largest jungle concealed the glittering kingdom of El Dorado. Thousands had died looking for it, leaving many scientists convinced that the Amazon was truly inimical to humankind. But Fawcett, whose daring expeditions helped inspire Conan Doyle's "The Lost World, " had spent years building his scientific case. Captivating the imagination of millions around the globe, Fawcett embarked with his twenty-one-year-old son, determined to prove that this ancient civilization--which he dubbed "Z"--existed. Then he and his expedition vanished. Fawcett's fate--and the tantalizing clues he left behind about "Z"--became an obsession for hundreds who followed him into the uncharted wilderness. For decades scientists and adventurers have searched for evidence of Fawcett's party and the lost City of Z. Countless have perished, been captured by tribes, or gone mad. As David Grann delved ever deeper into the mystery surrounding Fawcett's quest, and the greater mystery of what lies within the Amazon, he found himself, like the generations who preceded him, being irresistibly drawn into the jungle's "green hell." His quest for the truth and his stunning discoveries about Fawcett's fate and "Z" form the heart of this complex, enthralling narrative.

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Author information

David Grann has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2003. He has written about everything from New York City's antiquated water tunnels to the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang, from the hunt for the giant squid to the mysterious death of the world's greatest Sherlock Holmes expert. His stories have appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic, where he is also a contributing editor.

Review quote

"At once a biography, a detective story and wonderfully vivid piece of travel writing....suspenseful....rollicking....Fascinating....reads with all the pace and excitement of a movie thriller and all the verisimilitude and detail of firsthand reportage, and it seems almost surely destined for a secure perch on the best-seller lists." --Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times" "David Grann, recounts Fawcett's expeditions with all the pace of a white-knuckle adventure story.....What a grand tale it is!....Grann follows its twists and turns admirably. Thoroughly researched, vividly told, this is a thrill ride from start to finish." --"The Washington Post" "[O]utstanding....a powerful narrative, stiff lipped and Victorian at the center, trippy at the edges, as if one of those stern men of Conrad had found himself trapped in a novel by Garcia Marquez." --Rich Cohen, "The New York Times Book Review" "[V]ividly alive....What makes Mr. Grann's telling of the story so captivating is that he decides not simply to go off in search of yet more relics of our absent hero -- but to go off himself in search of the city that Fawcett was looking for so heroically when he suddenly went AWOL." --Simon Wincester, "The Wall Street Journal " "A fascinating account....Grann expertly juggles narratives....breathtaking clarity of scene and immediacy; any writer who can breathe life into letters written by scientists in the early 1900s deserves more than a hat tip. Grann brings Fawcett's remarkable story to a beautifully written, perfectly paced fruition." --"The Los Angeles Times " "A fascinating yarn that touches on science, history, and some truly obsessive personalities." --Entertainment Weekly "[A] smart biographical page-turner whose vivid narrative chronicles Fawcett's extraordinary life and harrowing adventures."-"USA Today ""To read "The Lost City of Z" is to feel grateful that Grann himself bothered to set out f