Most travel books don’t contain flesh eating cannibals, disease causing insects or poison arrow attacks. But, David Grann’s The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon does as it tells the story of Percy Fawcett, an early twentieth century explorer, who ventured into the Amazon Jungle in search of the City of Z. This elusive city was said to contain gold and riches beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. Grann vividly recounts Fawcett’s ill fated 1925 trip from which he and his son never returned.
Readers with an interest in exploration and history will be fascinated by this book. What would compel a man to leave his family and the comforts of home in England to travel halfway around the world to endure the difficulties of travel in the Amazon, not knowing if he would return safely?
According to Brazilian officials, over 100 people have met their demise while attempting to replicate explorer Fawcett’s journey into this dangerous region over the past ninety years. David Grann is one of those who became so intrigued by Fawcett’s story that he became a Fawcett ‘groupie’. He planned his own trip to the Amazon region after he painstakingly researched Fawcett’s life, interviewed his descendants and journeyed to the Royal Geographic Society in London to access the archives which held the most complete information, primary documents and letters about Fawcett’s journey. Luckily, for Grann and the reader, he came back alive and managed to craft a riveting story that may make you reconsider your future camping trips in the woods.