The Lost City of Z is the incredible tale of Englishman Percy Fawcett, one of the greatest explorers in history yet long overshadowed by the likes of Ernest Shackleton and Henry Stanley. David Grann paints a portrait of a man consumed by the unknown and a tolerance for suffering hardly imaginable today.
Fawcett had become convinced of the existence of the ruins of a once mighty city deep in the Brazilian Amazon. On his final quest in 1925 he brought just his oldest son Jack, Jack’s best friend Raleigh, and two native guides. The group disappeared without a trace, perhaps killed by an unfriendly tribe or the victims of disease and/or starvation in the hostile jungle.
Fawcett was the last of the great Victorian-era explorers, men that set out into truly unexplored country with rudimentary supplies, no maps, and the overwhelming desire to chart the unknown. In an interesting twist, as Fawcett set out on his final journey, a competing team led by an American set out to find the lost city with wireless radios, setting the stage for modern exploration using all the latest in satellite,aerial, and communication technology.
A movie, also titled The Lost City of Z, came out in 2016 starring Charlie Hunnam as Fawcett and Robert Pattinson of Twilight infamy. Save your time and money – it’s a bland, boring affair that does nothing to adequately reveal the spirit and determination of one of the all-time greats of exploration. Hunnam conveys all the emotion of a ballpoint pen and never comes within a mile of a convincing adventurer.