David Grann has been a staff writer at "The New Yorker" since 2003. He has written about everything from New York City's antiquated water tunnels to the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang, from the hunt for the giant squid to the mysterious death of the world's greatest Sherlock Holmes expert. His stories have appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the "New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, "the "Washington Post, "the" Wall Street Journal," and "The New Republic," where he is also a contributing editor.
Grann, a staff writer at The New Yorker, gives a gripping, detailed account of the fate of English explorer Percy Fawcett. Fawcett disappeared into the jungles of Brazil in 1925 with his son and his son's best friend. It was not the first time that Fawcett had plunged into Amazonia or confronted pestilence and natives not keen on receiving trespassers. Colonel Fawcett was a soldier, sometime spy, and expert surveyor and explorer who helped define the border between Bolivia and Brazil. But he was primarily obsessed with finding a rumored great city in the jungles of South America, which he simply called Z partly because it did not have a name and partly to throw off others who were looking for it. Grann's experience following this mystery to England and Brazil was an adventure in its own right. He alternates chapters on Fawcett's adventures, based on his diaries and contemporary accounts, with his own and others' efforts to find Fawcett or at least the truth about his demise. Like the books of Simon Winchester (e.g., The Man Who Loved China), this is a compelling and entertaining read. Recommended for all public and academic libraries.-Lee Arnold, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
In 1925, renowned British explorer Col. Percy Harrison Fawcett embarked on a much publicized search to find the city of Z, site of an ancient Amazonian civilization that may or may not have existed. Fawcett, along with his grown son Jack, never returned, but that didn't stop countless others, including actors, college professors and well-funded explorers from venturing into the jungle to find Fawcett or the city. Among the wannabe explorers is Grann, a staff writer for the New Yorker, who has bad eyes and a worse sense of direction. He became interested in Fawcett while researching another story, eventually venturing into the Amazon to satisfy his all-consuming curiosity about the explorer and his fatal mission. Largely about Fawcett, the book examines the stranglehold of passion as Grann's vigorous research mirrors Fawcett's obsession with uncovering the mysteries of the jungle. By interweaving the great story of Fawcett with his own investigative escapades in South America and Britain, Grann provides an in-depth, captivating character study that has the relentless energy of a classic adventure tale. (Feb.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
"The Amazon has had many chroniclers but few who can match David
Grann's grasp of history, science, and especially narrative.
Shifting seamlessly between the past and present, THE LOST CITY OF
Z is a riveting, totally absorbing real-life adventure story."
--Nathaniel Philbrick, author of "Mayflower" and "In the Heart of the Sea"
"The story of "Z" goes to the heart of the central questions of our age. In the battle between man and a hostile environment, who wins? A fascinating and brilliant book."
--Malcolm Gladwell, author of "Blink" and "The Tipping Point
"What a wild and adventurous life! In the deft storytelling hands of David Grann, explorer Percy Fawcett emerges as one of the most ambitious, colorful, just plain intrepid figures ever to set foot in the New World. Part Indiana Jones, part Livingstone, and part Kit Carson, Fawcett has found his perfect biographer in Grann, who has gamely endured every conceivable Amazonian hardship to piece together the story of this British swashbuckler and his crazed search for a vanished civilization." -- Hampton Sides, author of "Blood and Thunder" and "Ghost Soldiers"
"With his riveting work, David Grann emerges on our national landscape as a major new talent. His superb writing style, his skills as a reporter, his masterful use of historical and scientific documents, and his stunning storytelling ability are on full display here, producing an endlessly absorbing tale about a magical subject that captivates from start to finish. This is a terrific book." --Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of a "Team of Rivals"
"A fantastic story of courage, obsession, and mystery, THE LOST CITY OF Z is gripping from beginning to end. In thepantheon of classic exploration tales, this stands out as one of the best." --Candice Millard, author "The River of Doubt"
"A wonderfully researched true story about an intrepid adventurer, a colorful cast, and an obsession that grips both him and the author."
-- Walter Isaacson, author of "Einstein"
"From the Hardcover edition."
"The Amazon has had many chroniclers but few who can match David Grann's grasp of history, science, and especially narrative. Shifting seamlessly between the past and present, "The Lost City of Z" is a riveting, totally absorbing real-life adventure story."--Nathaniel Philbrick, author of "Mayflower" and "In the Heart of the Sea"
"David Grann takes the reader on an extraordinary journey that snakes through expeditionary archives and ends deep in the Amazonian forest. "The Lost City of Z" is a gripping tale of a lost world and of the magnificent obsession of those who have sought it." --Caroline Alexander, author of "The Bounty" and "The Endurance"
"A fantastic story of courage, obsession, and mystery, "The Lost City of Z" is gripping from beginning to end. In the pantheon of classic exploration tales, this stands out as one of the best." --Candice Millard, author "The River of Doubt"
"A wonderfully researched true story about an intrepid adventurer, a colorful cast, and an obsession that grips both him and the author."--Walter Isaacson, author of"Einstein"