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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Book Review: The Lost City of Z

Our latest book club choice, and my tenth book of the year (only 10?? I need to get my act together if I want to reach my 2012 goal of 20), was The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann.

This is a non-fiction book that is mostly about the adventures of a 20th century explorer, Percy Fawcett, and his experiences in his search for evidence of an ancient civilization in the Amazon. He never returned from his last expedition, and 100s of people have tried to figure out what happened to him and his team (which included one of his sons).

Interwoven with Fawcett's story is the author's own story of how he became interested, then almost obsessed, with Fawcett and the Lost City of Z, and how he ended up going on his own adventure into the Amazon.

The books was an interesting read, but got kind of boring in the middle because of it's repetitive nature (Fawcett goes on new expedition, some of his men get sick or die, he has no sympathy, they come out of the jungle, repeat). However, the last 50-60 pages got very interesting, when Grann (on his own adventure) finds out what has happened to Fawcett and whether he was right about Z. 

I would have preferred less time spent on detailing Fawcett's expeditions and more time on what has been found in the Amazon. This is why I'm giving the book a 3.5/5.