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

tl;dr — The Lost City of the Monkey God tells us the unbelievable story of the search, discovery and consequences for one of the fabled cities of the Mosquita civilization.

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.

What is the book about?

The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story is written by Douglas Preston- write for the New York Times, National Geographic and other magazines as well as being one part of the duo that writes the Agent Pendergast series.

Douglas Preston talks about his participation in the search and discovery of Ciudad Blanca aka The Lost City of the Monkey God whose existence has given rise to rumours for the last 500 years. This city is located in Honduras, specifically, the region called Mosquita due to impassable and hostile terrain consisting of mountains, forests and swamps.

What does this book cover?

The Lost City of the Monkey God is a relatively long book, at 330 pages. It is basically broken down into three themes. The first theme is the history and search for this city. The second theme is around the actual expedition itself. And the final theme focuses on the effects of the expedition on the team.

What did I like?

The Lost City of the Monkey God gives us an in-depth look into all aspects of the expedition. It gives us a lot of context behind the search and the existence of the city. It covers the history of Honduras, the Mosquita Civilization, The Incas, Mayas and the Spanish as much as they pertain to this city. This level of comprehensiveness gives us a sense of satisfaction and completion by the time we finish this book.

The details are presented in, a mostly, racy and adventurous manner. In addition, the vividness of the descriptions sucks us in and makes us feel as they we are ‘there’.

Douglas Preston does not shy away from addressing the various controversies that have plagued this expedition. He talks about the perception that other academics have about the team (calling them ‘adventurers’), the denial about the existence of such a city and civilization as well as the way the third world is treated by the first.

What did I not like?

The only one problem I have with this book is its slow pacing in certain sections. This is likely to turn off many readers.

My Recommendation

I recommend this book as a general read.

Originally published at Digital Amrit.