Justin April Newsletter

Justin’s Book Review:

Book: Lost City of Z

Author: David Grann

In this book, written relatively early on in his writing career, David Grann lays the groundwork for what will be his calling card – a well-thought-out, fast-paced gripper of a nonfiction novel. Few navigate the realm of historical fiction with as much storytelling prowess as Grann, and even fewer develop as devoted a fanbase of readers as he managed.

The Lost City of Z tells the story of real-life map maker turned Amazonian explorer, Percy Fawcett. In typical David Grann style, the reader is instantly teleported to the time at hand and enveloped in wonder at where the protagonist’s journey will lead next. 

In the case of Percy Fawcett, it is the Amazon Jungle – in all of its inhospitable glory.

“The Green Hell,” as it was coined by those fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to visit, was once even lesser known than it is now. Make no mistake, there are certainly still acres of humid, wet jungle that remain to be explored by modern man… but in the early 1900s, when Fawcett bushwhacked and paddled his way deep into its bowels, The Amazon might as well have been the dark side of the moon, largely populated by wildlife and uncontacted tribes.

On one of his many expeditions to the heart of the jungle, Fawcett hears of a city. This ancient city, spoken of by local Indians, was rumored to have been populated by an advanced race of people whose story is lost to time, whose structures were lost to the incessant undergrowth, and whose accomplishments were lost to the self-centered historical narrative of modern man.

An advanced race of tribal Indians, with a city rumored to rival even those of Percy’s day? He quickly became a man, obsessed. His journey is riveting, wonder-inspiring, and worth reading and rereading. It is a tale of the dangers of arrogance, the creeping roots of racism, and as David Grann puts it…”deadly obsession in the Amazon.”

Check it out today at the Toccoa-Stephens County Library!

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