You are here'The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession' by David Grann

'The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession' by David Grann

I'm a writer at The New Yorker magazine and I just finished a book called "The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession." The book, which is being published by Simon and Schuster in Great Britain on February 24th, is about the legendary British explorer Percy Harrison Fawcett, who disappeared in the Amazon in 1925 while looking for a lost city.

Fawcett's disappearance has beened described as "the greatest exploration mystery of the twentieth century." The book, which has a wealth of new material and is the first major biography about Fawcett, also deals some with the paranormal, as Fawcett and his wife were deeply interested in such matters. The book also has a previously unpublished letter between Fawcett and Conan Doyle about seances. In any case, I thought it might be of some interest to you all. You can also read more about the book on my website at

Thanks so much for your consideration.

David Grann
The New Yorker

Reviews and Praise

“David Grann’s LOST CITY OF Z is a deeply satisfying revelation—a look into the life and times of one of the last great territorial explorers, P. H. Fawcett, and his search for a lost city in the Amazon. I mean, what could be better—obsession, mystery, deadly insects, shrunken heads, suppurating wounds, hostile tribesmen—all for us to savor in our
homes, safely before the fire.”

— Erik Larson, author of Thunderstruck, Devil in the White City and Isaac’s Storm

“Few things are better than experiencing a horrendous adventure from the comfort of your own armchair. Hordes of mosquitoes, poison-arrow attacks, bizarre and fatal diseases, spies in starched collars, hidden outposts of Atlantis — what’s not to like? The Lost City of Z is like a wonderful 19th-century tale of exotic danger — except that David Grann’s book is
also a sensitively written biographical detective story, a vest pocket history of exploration, and a guide to the new archaeological research that is exploding our preconceptions of the Amazon and its peoples.”

— Charles Mann, author of 1491

“With this 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 Team of Rivals

“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? Afascinating and brilliant book.”

— Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and The Tipping Point

“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, New York Times bestselling author of Mayflower and National Book Award winner for In The Heart of the Sea

“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

“Though it reads like a novel, this is 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

“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

“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

“Grann, a staff writer for the New Yorker who’s proved himself capable of writing about anything, from Sherlock Holmes aficionados to New York City’s underground water system, … manages mostly to clear up the mystery surrounding Fawcett’s 1925 disappearance. More than that, however, he discovers—and it would be unfair to a splendid, suspenseful
book to say just how—what a few jungle anthropologists have come to believe is the surprising truth about Z. By his own journalistic autopsis, he vindicates not only Fawcett’s obsession with Z but his own obsession with Fawcett.”

— Bookforum

“A stirring tale of lost civilizations, avarice, madness and everything else that makes exploration so much fun … marked by satisfyinglyunexpected twists, turns and plenty of dark portents.”
— Kirkus Reviews

“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.”

— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

”The Lost City of Z is [Grann’s] winning first book. Like others before him, Grann became fascinated by the Fawcett legend and the city he was looking for, “Z,” as Fawcett called it, his own private El Dorado. Fawcett had a reputation for being fearless, capable of wading into a rain of poison arrows to make peace with the warriors who were firing them. He
traveled light, living off the land, and he traveled fast. For years after he disappeared, rumors emerged from the jungle of blond-haired, blue-eyed children, supposedly his offsprig, being spotted in tribal enclaves. What makes Grann’s book different is his access to diaries and correspondence, obtained from Fawcett’s grandchildren, that no researcher
had seen before…”

— National Geographic Adventure

David Grann



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