The Book Was Better: The Lost City of Z by David Grann vs. The Lost City of Z

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline: Who would have thought the Amazon could be so dangerous?

Quick synopsis: The story of famed explorer Percy Fawcett and his disappearance looking for the Lost City of Z.

Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like: There are still indigenous people within the Amazon rain forest who have not had contact with the outside world.

Fun Fact for History Nerds: Fawcett is one of the few British explorers known for not treating the locals like garbage. The movie and book show the lengths he went to create a positive relationship with indigenous peoples. The movie scene is pretty damn intense.

Book vs. Movie: The movie, The Lost City of Z, holds a special place in my heart. It was the first time I ever went to a movie alone. I had already read the book and loved it. I had an odd day off from work and knew full well that no one would go see the movie with me on a normal Friday or Saturday. This story is just to reveal to you, dear reader, that scarfing down popcorn without worrying about other people’s judgement is delightful. I looked like the floor of the movie theater when I was done. I regret nothing.

As for the movie, it was pretty fantastic and close to the book as it can be. The cast is stellar, and the best part is just how immersive the Amazon scenes are. The movie is intense and a little weird. Which is good, because Fawcett was kind of weird.

The book gives you more detail about this explorer who was equal parts obsessive and blissfully ignorant. He was driven, a bit of an absentee father and husband, and by the end maybe insane. I won’t ruin it for you.

The medium doesn’t matter here. You are in for a good time.

Verdict: The book is better, but much closer than most. You can’t go wrong with either.

If You Liked This Try:

  • Peter Stark, Astoria
  • Michael Wallis, The Best Land Under Heaven
  • Buddy Levy, Conquistador
  • Candice Millard, River of Doubt
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The Book Was Better: The Lost City of Z by David Grann vs. The Lost City of Z
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