BOOK REVIEW: The Lost City of Z by David Grann

BOOK REVIEW: The Lost City of Z by David Grann

Simon & Schuster 
April 2017
Paperback, $19.99
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar


David Grann, a staff writer at The New Yorker and best-selling author, delves deep into the fascinating story of explorer Colonel Percy Fawcett and his fanciful attempts to discover the mystical lost city of Z in the heart of the unexplored Amazon rainforest.

Fawcett was first stationed in South America in 1906 and enlisted to map the Brazil-Bolivian border. Possessing a remarkable constitution, Fawcett watched as members of this an subsequent teams lost limbs and lives to parasites and illness, starvation and madness, barely ever faltering on his growing obsession of discovering Z – which he envisioned as some sort of El Dorado-like city of untold riches.

Fawcett’s last expedition was mounted in 1925, with his eldest son Jack and his best friend, Raleigh Rimell – one from which none would return.

More than just a tale of obsession and adventure and loss (Fawcett’s wife Nina’s descent into penury and misery is particularly sad), Grann ensures that the tale examines the cult of hysteria that erupted around Fawcett’s dream. Over the next eighty years, hundreds of explorers went in search of the Fawcett expedition, or attempted to trace their steps to find Z – including Grann himself. Some even thought of Z as a portal to another dimension.

Originally published in 2009, Grann’s tale is fascinating – fascinating enough to warrant a feature film based on the book, released earlier this year to favourable reviews, and starring Charlie Hunnan, Robert Pattinson and Sienna Miller.


BOOK REVIEW: The Lost City of Z by David Grann

Filed Under: Book Reviews

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