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The Lost City of Z - David Grann

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Genre: Travel / Author: David Grann / 352 pages / Book published 2010-07-08 by Pocket Books

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      24.04.2011 22:21
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      Excellent book

      I've got more books than time and have a huge backlog to read through at holiday times such as now, a book that I bought fairly recently and skipped the queue though was The Lost City of Z. The subject matter was interesting, a quick glance at it led me to believe that it was written in a very readable style and the prospect of learning more about Colonel Percy Fawcett's disappearance in the Amazon rainforest was something that really appealed.

      This book is written by David Grann, a New Yorker whose grandfather led an adventurous life as a furrier in Asia. Grann is a journalist who is in no way the outdoors type but the one similiarity to his grandfather and Colonel Percy Fawcett is that he becomes obsessed with things and won't let them go.

      Colonel Percy Fawcett on behalf of the Royal Geographical Society mapped a great deal of South America that remained unknown at the time of exploration, he drew the borders that stand today, explored dangerous insect and animal infested Amazonian jungle, came in to contact with hostile Indian tribes and witnessed the torture, murder and usage of Indian slaves by early rubber industry producers.

      Not only can he be considered as the final true explorer, a man who set off in to unknown territory with little in the way of supplies and a machete but he was also a staunch believer in Amerindian cultures, an eccentric Buddhist and a man who believed in a lost civilisation, the Lost City of Z!

      So convinced was he of the cities existence that he began to lay everything he owned on it, his final expedition to uncover the lost civilisation included his son and his son's best friend but the ageing explorer disappeared.

      David Grann gets access to rare diaries, interviews with living family members, Indian tribes and possibly one of the last person to see the group alive in 1925. There book details Fawcett's life, adventures, the journey to find the Lost City of Z, his rivalry with Dr. Rice, relationships with his family and also other ill-fated expeditions that went out to look for him following his disappearance. It's a great read, very informative, well-written and split nicely in to relatively short readable chapters.

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