Free eBook The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True StoryAuthor Douglas Preston – Mariahilff.de

NAMED A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2017#1 New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller! A Best Book of 2017 from the Boston Globe One of the 12 Best Books of the Year from National Geographic Included in Lithub's Ultimate Best Books of 2017 List A Favorite Science Book of 2017 from Science News A five hundred year old legend An ancient curse A stunning medical mystery And a pioneering journey into the unknown heart of the world's densest jungle.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 centurychokengtitiktitikchokengp1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 11.0px Helvetica} span.s1 {font kerning: none}


10 thoughts on “The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story

  1. Jeffrey Keeten Jeffrey Keeten says:

    ”I peered out the window, transfixed. I can scarcely find words to describe the opulence of the rainforest that unrolled below us. The tree crowns were packed together like puffballs, displaying every possible hue, tint, and shade of green. Chartreuse, emerald, lime, aquamarine, teal, bottle, glaucous, asparagus, olive, celadon, jade, malachite--mere words are inadequate to express the chromatic infinites.”

     photo Hondurus20Jungle_zpsnmag5m6s.jpg

    Douglas Preston was always interested in lost civilizations, so when he got the chance to join an expedition into the mosquitia jungle in Honduras to find the Lost City of the Monkey God, he was more than interested, he was all in. There had been many explorers before who had attempted to find this “mythical” place, but except for the Indiana Jones style journalist Theodore Morde who emerged from the jungle in 1940 with a horde of fascinating objects and a story of finding the fabled White City, there had been nothing to substantiate the legend. Morde committed suicide shortly after returning from his adventures, taking his secrets with him.

    Had he been cursed by the Monkey God?

    The team focused in on one valley that was isolated and difficult to access easily on foot. They were going to bring new technology to the search by borrowing what is called a lidar machine. It shoots thousands of lasers at the jungle floor from a plane. It records the reflections that bounce off the objects on the ground. The software eliminates leaves, trees, and any other objects that are not part of, hopefully, the man made structures hidden beneath the canopy.

    All hell broke loose over the use of this technology. The academic world, outside of the normal petty jealousies, suspicion of success, and paranoias that afflict all centers of higher learning, seemed to be more offended by the use of this technology, as if the expedition were cheating by using it.

    See, the problem was the lidar mapping found not one large site of manmade structures, but two. The irrational feeling that they didn’t deserve these finds because they didn’t outfit an overland mission that went blindly slashing through the jungle hoping to stumble upon something interesting, and the fact they didn’t lose about a third of their party to disease, snakebit, and jaguar attack in the process, is frankly ludicrous.

    I do have to admit it does take some of the romance out of the whole swashbuckling archaeologist image that I grew up with. The cities were still there unmolested because no one had been able to penetrate the jungle effectively to find them.

    Despite being able to drop into the site with a helicopter, and despite having better gear than what most explorers can haul into the jungle in the traditional overland expedition, the group still experienced difficulties with, to name a few, sand fleas, torrential rain, and snakes. Let me share a bit about one particular snake that kept turning up over and over again in the ruins of this civilization.

    ”The fer-de-lance, he said, is known in these parts as the barba amarilla (Yellow Beard). Herpetologists consider it the ultimate pit viper. It kills more people in the New World than any other snake. It comes out at night and is attracted to people and activity. It is aggressive, irritable, and fast. Its fangs have been observed to squirt venom for more than six feet, and they can penetrate even the thickest leather boot. Sometimes it will strike and then pursue and strike again. It often leaps upward as it strikes, hitting above the knee. The venom is deadly; if it doesn’t kill you outright through a brain hemorrhage, it may very well kill you later through sepsis. If you survive, the limb that was struck often has to be amputated, due to the necrotizing nature of the poison.”

    *Shudder* #reason number one why I don’t go into the Honduran jungle.

    So why did this civilization abruptly disappear at around 1500? Preston pulls together some pretty good theories regarding that event. Some are based on the greed of the rulers doing to their civilization the same thing that the rich and powerful are currently doing to the United States. Unmitigated greed makes even the most robust economies vulnerable to a similar collapse. The celebrated author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond, has some wonderful examples, and Preston shares that wisdom with us, as well. The one that I found most interesting points to a celebrated event that happened in 1492 when Christopher Columbus “discovered” America.

    The foreigners came and ”withered the flowers.”

    Preston includes a wonderful chart that show the catastrophic effect of native populations making contact with the disease ridden crews of the Columbus exploration mission. ”What would a 90 percent mortality rate mean to the survivors and their society? It does not just kill people; it annihilates societies; it destroys languages, religions, histories, and cultures. It chokes off the transmission of knowledge from one generation to the next. The survivors are deprived of that vital human connection to their past; they are robbed of their stories, their music and dance, their spiritual practices and beliefs--they are stripped of their very identity.”

    There is no proof that the diseases that killed so much of the indigenous population of the Americas was also the culprit that killed the civilization of the Monkey God, but the timing does make it a valid consideration. It was unavoidable that the Old World would meet the New World, so it was just more a matter of when.

    The Monkey God expedition members returned to their regular life, relieved that they did not come down with any major diseases; the bites and rashes that they all suffered from disappeared, but then weeks later over half the group had a sore appear that would not heal. It became a miniature volcano. After much deliberation by doctors and contagious disease specialists, they determined that they had come down with leishmaniasis. Among the half that came down with this frankly disgusting and alarmingly difficult disease to contain was Douglas Preston. It is called white leprosy if that gives you any indication of what it does to the body once it gains enough control of your immune system.

    The curse of the Monkey god?

     photo IMG_1210_zpsdyay5sxu.jpg
    My signed copy of the book also came with a signed postcard of the author in the mosquitia jungle. Ephemeria is always fun for a collector.

    I just finished reading The Lost City of Z, set in the Amazon, a few days ago, and it seemed a perfect pairing to read a similar book about another lost city further north in Central America. Any thoughts of chucking my rather pedestrian job as circulation manager/owner of a farm publication and joining a jungle expedition have been firmly squashed like a blood bloated flea beneath the tread of a kevlar boot. Not to mention, even the thought of tangling with one of those damn Fer-De-Lance snakes makes me break out in hives. I am a firm believer in doing my jungle travelling from the safety of my favorite reading chair.

    If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at: https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten


  2. Matthew Matthew says:

    Fascinating and terrifying! A non-ficton story about pre-history, history, and the lessons it teaches us about our potential mortality. A cautionary tale that we may have no control over; the fate of ancient civilizations may hint at our eventual fate as well.

    Doulas Preston always impresses. I am a huge fan of his fiction work (the Pendergast series with Lincoln Child) and his detailed, but not so much that it is inaccessible, non-fiction. Every time you enter either the real or made up world with Preston, you know he is going to make the mysterious real for you . . . sometimes too real . . . sometimes too scary.

    This book starts out with the search for a lost civilization in Honduras. Along the way, stories of deadly flora will convince you how scary nature can really be. When the ancient ruins are revealed, it is not just a matter of exploring a long gone city or collecting artifacts – a mysterious terror is unleashed that will affect those on the expedition for the rest of their life. What you find out is not for the faint of heart – especially because it is all true!

    Some may not know that Douglas Preston is the Brother of Richard Preston (author of The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus ). Without revealing/spoiling too much, I will say that Douglas appears to be venturing into his brother’s brand of writing. I wonder how much he may have consulted him while writing this book? If you like Richard’s books, definitely check this out!

    I will close by saying that I thought this book was great. History/archaeology fans will love most, if not all, of it. However, I hesitate to just randomly throw out recommendations since the terror that is unleashed may be too much for some!

    Proceed with caution!


  3. Miranda Reads Miranda Reads says:

    3.5 stars!

    People need history in order to know themselves, to build a sense of identity and pride, continuity, community, and hope for the future.
    The White City (aka the Lost City of the Monkey God) was a legend...until now.

    For the last 500 years, rumors have flooded every major news outlet.... only you be proven false - every single time.

    However, with the invention of new technology and a dogged determination, several explorers, architects and writers (including the author) set off to discover whether or not there's an entire undiscovered city hidden in Honduras in the 21st century.

    (spoiler alert)

    There is.

    And it's glorious.


    But that journey was not easy, the artifact excavation was even more dangerous and the aftermath? Well, let's just say that there might be something to that death curse after all...

    Overall - rather interesting book!

    It had an Indiana Jones tone that certainly held my attention - I loved hearing about the peril and the danger (and those snakes! Yikes!).

    I wish the author would have given more page space to the city exploration. And I feel like the history lesson bit could have been edited to seem less dry.

    Other than that - wow. To think that there are "old school adventures" still waiting to be had in the modern era. Amazing!

    Audiobook Comments
    Read by Bill Mumy. Fairly good audiobook...though it is always a pet peeve of mine when authors don't read autobiographical journeys

    YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat @miranda.reads

    Happy Reading!


  4. Montzalee Wittmann Montzalee Wittmann says:

    The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story
    Written by: Douglas Preston
    Narrated by: Bill Mumy
    This was such an exciting audible book and filled with rich history and science. Mr Preston starts the book with how he got started on this trip and all the investigations he had to do to get information on finding what he could. He explained many trips that were tried and failed. I find this all fascinating. This was NOT a fiction book. Then the trip they make to South America takes a tremendous effort. The trek is so dangerous and they almost die several times. When the finally make it back home and think they are safe, they find that over half the members had the deadly leishmaniasis! He describes the problems of treatment and so much more. Wow, I learned so much from this book. This was just an exciting and captivating book. I enjoyed this more than his fiction books. This was an audible book and the narrator was very clear and his voice was pleasant to listen to.


  5. Constance Constance says:

    Most of the events in this book happened relatively recently, and although it makes the book feel slightly more relevant, it also feels like the book was very hastily written - it's kind of a rambling mess.

    This book is not really actually about the "Lost City of the Monkey God." It's more a journal about the experience of being a part of the mostly old white male team that basically had so much money/power/free time that they were able to "discover" previously unexplored settlements of a previously under-studied culture (due to these settlements being located in dense rainforests in politically-unstable Honduras). Which still sounds like it might be interesting, but actually turns out to be like watching a slow survivalist show on TV, interspersed with periods of fumbling amateur descriptions of artifacts and academic theories.

    At points, the author also mentions people critical of the narrative of this team "discovering" the "Lost City of the Monkey God," e.g., people who want to talk about "issues such as those of colonialism, white supremacy, hypermasculinity, fantasy and imagination [and] indigenous rights," all things that are obviously present in the book. Instead of acknowledging these issues, the author is infuriatingly defensive and navel-gazing about it all.

    Really, I'm really not sure why this book is getting so much positive press. Are people actually reading it? I'd really love to read about the culture and the excavation of the site from an anthropologist's perspective, or really anyone who knows what they're talking about.

    I learned that people actually get hurt on survivalist shows like Bear Grylls's. It's not all fake!


  6. Diane Diane says:

    My jungle terrors continue! This is the second book I've read this summer about how deadly the jungle can be, and if I read any more I'll need a Xanax.

    The Lost City of the Monkey God is about an archaeological discovery in La Mosquitia in Honduras. Douglas Preston was reporting on the search for the ruins of an ancient civilization, nicknamed the White City, or the Lost City of the Monkey God. In 2015, researchers used technology called LIDAR to scan the interior, and when they found potential evidence, Preston was part of the group that went deep into the jungle to investigate.

    Trigger warning: If you are scared of snakes, this book will make you FREAK OUT. I am terrified of snakes and this book made me so twitchy and jumpy that I became certain there was a rogue python hiding under my dishwasher (I've seen too many news stories, I know).

    But seriously, there are a lot of snake stories in this book. I'd break the book down like this: 30 percent archaeology, 30 percent snakes, 30 percent terrifying diseases. The other 10 percent consists of scary tales about flying in and out of the jungle.

    I loved the history and archaeology discussions, and I was interested in the theories about why the mysterious civilization may have been abandoned a thousand years ago. There is also an alarming section on the spread of diseases, because several members of the crew got sick from a parasite. Really, the whole book is fascinating.

    Despite my jungle fears, this was a nice follow-up to The Lost City of Z by David Grann, which was about the search for an ancient civilization in the Amazon. I highly recommend both books, but I'm going to take a break from jungle stories for a while.

    Meaningful Passage
    [On Preston's first night in the jungle he spotted a giant venomous snake that one of the crew members wrestled with and killed.]
    "When I retired that night to my hammock, I could not sleep. The jungle, reverberating with sound, was much noisier than in the daytime. Several times I heard large animals moving past me in the darkness, blundering clumsily through undergrowth, crackling twigs. I lay in the dark, listening to the cacophony of life, thinking about the lethal perfection of the snake and its natural dignity, sorry for what we had done but rattled by the close call. A bite from a snake like that, if you survived at all, would be a life-altering experience. In a strange way the encounter sharpened the experience of being here. It amazed me that a valley so primeval and unspoiled could still exist in the twenty-first century. It was truly a lost world, a place that did not want us and where we did not belong. We planned to enter the ruins the following day. What would we find? I couldn't even begin to imagine it."


  7. jv poore jv poore says:

    This was about so much more than the Lost City--it was packed with information, presented in a palatable way and even tone.

    I feel stupidly excited by how much I learned and how incredibly interested I was in absolutely every facet of this discovery and the ripple effect of the exploration itself.


  8. Dana Stabenow Dana Stabenow says:

    For centuries Hondurans have told their children the myth of the Lost City of the Monkey God, but myths are often rooted in fact, and in the early Oughts cinematographer and inveterate searcher for lost cities Steve Elkins starts looking for it. National Geographic/New Yorker writer and novelist Douglas Preston, in the way nosy journalists do, hears tell of this search and talks his way into the 2015 expedition. Preston begins his story with a briefing by an ex-soldier experienced in jungle travel who passes around a photo of someone on a previous expedition bitten by a fer-de-lance. It isn't pretty. More cheery news of the local fauna follows in the way of mosquitoes and sand flies eager to pass on lovely diseases like malaria, dengue fever and the dread leishmaniasis. Never heard of it? Me, either, and Preston, either, but he'll hear a lot more about it shortly. At the end of that first chapter he writes "I paid attention. I really did." No, he didn't, or not enough, but it wouldn't have mattered even if he had.

    This book is simply packed with information on a dozen different topics, to begin with a history of archeology in Central and South America and worldwide, legal and not

    It must be said that, in general, if archaeologists refused on principle to work with governments known for corruption, most archaeology in the world would come to a halt; there could be no more archaeology in China, Russia, Egypt, Mexico, most of the Middle East, and many countries in Central and South America, Africa and Southeast Asia. I present this not as a justification or an apology, but as an observation on the reality of doing archaeology in a difficult world.

    a history of Central American pre-Columbian civilizations--or at least the discovery of their existence--which were much more wide-spread than previously thought and why that is important to Hondurans

    While the Spanish history of Honduras is well known, its pre-Columbian history is still an enigma. People need history in order to know themselves, to build a sense of identity and pride, continuity, community, and hope for the future. This is why the legend of the White City runs so deep in the Honduran national psyche: It's a direct connection to a pre-Columbian past that was rich, complex, and worthy of remembrance.

    a story about the politics between archeologists, which from an outside perspective looks a lot like jealousy on the part of the people who didn't discover the Lost City of the Monkey God directed at the people who did than it does legitimate differences between academics; a brief but uncomfortably vivid history of the US in Honduras which kind of makes you feel like it may be more than time for the American empire to just, you know, stop with that shit now; and new technology in the form of lidar stabilized by a kind of top secret electronic gyroscope that pings lasers at the spaces between leaves to reflect back the features of the ground beneath them. FYI? The rain forest has a lot of leaves, but the lidar confounds even that dense canopy and discovers the Lost City (and maybe two) just three days into the mapping process.

    I could see Sartori's spiral-bound notebook lying open next to the laptop. In keeping with the methodical scientist he was, he had been jotting daily notes on his work. But underneath the entry for May 5, he had written two words only:

    HOLY SHIT.


    If John McPhee writes the way Yo-Yo Ma plays the cello Preston is at least first chair. When I finished the book I immediately went on line to look at the expedition photos on National Geographic's website (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/20...) and from his descriptions easily recognized the people, the artifacts and especially the place, this stunningly, dangerously beautiful tropical wilderness untouched for five hundred years. Preston is clearly a man in love

    Once again I had the strong feeling, when flying into the valley, that I was leaving the twenty-first century entirely. A precipitous ridge loomed ahead, marking the southern boundary of T1. The pilot headed for a V notch in it. When we cleared the gap, the valley opened up in a rolling landscape of emerald and gold, dappled with the drifting shadows of clouds. The two sinuous rivers ran through it, clear and bright, the sunlight flashing off their riffled waters as the chopper banked...Towering rainforest trees, draped in vines and flowers, carpeted the hills, giving way to sunny glades along the riverbanks. Flocks of egrets flew below, white dots drifting against the green, and the treetops thrashed with the movement of unseen monkeys.

    I'm glad he's that good a writer because the only way I want to experience this place is through his prose and the photos, thanks. I certainly would never even attempt to keep up with Chris Fisher or Dave Yoder in the jungle, that's for sure.

    And then there is leishmaniasis, a ghastly disease which infects Preston and half of the expedition. It's like cancer in that the cure is as bad as the disease and as of writing the book Preston's has recurred. In even cheerier news, due to the enabling offices of climate change leishmaniasis is steadily making its way north, occurring now in Texas and Oklahoma. Goody. Although Americans dying of it may be the only way to get the drug companies working on a cure, because why bother if it's only killing poor people in the Third World? I mean that's no way to make money.

    But the leishmaniusis gives him the final clue to perhaps solve the puzzle: Where did the people of the Lost City go? And why did they leave and, especially, when? Also known as: Disease as destiny.

    Impossible to recommend this book highly enough.
    ***
    Read an expanded version of this review on the Los Angeles Review of Books, http://www.lareviewofbooks.org/articl....


  9. Barbara Barbara says:


    4.5 stars

    For centuries rumors swirled about an abandoned ancient settlement in the jungles of Honduras, a region called 'The White City of the Monkey God.' The remains of the White City was reputed to contain gold, priceless cultural artifacts, and the remnants of temples and buildings - a veritable cornucopia for treasure hunters, archaeologists, and anthropologists.


    Sketch of the mythical Lost City of the Monkey God

    Over the years many explorers tried to find the White City. Some never came back, others returned in defeat, and some were charlatans - pretending to explore while they searched for gold. Obstacles to success included ignorance of the city's exact location, impassable jungles, venomous snakes, biting and stinging insects, jaguars, and - in recent times - narcotraficantes (drug cartels).

    Then, in 2012, documentary filmmaker Steve Elkins got the idea to use LIDAR - a type of radar that uses laser beams - to look for the White City. Elkins arranged for a LIDAR-equipped plane to survey 'La Mosquitia' - the easternmost part of Honduras along the Mosquito Coast (named for the Miskito people, not the insects). The LIDAR scans revealed the remains of three formerly populated areas, called T-1, T-2, and T-3.....which might very well correspond to the White City.


    Documentary film maker Steve Elkins


    LIDAR equipped plane


    LIDAR image of Mayan ruins

    Elkins was thrilled with the results, and arranged an expedition into the jungle in 2015. Elkins' team included himself, a photographer, an archaeologist, an anthropologist, filmmakers, a squad of Honduran soldiers, pilots, technicians, a jungle safety expert, and others. Also joining the group was writer Douglas Preston, who had been in Honduras with Elkins for the LIDAR survey. This time, Preston was assigned to pen an article for National Geographic Magazine.


    Writer Douglas Preston

    In this book, Preston writes about the search for the White City.....and much much more.

    The entire escapade into La Mosquitia was dangerous and difficult, starting with preparing landing sites for the team's helicopters. This was followed by setting up camping areas, hacking through the impenetrable jungle with machetes, wading across rivers, hiking up hills, sliding down hills, encountering snakes, being bitten by insects and spiders, and so on. In addition, the team members were continually soaked and muddy, had trouble keeping a fire lit in the wet jungle, and subsisted largely on MREs (freeze-dried meals).




    The 'kitchen area' of the expedition's campsite




    The Honduras expedition was difficult and wet

    Preston describes his first campsite, where he set up his hammock under a tree inhabited by squawking spider monkeys - who didn't want him there.


    Spider Monkey

    When the author stepped out the first night - to relieve himself - the ground was writhing with a carpet of rainforest cockroaches.


    Cockroaches

    (When I lived in a tent for six weeks for geology field camp, I learned not to drink anything after 6:00 PM....to avoid night trips to the loo. Ha ha ha)

    Preston also tells a memorable story about encountering a six-foot-long, venomous fer-de-lance near his camping area.


    Fer-de-Lance

    The writer summoned the jungle safety expert, Andrew Wood, who decapitated the snake after it squirted his hand with burning venom. Wood had to wash his hand immediately.....otherwise he would have just relocated the serpent with a forked stick. (The expedition carried antivenom shots, just in case.)

    Even more ominously, Preston's tent was invaded by tiny sandflies night after night, which he took to skewering on one of his notebooks - a ledger that became so damaged he had to throw it away. Unfortunately the writer - and other members of the expedition - were repeatedly bitten by the little critters, which had dire consequences later on.


    Sandfly

    Though there were hardships, the team members were able to make their way to T-1, where they found a treasure trove of pre-Columbian remains, including asymmetrical mounds and a large cache of (almost) buried artifacts. These artifacts include beautiful stone bowls and carved stone figures, some of which have half-human, half-monkey features. One striking statuette resembled a jaguar - which led to the site being called 'The City of the Jaguar.' The explorers' tenure in the jungle was limited by weather, finances, and helicopter rentals.....so the archaeological sites were marked and left for future exploration. By now, extensive studies are under way.








    Many ancient artifacts were found in Honduras


    City of the Jaguar

    In an article about the 2015 expedition, Colorado State University anthropologist Dr. Chris Fischer - who was a member of Elkins' team - notes: "The excavated area [at T-1] encompasses less than 200 square feet of the enormous archaeological site, which includes at least 19 prehistoric settlements, probably part of a single chiefdom, spread along several miles of a river. One of the nearby sites has two parallel mounds that may be the remains of a Mesoamerican ball court similar to those left by the Maya civilization, indicating a link between this culture and its powerful neighbors to the west and north. The ballgame was a sacred ritual.....that was sometimes associated with human sacrifice, including the decapitation of the losing team or its captain. While the City of the Jaguar is spectacularly isolated now, at its heyday it was probably a center of trade and commerce."


    Dr. Chris Fischer noted the City of the Jaguar was once a center of trade

    So what happened to the historic city? Why was it abandoned? No one knows for sure but Preston suggests that infectious diseases decimated the population. It's well known that European explorers brought deadly illnesses, like flu, measles, and smallpox, to the New World. The native people, having no resistance, died in droves....often horrifically. According to Preston, Old World diseases wiped out 90 percent of many New World populations. It's possible that most residents of the 'T-sites' died, and the remaining occupants - thinking their gods had forsaken them - just walked away from their homes.


    Indigenous people may have been wiped out by disease

    Another illness may also have contributed to the ancient carnage. Months after Preston returned home, he noticed a 'bug bite' that refused to heal. The author came to learn that he (and many other members of the 2015 trip) had contracted leishmaniasis, a flesh-eating disease caused by a protozoan parasite that's transmitted by sandflies. Left untreated, leishmaniasis can cause skin ulcers; mouth and nose ulcers; and damage to internal organs. In the worst cases, the disease eats away the nose and mouth, causing horrible disfiguration. Luckily, Preston responded to treatment -which is harsh, and can take a long time.


    Leishmaniasis

    The disease didn't stop Preston from returning to T-1 for one more visit, however, during which he lamented the inevitable changes caused by official visitors, scientists, and the military - who protect the site from looters and narcotraficantes.


    La Mosquitia (area in Honduras where ancient artifacts were found)

    In addition to detailing the recent visits to La Mosquitia, Preston tells stories about early explorers to the New World; native peoples of the region; disease germs brought to the Americas by sick sailors; fortune hunters looking for the White City; the current President of Honduras - who's all for archaeological and anthropological exploration; Elkins' efforts to finance his expeditions and films; the author's (and his colleagues') struggles with leishmaniasis; and more. I liked all the stories and enjoyed the book, which I highly recommend to readers interested in the topic.

    You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....


  10. Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede says:

    As a longtime fan of the Pendergast series that Douglas Preston writes together with Lincoln Child was I curious to read this non-fiction book about a lost city. I find mysteries like this very intriguing. I mean a lost city that is mentioned in old documents, but no one has found? What's not to like? And, what makes this book so fantastic is that Douglas Preston himself was part of the expedition to what could be White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. A place where no one has been for centuries, a place with a lot of deadly creatures like the deadly fer-de-lance, one of the most deadly snakes on the planet.

    The Lost City of the Monkey God captivated me from the beginning, Preston has written a well-researched book, which gives the reader both the historical background as well as the impressions from the expedition. I always love books that are entertaining and learning as well, and Preston has managed that. The only thing I found a bit dreary was the technical descriptions of the equipment that they used to pinpoint the city, but I got the gist and that was enough for me. I'm just not that interested in technical things so stuff like that always makes me a bit bored. But, I fully understand the need for it to be included in the story. Especially since it pissed off archaeologists who think that it's cheating to use lidar to find lost cities. I loved that part of the story, how petty some archaeologists were.

    As much as I enjoyed reading the historical background must I admit that reading about the expedition, how they were the first ones there were very thrilling. I could easily picture the scenery and I found the discovery of the city and artifacts fascinating. Although I'm not sure I would want to travel there with all the bugs and deadly snakes.

    The Lost City of the Monkey God was a truly great book. I loved learning more about the history of Honduras and it made me sad to think about how the Europeans arrival pretty much killed off most of the natives all over America thanks to the sickness they brought with them.

    4.5 stars

    I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!