In The Lost City of Z, journalist David Grann sets out to solve the mystery of what happened to the tough-as-nails British adventurer Percy Fawcett. The last of the great Victorian explorers, Fawcett disappeared in 1925 during his quest into the Amazon for the legendary Lost City of Z-an ancient civilization like that of Orellana's El Dorado. Fawcett's disappearance captured the world's attention and many followers journeyed into the beastly Amazon to retrieve Fawcett and his party, or at least find out what happened to them; few came out. In thrilling and almost grotesque detail at points, Grann chronicles the grueling journeys of Fawcett and others into the heart of the Amazonian jungle where, if madness alone didn't kill you, you stood a good chance at dying by the hands of angry natives. Even after learning all this, Grann, a longtime New Yorker with an aversion to the outdoors, decides to trek into the jungle himself after discovering the explorer's lost journals and logbooks which contain the details of the clandestine route to Z. From here, the mystery builds as Grann retraces Fawcett's route and unearths some surprising answers. Stay tuned for a big screen version of Grann's adventure-the author reports that Brad Pitt and Paramount recently optioned the book for a film.
Recommended by Morgan Miller