BOOKS: The Lost City of Z: David Grann

Aug. 26—In the 1920s, British explorer Percy Fawcett, his son and another young man entered the Amazon never to return. Percy Fawcett had explored this region on many occasions.

He'd become famous for his peaceful encounters with Amazonian Indians, quelling any hostilities by raising his arms above his head and slowly approaching the tribes. He mapped unchartered regions, survived famishing expeditions, swarms of insects, encounters with dangerous animals and snakes.

His physical constitution propelled him onward when others faltered. He also came to believe that there had once been a major civilization within the Amazon.

Fawcett was seduced by the proposition of El Dorado, the mythical city of gold within the Amazon. Fawcett called his lost civilization: Z. He, his son and his son's friend sacrificed their lives in search of Z.

Like the reputed past civilizations, the men simply vanished. This vanishing was as much a part of the international sensation as Fawcett's expedition for Z. For years, parties searched for Fawcett and Z. An estimated 100 people disappeared or died seeking Fawcett.

More than 80 years after Fawcett disappeared, reporter David Grann takes his chances and adds himself to the list seeking the last traces of the famed explorer and "The Lost City of Z." This book is the story of Fawcett, Grann's more modern journey, and some of the searches in between.

As the subtitle "A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon" suggests, "The Lost City of Z" is a tale of obsession: Fawcett and everyone who followed him, as well as the author.

This is a page turner and a true story. A fascinating read which will leave you wanting to seek adventure or be thankful for the comforts of home.