10. The Lost City of Z

The Lost City of Z by David Grann

Pages: 299 (+extensive Notes, Bibliography & Index)
Finished: Jan. 17, 2009
First Published: Feb. 24, 2009
Genre: Biography, Travel, Memoir
Rating: 4/5

Reason for Reading: I received a copy from the publisher.

First sentence:

I pulled the map from my back pocket.

Comments: This is a biography of early twentieth century explorer, Percy Fawcett. Fawcett was an accomplished explorer of the Amazon jungles and recipient of the Royal Geographical Association's Gold Medal. He is most known for his determination in finding a lost city and civilization hidden in the depths of the jungle, often called El Dorado, Fawcett labeled his unfound city "Z".

The book begins with Fawcett's early days as an explorer up to his infamous journey in which he took his 22-year old son with him and simply vanished from the face of the earth. Many others have gone in since to find him and either disappeared themselves or returned defeated and emaciated.

Between chapters of Fawcett's story, the author occasionally jumps to his own tale of following in the footsteps of Fawcett's ill-fated last journey using modern technology.

A very compelling read. Fawcett is truly a larger than life character and his story makes for good reading. I really enjoyed the time period, 1900s-1920s, and am fascinated with exploration of that period. A well written biography with plenty of original source quotations including from Fawcett's own journals. I only wish the book had included some photographs. I like to see who I'm reading about but all in all a very interesting and compelling biography and description of the days of exploration.

Edited to Add: While my arc edition has no photographs, the finished book *will* have photos and maps. That's great news!


  1. This sounds engrossing. I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

  2. I just checked our library for it and it's on order but there's already eight people waiting for it! I think I'll just support my LBS.

  3. Excellent review! I also have this ARC but now I wish I would have waited the buy it, especially like maps to help in books. Oh well.

    I look forward to reading it.

    I added a link to the ARC Challnge post.

  4. Oh no--I want to see pictures, too! I've heard good things about this one and apparently a movie deal has been made with Brad Pitt. I hope to read this one soon, but I'll have to find a library copy with pictures!

  5. Yeah, that's the downside to reading an arc, sometimes no pictures. I'll be looking at the final version myself. I didn't know about the movie! That will be interesting for sure!


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