Length: 326 pages
Audiobook Length: 10 hours and 29 minutes
First Published: 2017
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For centuries, rumors have been told of a tremendously wealthy lost city in the heart of the Honduran jungle. In 2012, using advanced lidar technology to map the jungle terrain, a team of scientists found not one, but three ancient cities buried in the jungle. Preston’s first-hand account details the search for the lost ruins – exploring unspoiled wilderness and finding evidence of a vast unrealized culture – and the horrifying disease that strikes the explorers afterward. Although The Lost City of the Monkey God was an interesting and informative read, the book never really captured my imagination.
Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, 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.
Quotes from The Lost City of the Monkey God
People need history in order to know themselves, to build a sense of identity and pride, continuity, community, and hope for the future.
No civilization has survived forever. All move toward dissolution, one after the other, like waves of the sea falling upon the shore. None, including ours, is exempt from the universal fate.
The ultimate offense was the idea that Europeans “discovered” the New World to begin with, as if the people living here didn’t exist before Europeans saw them.
About Douglas Preston
Douglas Preston is an American author, best known for his Agent Pendergast novels, co-written with Lincoln Child. He is the author of several nonfiction books, including The Monster of Florence and The Lost City of the Monkey God. Visit the author’s website →