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“The Lost City of Z”

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon (Vintage Departures)Real-life reportage takes a new and unexpected role in David Grann’s debut nonfiction book, “The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon.” A staff writer for the New Yorker, Grann retraces the steps of Percy Fawcett, the British explorer who ventured into the Amazon in the early 20th century—and ultimately disappeared there. The Washington Post calls the book “a thrill ride from start to finish.” Readers looking for action, violence, and espionage might normally shy away from a book that consists of years of painstaking research, scientific documents, and biographical details. But Grann packs his pages with life as thick as a swarm of mosquitoes, creating a book that is bound to take his audience by surprise. “[I]n the end,” says the New York Times, “the book is mostly about the jungle itself, the real and shrinking wilderness that can be traversed on Google maps, but also the wilderness as a metaphor that can be glimpsed but never charted — the world as it really is, where everything wants to infect you and even flowers want you dead.”

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