The #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, named one of the best books of the year by The Boston Globe and National Geographic: acclaimed journalist Douglas Preston takes readers on a true adventure deep into the Honduran rainforest in this riveting narrative about the discovery of a lost civilization -- culminating in a stunning medical mystery.
Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location.
Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization.
Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn't until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease.
Suspenseful and shocking, filled with colorful history, hair-raising adventure, and dramatic twists of fortune, THE LOST CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD is the absolutely true, eyewitness account of one of the great discoveries of the twenty-first century.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Douglas Preston’s account of a real-life expedition in search of a rumored lost city thick in the forbidding Honduran wilderness is as thrilling as any of his fiction. We were immediately sucked into the author’s account of preparing to journey with a motley crew of adventurers into a deadly snake- and insect-infested jungle in one of the world’s most lawless regions. Preston also brings to life the mythology and scientific exploration surrounding the existence of the Mosquitia region’s Ciudad Blanca, or Lost City of the Monkey God. His book attains Indiana Jones levels of entertainment!
Novelist Preston's irresistibly gripping account of his experiences as part of the expedition to locate an ancient city in the Honduran mountains reads like a fairy tale minus the myth. "There was once a great city in the mountains," he writes, "struck down by a series of catastrophes, after which the people decided the gods were angry and left, leaving their possessions. Thereafter it was shunned as a cursed place, forbidden, visiting death on those who dared enter." In 2012, Preston was present as the expedition team attempted to use light detection and ranging technology to identify the city's location in the uncharted wildernesses of Honduras; they " billions of laser beams into a jungle that no human beings had entered for perhaps five hundred years." The effort succeeded in locating two large sites, apparently built by the civilization that once inhabited the Mosquiteria region. The discovery led to a return trip in 2015 to explore the sites on foot, a physically and emotionally draining experience that resulted in remarkable archeological finds, specifically a cache of stone sculptures. Preston, author of The Monster of Florence and co-author with Lincoln Child of the bestselling thriller series featuring FBI agent Pendergast, brings readers into the field while enriching the narrative with historical context, beginning with 16th-century rumors of the city's existence reported by explorer Hern n Cort s after his conquest of Mexico. Along the way, Preston explains the legendary abandonment of the City of the Monkey God and provides scientific reasoning behind its reputation as life-threatening. Admirers of David Grann's The Lost City of Z will find their thirst for armchair jungle adventuring quenched here.
I read this book in two days. Loved it!
Not worth the read
Not worth the read. Really. If you want the story of this legendary "lost" city (which is remarkable), just go to YouTube or Wikipedia. This book is just the author's rendition of his experiences on the search. He did a good job covering the history of prior expeditions, but Wiki has that covered as well.
I devoured this book! The history, adventure and science was all fascinating. One of my favorite reads of the year.