By Peter Fleming
Why this book?
In 1932, Peter Fleming – literary editor of The Times and elder brother of James Bond creator Ian – set off on an expedition to find the explorer Colonel Percy Fawcett who went missing in the Brazilian jungle a few years earlier while searching for the fabled Lost City of Z. The expedition itself was a fiasco, poorly planned, ill-equipped and with the party members falling out bitterly, then racing each other back to civilisation to try to be the first to get their version of events before the public eye. At times it reads like some darkly comic fiction from the pen of Evelyn Waugh. The tale is entertainingly told, with wit and flair by Fleming whose account is generally regarded as the authoritative version of events. If you enjoy this one try also Fleming’s News From Tartar: A Journey From Peking to Kashmir (1936) If you want to read more about Colonel Fawcett – whose fate remains a mystery to this day – and the fabled for which he was searching, try The Lost City of Z (2005) by David Grann.
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