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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tour of mystery and speculation
Through the high altitude ruins of Peru and the dust-dry deserts of Chile, across the fertile range of Argentina and the carnival-infested streets of Rio, David Childress seeks the unknown, the undetermined, the secretive and the source of strange rumors; of vanished cities and twelve-foot-tall giants; and though he finds relatively little in the way of closure for the...
Published on August 3, 2001 by Ian Vance

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More focus on alcohol, sex, and hotel prices than lost cities
I had several issues with this book:
1. His writing is spine-tingling horrendous. The grammatical errors, typos, etc. litter the entire page. Pick a page from the book -- I promise you'll find an error.
2. The title of this book makes me laugh hysterically, because that is hardly what the book is about. Basically, the book was this continuous cycle of hitch...
Published on May 11, 2009 by J. Williams


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More focus on alcohol, sex, and hotel prices than lost cities, May 11, 2009
This review is from: Lost Cities and Ancient Mysteries of South America (Lost Cities Series) (Paperback)
I had several issues with this book:
1. His writing is spine-tingling horrendous. The grammatical errors, typos, etc. litter the entire page. Pick a page from the book -- I promise you'll find an error.
2. The title of this book makes me laugh hysterically, because that is hardly what the book is about. Basically, the book was this continuous cycle of hitch hiking, meeting someone, finding a hotel (and listing all hotels and prices in that area), getting plastered, and having sex. The way he writes about the lost cities is just plain... well, corny. He'll start out talking about the beer in a certain city and then "suddenly" recall this article he read about the lost city close to there. Considering he doesn't even visit a majority of these cities, I hardly believe he's truly thinking about them while hammering down drinks.
3. HE DOESN'T EVEN GO TO MOST OF THE "LOST" CITIES. This, above all problems, is absolutely unexcuseable. He talks about them, yes. Visit them? No. I would say 40% of the book is talking about various articles and arguments he has read ABOUT the cities. While this is very helpful and interesting, I picked up the book to read about treks into the jungle looking for these lost cities -- not to read what other people have said about them. About 10% of the book consists of him actually at the lost cities, which even then, it's not his own thoughts, but his interpretations of other writers'/adventurers' arguments. The other 50% of the book consists of him hitch-hiking, having sex, getting drunk, getting mugged, talking about hotels (Because I care about the price of a run down hostel in some unheard of town of South America in the 1980's), and asking ignorant nobodies about their views of the lost cities.

This book is a waste of time, I assure you. Unless you are looking for a book about some middle aged guy going broke and hitch-hiking, while talking about hotels in a horrific writing style, I would stay far from this book. If you want an excellent adventure/non-fiction that's actually looking for lost cities and writing from his own perspective, check out Exploration Fawcett.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tour of mystery and speculation, August 3, 2001
By 
Ian Vance (pagosa springs CO.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lost Cities and Ancient Mysteries of South America (Lost Cities Series) (Paperback)
Through the high altitude ruins of Peru and the dust-dry deserts of Chile, across the fertile range of Argentina and the carnival-infested streets of Rio, David Childress seeks the unknown, the undetermined, the secretive and the source of strange rumors; of vanished cities and twelve-foot-tall giants; and though he finds relatively little in the way of closure for the mysteries presented in _Lost Cities and Ancient Mysteries of South America_, one must remember it is the trip, not the destination, that buoys the author along...and for the casual reader, there is much to learn.
Despite his hyperbolic claims, Childress is definitely not an archeologist, a profession that tends to be dry, dusty, and for the most part dull-rather, he is a shoestring traveler with a yen for history and adventure. Which suits this material fine: instead of a `professional' report detailing one particular society as it lived and co-existed in its environment, Childress' breezy travelogue takes us through a dozen different societies, ancient and modern, with a fair amount of speculation that most academics wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole: the lost continents of Atlantis and Mu and how they relate to the rise of Inca civilization; supposed alien visitors; Amazon dinosaurs still on the prowl; a tunnel system spanning the American continent; a half-dozen myths of missing gold-hordes... nothing here that would impress the professor, but it certainly is an entertaining read, and the theories about South America's ancient colonies, including the Irish (!), Egyptians and Romans, are fun to ponder over.
Moreover, Childress' tone throughout places his book above the usual alternative-history exhortations, for he takes each and every story/legend with a grain of salt, even discrediting some by pointing to obvious discrepancies. By compiling these theories, he lets the reader sort through it all rather than try to hammer in a belief structure. The good-natured ease of the author's voice as he distills these legends/theories makes this tome a pleasant affair rather than tedious or obnoxious.
One thing did bother me: because of a variety of problems, including low funds, low energy, and the dangers involved in trekking through out of the way regions (snakes, mountain cats, cocaine smugglers), Childress doesn't actually visit the majority of the sites/cities he writes about. This is rather disappointing, as are the numerous typos and grammatical mistakes. One star deduction.
Recommended to those interested about South America and/or alternative history.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and Thought Provoking, April 10, 2009
This review is from: Lost Cities and Ancient Mysteries of South America (Lost Cities Series) (Paperback)
This was the first book I read in Childress' "Lost Cities" series, every single one of which is impossible to put down. It is an incredible journey of a man's attempt to unite myth and fact and propose new explanations for historical events and archaeological enigmas. I cannot imagine anyone but the most jaded and cynical reader not enjoying this, regardless of whether you agree with the author's hypotheses or not. I will say though that if you are an officer in the Grammar Police it will drive you crazy at times. I hesitate to blame the author, however. I suspect that if the books in this series had an editor, which seems unlikely, than that person should have chosen another profession. If you are the type that cannot get beyond that then perhaps you should avoid the book but for anyone looking for a highly entertaining, thought-provoking take on history, travel and archaeology do not hesitate to buy every single book in this series.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Such poor writing, June 13, 2002
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This review is from: Lost Cities and Ancient Mysteries of South America (Lost Cities Series) (Paperback)
This book is one of the worst written I have ever encountered. The ideas and concepts are interesting--the title and the photos are inviting. But the breezy style that wastes so much space on insignificant detail of the authors travels is just space filler. And the grammatical and spelling mistakes are just unforgiveable. I just cannot read something that has multiple, numerous mistakes throughout the book--you cannot escape them, and they are so blatant and numerous that the detract from thinking about the subject matter.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and Fun Adventure, September 15, 1999
This review is from: Lost Cities and Ancient Mysteries of South America (Lost Cities Series) (Paperback)
Childress leaves almost no stone unturned as he leads the reader into unknown worlds in a personal quest to encounter and document the lost cities, pyramids, and megaliths of South and Central America. The ones he missed are the perfect spherical stones of Costa Rica documented in the AUP publication ATLANTIS IN AMERICA: NAVIGATORS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars who's the archeologist?, February 17, 2000
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This review is from: Lost Cities and Ancient Mysteries of South America (Lost Cities Series) (Paperback)
The book makes a great read, same as DHC's other books of the "Lost Cities" series. Very entertaining, thought provoking, and well written. One thing though: I don't get why the author keeps calling himself "a rogue archeologist": someone has to explain to him what archeologists do. DHC is no archeologist, whatever he might think; he's a traveler, a gossip gatherer, and a free spirit, but all this has little to do with archeology. I enjoyed his open-mindedness, and the relativism with which he judges most of the theories and hypotheses considered. Going through his whole opus, I can't help noticing that this writer is a really great guy, and that his travel companions and friends must have been lucky to have met him, but archeologist? Please, give me a break. And use some proofreader, for the next edition.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and interesting travel review of South America, June 10, 1999
This review is from: Lost Cities and Ancient Mysteries of South America (Lost Cities Series) (Paperback)
I thought the author gave much thought of the mysteries associated with South America. As an amateur adventurist I could share experiences with the author. His travels are much like my own so I imagine that I'm biased but...it made for a very interesting read. The folklore and myths combined with his perception, well...just read it for yourself!
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1.0 out of 5 stars A few lost cities and a lot of rubbish, November 7, 2012
By 
Robert I. Breckenridge "Bob" (Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lost Cities and Ancient Mysteries of South America (Lost Cities Series) (Paperback)
I read this looking for more information on the various sites but was greatly disappointed. There is some description of several sites along with a lot of wild speculation and questionable history. About a third way through the book changes into an wandering very stupid hitch hiking travelogue of South America. Describing how he got lucky with a girl in a bar is not a monumental event.
A sorry waste of time and money.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lost Cities and Ancient Mysteries of South America, February 17, 2010
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This review is from: Lost Cities and Ancient Mysteries of South America (Lost Cities Series) (Paperback)
This book is about the personal experiences of the author in travelling through South America. The author writes in an interesting and informative style and provides valuable information about the sites he visited. Having travelled to some of the sites he describes, I can say that his information is very accurate. He at least did some investigation into the sites he described. Because of his descxription of some of the sites I have not visited, he has encouraged me to make another trip to South America. I was, however, put off by the descriptions of his casual personal sexual trysts in various cities that could have been left out, as well as his descriptions of his other personal activites.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Primer to South America's Mysteries, December 5, 2009
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This review is from: Lost Cities and Ancient Mysteries of South America (Lost Cities Series) (Paperback)
While first published in 1986, Childress' book is still a decent compendium of the lost civilizations and legends of South America. As with all in this series, the author uses his travels as a reason to recount and excerpt the tales and legends of others who went before him. He visits some of these locations, but mostly those accessible to all tourists. He's not actually an archaeologist or an Indian Jones type, but like all these books, he allows readers to travel to distant lands as he distills what he has discovered in his studies. He doesn't latch on to strange theories here as much as in some of his other books. Much of interest is revealed such as tunnel systems, potential locations of King Solomon's mines and the disappearance of Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett. You can read more about Fawcett in the excellent The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon. See also Mysteries of Ancient South America.
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Lost Cities and Ancient Mysteries of South America (Lost Cities Series)
Lost Cities and Ancient Mysteries of South America (Lost Cities Series) by David Hatcher Childress (Paperback - October 1, 1986)
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