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The Lost City of the Monkey God : A True Story
by Douglas Preston


Overview - A five-hundred-year-old legend. An ancient curse. A stunning medical mystery. And a pioneering journey into the unknown heart of the world's densest jungle.

Since the days of conquistador Hernan Cortes, 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.
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More About The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston
 
 
 
Overview
A five-hundred-year-old legend. An ancient curse. A stunning medical mystery. And a pioneering journey into the unknown heart of the world's densest jungle.

Since the days of conquistador Hernan Cortes, 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.
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From our buyer, Jordan Weinmann: "Douglas Preston’s new book is the perfect read for fans of Erik Larsen and David Grann. It is armchair exploring at its best. The publisher describes this book as “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."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781455540006
  • ISBN-10: 1455540005
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publish Date: January 2017
  • Page Count: 336
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.25 pounds


Related Categories

Books > History > Expeditions & Discoveries
Books > Social Science > Archaeology
Books > History > Latin America - Central America

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2017-01-16
  • Reviewer: Staff

Novelist Prestons 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 citys 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 citys existence reported by explorer Hernán Cortés 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 Granns The Lost City of Z will find their thirst for armchair jungle adventuring quenched here. (Jan.)

 
BookPage Reviews

A true-life adventure worthy of Indiana Jones

Let author Douglas Preston give testimony to the old adage: Truth is stranger than fiction. As the co-author, with Lincoln Child, of a series of bestselling suspense novels, Preston has explored mysteries involving sorcery, witchcraft and ancient secrets. Now he chronicles his own true-life adventures in a nonfiction book, The Lost City of the Monkey God.

Preston’s quest is to find the ruins of an ancient city in the mountains of Honduras, known as the “White City” or the “Lost City of the Monkey God.” Others have embarked on similar expeditions only to fail, most notably an adventurer who returned in 1940 with spectacular artifacts, but committed suicide before revealing the location of his discovery.

This time, Preston and his team are armed with sophisticated equipment, borrowed from NASA, that allows them to peer beneath the jungle growth to map the contours below. From the air, they detect the outlines of a long-lost civilization. But space-age technology is of no aid once they land and face the perils of the rainforest, including poisonous snakes, vicious jaguars and vengeful drug dealers. Ironically, their greatest danger occurs on their return home, when they are beset with an incurable illness contracted from a parasite. Is this affliction of “white leprosy” a mere coincidence, or a curse?

The Lost City of the Monkey God is more than just an adventure story. It examines such modern  issues as the ethics of archeological expeditions, man’s destruction of the rainforest and the incessant creep of technology and its effects on indigenous peoples.

Readers will find themselves both shocked and captivated by this account of mysteries old and new.

 

This article was originally published in the January 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews