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The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon (Random House Large Print) Paperback – Large Print, 24 Feb 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Paperback, Large Print, 24 Feb 2009
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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Large Print Publishing; Lrg edition (24 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739328344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739328347
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.9 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,362,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

`Grann's book vividly brings to life the horrors that Fawcett faced . . . A wonderful story of a lost age of heroic exploration' --Sunday Times

`A fantastic, almost fantastical, story . . . the wonder of it is that Grann actually succeeds in reaching some intriguing conclusions. Marvellous stuff' --Daily Mail

`Grann cleverly knits together Fawcett's story with his own attempts to find Z . . . A ripping yarn' --Observer

`A skilful and spirited retelling of Fawcett's obsessional quest' --Guardian

`Grann's book vividly brings to life the horrors that Fawcett faced . . . A wonderful story of a lost age of heroic exploration' --The Sunday Times

`Grann brilliantly unravels the mystery of the explorer Colonel Fawcett, who disappeared in the Amazon jungle in 1925' --Daily Telegraph

'A fascinating true story' --Scottish Sunday Herald --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

` A genuine page-turner' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I doubt that I would have picked up `The Lost City of Z' if it wasn't for the fact that I am actually going off to spend time in the Amazon, and I would have been missing out on an absolute treat. If you are planning on heading out into the vast jungle then you really couldn't ask for a better book for warning s of just what awful things can be lurking in the trees, rivers and even the air. It also makes the book rather grisly from time to time, mind you this book is really in the main a jungle from 1911 - 1950 so I am hoping in the now if you had a `vampire fish' making your nether regions a home or were slowly ingested by nesting maggots a nearby hospital might do the trick. Mind you I don't think anyone could stop the venom of a Jararaca snake killing you very painfully rather quickly. Sorry let me expand on this a little better; I think my excitement and enthusiasm for this book might mean I come across a little disjointed in my thoughts, bear with me.

In part really David Grann's book, for it isn't a novel, is a biography of the life and quests of Percy Harrison Fawcett and what became his obsession of finding the Lost City of El Dorado, a man who I had never heard of and yet a man whose quests and eventual disappearance had the world gripped for years back in the 1920's. Fawcett had a lust for adventure from an early age and in his life time as well as being an adventurer he was also a spy and fought in WWI, the latter is hinted as the cause of his obsession with the lost city, a kind of coping mechanism for all he saw during the conflict on the battlefield. He became so well known along with his adventures many believe he was the inspiration for his friend Conan Doyle's `The Lost World' which I am now going to have to read very soon.
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Format: Hardcover
If you like to know about real-life adventures, you'll enjoy this book. David Grann writes convincingly in grisly detail about the many dangers and drawbacks of hacking your way through the Amazon jungle to find what might remain of "lost" cities described in legend.

The Amazon basin has been home to many extravagant legends -- El Dorado (where gold is used like talcum powder), Amazonians (beautiful, but dangerous, female warriors), strange "white" men, and bizarre cannibals. One of the most determined seekers in the jungle was British Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett, one of the most highly decorated South American explorers in the first part of the 20th century, and a former spy and military officer.

The Lost City of Z recounts Fawcett's last expedition into the jungle, from which he did not return. Since then, lots of people have launched unsuccessful, an often lethal, searches for him. David Grann makes his own, following a route that careful research suggests may have been where Fawcett went. The book's conclusion will surprise you.

The story is written on several parallel planes: Fawcett's life; Grann's search for Fawcett; other searches for Fawcett; and the history of exploration into the blank areas of the global map. At first this will seem disjointed and a little precious. By the end, the parallel story lines wrap around one another to make one compelling tale. It's a very clever design that I admired very much while reading and appreciate even more now.

The book's strength is that you will get a sense of how dangerous and difficult it was to explore in the Amazon jungle. If one thing didn't get you, something (or someone) else did.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a student of history, I was seriously disappointed with the Lost City of Z for two reasons.

First of all, the book is supposed to be about Colonel Fawcett's last abortive expedition into the Matto Gross, not about a writer who believes his own life is more fascinating than the subject of his book! No one gives a damn about your personal reminiscences.

Anyone who takes four chapters before he begins telling the background to his subject's story, seriously needs to take a step back. This isn't about Fawcett's last expedition, so much as his life up until he set off for the Matto Grosso for the final time and about Victorian explorers in general!!!

Secondly it is full of typo's and spelling mistakes, showing how it was rushed through the publishing process.

Make up your mind Mr Grann, is this book about you, Victorian explorers and attitudes or Colonel Fawcett's last expedition?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Percy Harrison Fawcett was a man with a dream. His dream was that of many generations of men before him and one that would ensnare plenty of those who would come after. It was also a dream that would see him disappear without a trace along with his son Jack and Jack’s best friend Raleigh.

You see Percy Harrison Fawcett was an explorer. Not just any explorer but an explorer of the Amazon jungle in a time when large swathes of that part of South America were still marked in black with the word ‘unexplored’ on the maps of the world. For men of his era (the late nineteenth and early twentieth century) it was still a badge of honour and, more importantly, a route to riches to be the one who made a major scientific breakthrough in our understanding of the dark swathes still evident on any world map.They all yearned to be the next Livingstone or Stanley and would stop at nothing to prove their mettle against seemingly insurmountable odds to a world holding its collective breath. All too often this led to tragedy when, after sailing up the mouth of the Amazon river, they were never seen or heard of again.

Percy Harrison Fawcett was a cut above virtually all of these men. An artillery officer who discovered his thirst for discovery whilst stationed in what was then Ceylon, he came back to England to train as an explorer with the Royal Geographical society. This was the premier scientific institute of the day, along with the Royal Society, and one which funded many expeditions all round the world.

Fawcett was a man whose outstanding physical fitness, mental drive and wrought iron constitution made him perfect for the jungle. He could endure the privations that came with his line of work far better than other men.
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