I liked precisely half of this book. David Grann chose to structure The
Lost City of Z as two stories interleaved with one another, the even
chapters devoted to one story and the odd chapters jumping over to the other.
This is not an uncommon strategy and it can work beautifullythink Erik Larson's
Devil in the White City or Anne Fadiman's
The Spirit Catches You and Then You Fall Downbut it does have a
built-in risk, namely that the reader will find herself drawn more to one story
than the other, skimming every other chapter in her eagerness to get to the good
stuff. And that's how I experienced this book.
The first, more conventional story is an engrossing, well-paced narrative history of Colonel Percy Fawcett's obsession with finding an ancient, lost city in the uncharted jungle of the Amazon. Fawcett's story is the kind of juicy history that is...
Photo: Colonel Percy Fawcett, born 1867
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