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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Lost City of Z by David Grann

David Grann examined the diaries and records of "the greatest exploration mystery of the twentieth century": What happened to Percy Fawcett and his quest for the Lost City of Z? Setting off into the Amazon in 1925, Percy Fawcett (accompanied by his son Jack and Jack's friend, Raleigh Rimell) attempts to find an ancient Amazon civilization. This civilization, the lost city of Z, which was also thought to be the fabled city of El Dorado is rumored to be a complex society in the midst of the Amazon jungle. The trio of explorers disappear into the jungle and are never heard from again.

Grann details the life of Percy Fawcett, his adventures, explorations and his obsession with the lost city of Z. Expeditions of those who go looking for Percy Fawcett are detailed as well. It is estimated that approximately 100 people lost their lives in looking for this explorer. The author himself goes on a journey retracing Fawcett's footsteps in an attempt to find out for himself what happened.

This was a fascinating look at life during this time in history; the obsession driving people to explore; and the life of the Indians in the Amazon jungle. I for one, would not want to deal with the heat, lack of food, insects and snakes. It was amazing to me what these men had to endure in the jungle. Of interest to me was when Fawcett stopped at the home of a German diplomat by the name of John Ahrens before he ventured into the uncivilized jungle.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this informative and engaging story of Fawcett's life and exploration in the Amazon jungle. I would highly recommend this book.

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