Bicycle Diaries: Dead certainties...

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Dead certainties...

in the Amazon Basin

I just finished reading a fascinating book lent to me by a drinking buddy. The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, by New Yorker writer David Grann, is actually a tale of two obsessive journeys, separated by nearly a century, to the same place in the Amazon jungles. The first concerns the repeated attempts of Col. Percy Harrison Fawcett to find material evidence for a lost civilization, or El Dorado, in the Green Deserts. The other involves the author trying to find what happened to Fawcett and two others after they disappeared on there in 1925. After going to the region where Fawcett was last reported, Grann simply ends his narrative. It's the most surprising thing that's ever happened to me as a reader. We'll never know what happened to the early 2oth Century British explorer - FULL STOP.

His death as well as those of his son and son's best friend are certain. The cause (as in who or what did them in) will forever be uncertain, particularly as it is disputed by those tribes who continue to claim the best of hospitable intentions while accusing the others of deceitful murder. What is certain at the end, however, is that Fawcett was onto something. Today's anthropologists and archaeologists have discovered mounting evidence of ancient, complex civilisations in Amazon. Perhaps that's the better epitaph for Fawcett. He was right. Everyone else ... wrong.

We'll all be dead one day anyway.

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Blogger Don Sorsa said...

I just heard about that book and ordered it. Who'd you borrow it from?

I have others on similar topics.

31/1/10 01:04  

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