Title: The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
Author: David Grann
Publisher: Doubleday 2005
Genre: Nonfiction - History; Travel
Rating: 4/5 stars Movie: 4/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Perpetual (Nonfiction); Popsugar (Set in the wilderness)
In 1925, the legendary British explorer Percy Fawcett ventured into the Amazon jungle, in search of a fabled civilization. He never returned. Over the years countless perished trying to find evidence of his party and the place he called “The Lost City of Z.” In this masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, journalist David Grann interweaves the spellbinding stories of Fawcett’s quest for “Z” and his own journey into the deadly jungle, as he unravels the greatest exploration mystery of the twentieth century.
Been meaning to pick this one up for awhile now. It did not disappoint in terms of the subject matter and story. I was captivated by the story of Fawcett and his pursuit of the Lost City of Z. I was fascinated by the concept of exploration in the 1900s and the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Fawcett and party. My issues with the book came from the writing style. Grann does not excel at smooth transitions between the history and the current situations. I have been spoiled by Erik Larson's wonderful narrations. Grann doesn't quite stand up to that example, but I did very enjoy the book.
Full disclosure: I did not have high hopes for this movie. I assumed they would change so much of the story that it would unrecognizable. Thankfully they stuck fairly close to the real history. A few things were change here and there, but understandable in terms of movie making. And then we get to the last 20 minutes of the movie where everything that happens is speculation and outright fiction. I would have loved to see Fawcett and his son (they cut out Jack's friend Rimmel) bond and share a conversation or two (like the one around the fire after being captured), and then have them walk over a hill and fade to black. That would have been a great ending, full of the ambiguiity of the real story. Instead with get a whole sequence in the jungle with a tribe. Not what I wanted.
Next up on the TBR pile: