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The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story by [Preston, Douglas]
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Length: 326 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of January 2017: In 2012, author Douglas Preston joined a team of explorers searching for Ciudad Blanca (“The White City”), a legendary ruin hidden in the dense jungle of eastern Honduras. To this point the city – also known as “the Lost City of the Monkey God” - was literally a legend; while various hucksters and hoaxers had claimed to have discovered the abandoned metropolis, no credible evidence had ever been presented, and its very existence remained shrouded in doubt. In addition to the objective hazards of tropical disease, wild boars, and the deadly fer-de-lance viper, locals stoked the mystique, describing various curses awaiting would-be discoverers. Don’t pick the flowers, or you’ll die.

But this team had an advantage that previous searchers had lacked: LIDAR, an advanced laser-imaging technology able to penetrate the dense jungle canopy – just enough – and return detailed elevation profiles from which subtle, man-made anomalies could be identified. Almost immediately, two major sites emerged, their scale and architecture indicating a civilization to rival another local, more famous power, the Maya.

The announcement had consequences. The fledgling Honduran government, having gained power through a military coup, sought to use the discovery to bolster its status with the population, while the academic community ripped the expedition with accusations of Indiana Jones-style exploitation and shoddy scientific methods, cries which could be uncharitably interpreted as sour grapes. Encroaching deforestation and the prospect of looters created urgency to conduct a ground survey, and the team ventured into the wilderness and all the hazards that awaited, including an unexpected and insidious danger that cursed the team well beyond their return home.

The author of over 30 books, including number of bestselling thrillers co-written with Lincoln Child, Preston knows pace, and he packs several narratives into a taut 300 pages. Indiana Jones criticism aside, the story of the discovery and exploration of the ruin is solid adventure writing, and he walks a fine line in dealing with the archaeology community’s response, reporting on the bases for their criticism where they chose to provide it. And by invoking Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel, Preston speculates on the mysterious, sudden demise of the White City and its inhabitants, drawing ominous parallels between their fate and possibly our own. Lost City is a tale that manages to be both fun and harrowing, a vicarious thrill worthy of a place on the shelf next to David Grann’s The Lost City of Z. --Jon Foro, The Amazon Book Review

Review

"Preston builds a compelling case for the scientific significance of what the expedition unearthed....The year may still be young, but I would wager a small fortune that Douglas Preston has already written the best snake-decapitation scene of 2017....The book's most affecting moments [center] on the otherworldly nature of the jungle itself....Memoirs of jungle adventures too often devolve into lurid catalogs of hardships [but] Preston proves too thoughtful an observer and too skilled a storyteller to settle for churning out danger porn. He has instead created something nuanced and sublime: a warm and geeky paean to the revelatory power of archaeology....Few other writers possess such heartfelt appreciation for the ways in which artifacts can yield the stories of who we are."―The New York Times Book Review

"A well-documented and engaging read...The author's narrative is rife with jungle derring-do and the myriad dangers of the chase."―USA Today

"Deadly snakes, flesh-eating parasites, and some of the most forbidding jungle terrain on earth were not enough to deter Douglas Preston from a great story."―The Boston Globe

"Breezy, colloquial and sometimes very funny...A very entertaining book."―The Wall Street Journal

"This modern-day archeological adventure and medical mystery reads as rapidly as a well-paced novel, but is a heart-pounding true story."―Shelf Awareness, Starred Review

"A captivating real-life adventure tale... Preston deftly explains the science behind this work and makes it exciting."―Science News

"Be prepared to turn the pages furiously as the heart of every adventurer is opened wide by the thrilling journey outlined in THE LOST CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD."―The Bookreporter

"A swift and often hair-raising account... Preston pushes "The Lost City of the Monkey God" well beyond the standard adventure narrative."―The Chicago Tribune

"Packed with the power of realism and history unfolding."―The Star Ledger

"Admirers of David Grann's The Lost City of Z will find their thirst for armchair jungle adventuring quenched here... Irresistibly gripping."―Publishers Weekly, starred review

Product details

  • File Size: 49121 KB
  • Print Length: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (January 3, 2017)
  • Publication Date: January 3, 2017
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01G1K1RTA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,134 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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