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Friday, September 18, 2009

Armchair Explorers

For those of you who enjoy true tales of adventure, I’ve got a great recommendation for you: The Lost City of Z: A Tale of a Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Gran. I checked it out over the Labor Day weekend and couldn’t put it down.

The book chronicles the expeditions of Percy Harrison Fawcett, an Amazon explorer who made seven expeditions to South America and the Amazon between 1906 and 1924. He was in search of evidence of an ancient civilization that he thought might rival Machu Picchu. His last expedition in 1925 ended with his disappearance. He, his son and a friend never returned and their remains were never found.

Fawcett was a bit of media star in the early 20th century and his disappearance sparked other expeditions to locate him – some of them ended in failure as well. He was a friend of Arthur Conan Doyle, who used Fawcett’s adventures and theory of a lost city as the basis for his novel, The Lost World.

Gran is a meticulous researcher and The Lost City of Z is much more than a biography of Fawcett. He tracks down 16th century accounts of the earliest visitors to the Amazon, Fawcett’s diaries and a great deal of fascinating information on Fawcett’s contemporaries, who were trekking into one of the last great unexplored areas of the world.

It is so great to find a rare gem like The Lost City of Z!

Pat, Fairfax County Public Library

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for mentioning Old Dogs. I recently read it, and at the time had an old dog. It is a beautiful read and a good cry. My dog has since crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. I highly recommend this book to dog lovers.