Thursday, October 10, 2019

Audiobook Review: The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston

The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston book cover and review
The Lost City of the Monkey God was a bit detailed, but the audio version kept my interest, and it is a fascinating story.

The Lost City of the Monkey God is the true account of Preston's adventure into previously unexplored territory in the Honduran jungle in search of a legendary lost city. There is a lot of history and perspective before this journey actually begins. That is what I mean by detailed. But I believe most of it is necessary, and since I was listening, it was much easier to get through.

And then, they go on this amazing (and frightening) adventure, and there is still much of the book remaining.  That is because many of those on the trip ended up with a nasty parasite, leishmaniasis, that is truly horrifying.

I must first admit that I have a profound, paralyzing, and (I know) totally irrational fear of snakes. So the snakes described in this book are the stuff of my nightmares. I've always been told that "they are afraid of you," but these snakes (fer de lance) put that notion to shame. So just be warned if you fear snakes, this book will not help.

The rainforest they explored was previously unexplored not only because of the wildlife, but because it is so thick that it is almost impenetrable. Trying to hike is so slow and difficult that no one previously has been able to make it. These scientists used a relatively new technology called Lidar mapping to isolate specific areas that might contain the city. I also cannot imagine dealing with the insects, other wildlife, discomfort, constant mud, and wetness that is required to make a journey like this. It is just totally out of my comfort zone. So I was a bit distracted by all that when reading about their discoveries. And their discoveries are fascinating!

Also adding to the intrigue is that these discoveries, the methods used, and what has happened since is all very controversial in the scientific community. Of course, we are only getting one biased perspective here, so you may be interesting in further research after reading Preston's account.

As far as nonfiction goes, The Lost City of the Monkey God rates pretty high in my book. And the audio narrator, Bill Mumy, is superb. It is written in the first person, and he is spot-on with the drama and emotion of the narration.

I'm also left with some sadness, concern, and curiosity about how all of these people are faring since some of them are still (and probably will always) battle leishmaniasis.

I recommend The Lost City of the Monkey God, especially the audio version.

Published by Grand Central, 2017
Audiobook obtained from the library
336 pages

Rating: 4/5

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  1. Have you read THE LOST CITY OF Z. They sound a bit similar. I will add this one to my reading list.

  2. This sounds intriguing and the fact that it is true makes it even more so.


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