David Grann confronts the allure of the jungle

A new article on GoNOMAD.com offers an excerpt from The Lost City of Z… a tale of deadly obsession in the Amazon. The book’s author, David Grann, describes his experiences investigating the mysterious stories of disappearing explorers. 

Along the way, he is drawn a bit deeper into the story than he anticipated. Finding himeself in the heart of the Amazon, with neither guide nor water, Grann worries he has become another victim of the pull of the unknown:

The ancient city, with its network of roads and bridges and temples, was believed to be hidden in the Amazon, the largest jungle in the world.

In an age of airplanes and satellites, the area remains one of the last blank spaces on the map. For hundreds of years, it has haunted geographers, archaeologists, empire builders, treasure hunters, and philosophers.

I pulled the map from my back pocket. It was wet and crumpled, the lines I had traced to highlight my route now faded. I stared at my markings, hoping that they might lead me out of the Amazon, rather than deeper into it.

Thousands died looking for it. In more recent times, many scientists have concluded that no complex civilization could have emerged in so hostile an environment, where the soil is agriculturally poor, mosquitoes carry lethal diseases, and predators lurk in the forest canopy

Also, visit the New Yorker to read an interview with David Grann about his Book.