The New York Times Bestselling Travel Memoir!
The author of Turn Right at Machu Picchu travels the globe in search of the world’s most famous lost city.
“Adventurous, inquisitive and mirthful, Mark Adams gamely sifts through the eons of rumor, science, and lore to find a place that, in the end, seems startlingly real indeed.”—Hampton Sides
A few years ago, Mark Adams made a strange discovery: Far from alien conspiracy theories and other pop culture myths, everything we know about the legendary lost city of Atlantis comes from the work of one man, the Greek philosopher Plato. Stranger still: Adams learned there is an entire global sub-culture of amateur explorers who are still actively and obsessively searching for this sunken city, based entirely on Plato’s detailed clues. What Adams didn’t realize was that Atlantis is kind of like a virus—and he’d been exposed.
In Meet Me in Atlantis, Adams racks up frequent-flier miles tracking down these Atlantis obsessives, trying to determine why they believe it's possible to find the world's most famous lost city—and whether any of their theories could prove or disprove its existence. The result is a classic quest that takes readers to fascinating locations to meet irresistible characters; and a deep, often humorous look at the human longing to rediscover a lost world.
Adams (Turn Right at Machu Picchu) joins the ever-popular field of "Atlantology," exploring the evidence and the diverse cast of characters in his chronicle of the hunt for the lost city of Atlantis. He begins with a layman's guide to the origin material, Plato's notoriously difficult Timaeus and Critias, before laying out his plan to visit the four most likely locations: remote islands in Greece, Spain, Malta, and Morocco. Additionally, his investigation takes detours to Minnesota, to visit the library of an especially eccentric Atlantologist, Ignatius Donnelly; Massachusetts to learn about satellite archaeology; and Athens, where a renowned geophysicist discusses the ultimate conundrum: did the island even exist, or did Plato intend it as an allegory? This is an exhaustive account and the material is dry at points, but Adams's informal prose acts as a remedy, transforming an academic topic into a work of travelogue, investigative journalism, and serious philosophical examination.