The Lost City of Z Review
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For centuries, people have told tales about a fabled city in the heart of the jungles of South America—an abandoned city filled with unimaginable riches. Some call it, simply The City of Gold. To others, it’s El Dorado. To British explorer Percy Harrison Fawcett, it was “Z.” It was his life-long obsession—and, in 1925, Fawcett (along with his son, Jack, and Jack’s friend, Raleigh Rimell) ventured into the jungle and was never seen again.

Eighty years later, New Yorker writer David Grann heard about Fawcett—about his mysterious City of Z and his equally mysterious disappearance. Despite the fact that Grann was a city dweller who knew very little about the outdoors—and much less about exploration—he soon became obsessed with the story, and he decided to head to South America to find some answers, once and for all.

In alternating chapters, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon goes back and forth from the stories of Fawcett’s life and adventures to Grann’s own stories of research and preparation—and, finally, his own expedition into rarely-seen parts of South America.

The book is entirely non-fiction, which means that there’s a lot of information to digest—and, therefore, it takes a while to get through it all. This isn’t just a quick read. At the same time, though, Grann’s laid-back storytelling style makes the book read more like a work of fiction. It’s packed with tales of action, adventure, and unfathomable dangers—like deadly wildlife, strange diseases, cannibalistic natives, and the cutthroat race to be the first to discover this magical city made of gold. It’s the kind of stuff that you typically find in Indiana Jones movies—but, this time, it’s real.

Fawcett is a strange but fascinating character—and Grann makes him come alive on the page. Be warned, though, that as you read his story, you, too, might find yourself becoming obsessed with his determined explorer and his mysterious disappearance. And as Grann prepares for his own journey, you’ll hold your breath in anticipation, wondering what will happen to him—and what (if anything) he’ll find in this strange land, where time seems to have stopped completely.

If you’ve ever dreamed of exploring uncharted territories and discovering ancient treasure, you’ll love every page of The Lost City of Z. This thrilling real-life mystery is a must-read for any armchair explorer.

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