“The Lost City of Z” by David Gramm
In 1925, an expedition led by Colonel Fawcett headed into the Amazon searching for the fabled City of Z, more commonly known as El Dorado. This team was never heard from again. Many more expeditions followed them, hoping to learn the truth about their disappearance, and many of those expeditions disappeared (or simply died) along the way of the various dangers of the Amazon — ferocious tribes, strange diseases, starvation, pirahna…
So of course writer David Gramm decided to go into the Amazon and investigate this decades-old mystery.
Because that always works out so well.
If nothing else, he’s a thorough lunatic. Before embarking on his own quest, Gramm details the life story of Fawcett and his history as a famous explorer. (This dude had been into the Amazon many times previously.) Gramm also gets his facts straight and does every bit of research he can on where this gleaming magical city might be.
Also, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle shows up? Win.
Oh, and Fawcett’s wife is a fascinating character who could be a book all by herself.
Does Fawcett reach his goal? Does Gramm? Like I can tell you that here. All I’ll say is that if you’d like a pretty conclusive answer to WTF happened to this 1925 expedition, you should read “The City of Z.”
Also, if there’s any part of you that’s ever suffered from Wanderlust, for this book reads as a great travelogue.
It’s also darn good non-fiction, and pretty great journalism.
Yeah, I liked it.