Since this book is written by a newspaper reporter, you can count on it being written in a way that captures the reader's interest. It reads very much as an adventure story about the exploration of the Amazon region during the early 20th Century. The book has three parallel narratives; (1) A first person account of the author's research and trip to the Amazon, (2) A biography of Percy Fawcett - a famous British explorer, and (3) A history of the late 19th and early 20th Century mind set that created a fascination with exploration of the unmapped regions of the world.
Through most of the book I considered Captain Fawcett to be a fool for being so convinced that a great civilization once existed in the Amazon region. Readers who make it through to the end of the book will learn that he was closer to the truth than most 20th Century archaeologist were aware.
This book covers some of the same material that is in the book, The River of Doubt by Candice Millard. If you liked that book and want more stories about the Amazon, then you should enjoy this book.
The following is a copy of the short review of the book from my PageADay Booklover's Calendar:
THE AWFUL TRUTH ABOUT EL DORADO
New Yorker staff writer David Grann came across some diaries of “the last individualist explorer,” Percy Fawcett. Fawcett had set off in 1925 to find an EI Dorado, which he called “Z,” hidden in the depths of the Amazon rain forest. He never returned. Many other adventurers searched for him and his lost city in the ensuing years, with spectacular lack of success. Grann, a man with “a terrible sense of direction,” became so obsessed with Fawcett that he decided to make his own expedition. The Lost City of Z is the gripping account of his quest.
THE LOST CITY OF Z: A TALE OF DEADLY OBSESSION IN THE AMAZON, by David Grann (Doubleday, 2009)