a reader of this blog, tony d. of canton oh., suggested that i read david grann's The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon (Vintage Departures) as a different kind of mystery. the book is a typical quest novel and a grand story of exploration.
percy fawcett, a larger than life explorer, disappeared into the amazon forest of brazil in 1925 while searching for the lost city he called 'z'. he is known as the last of the independent explorers. but recently david grann, new yorker staff writer, followed in his footsteps on a number of levels. grann followed fawcett's path; he also followed his method in being basically untrained and in travelling almost by himself. grann had a guide. fawcett had his son and his son's best friend.
david gran has researched his project well. he covers fawcett and many of the teams who have gone searching for fawcett since he went missing. in its review of the book, the new york times says that the book reads '...as if one of those stern men of conrad had found himself trapped in a novel by garcia marquez.' believe me, you will think of heart of darkness many times while reading the lost city.
part of the amazon still remains to be explored, but today's anthropologists, ethnographers, archeologists, etc. have demonstrated that fawcett's theory of the amazon's being able to support a large population is true. cities equal in size and population to their european counterparts did exist and they existed just where fawcett searched.
of course a movie is being made. brad pitt will likely be the star. also grann has written a book that i may or may not read, but it is a book that sounds closer to this blog's purpose, The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession.
speaking of obsessions, i'm willing to read the book solely based on grann's use of the final comma in a series!!