Thursday, January 10, 2013
Jungleland by Christopher S. Stewart
On April 6, 1940, explorer Theodore Morde struggled to fall asleep at the Paris Hotel in La Ceiba, Honduras. Nearly seventy years later, in the same hotel, journalist Christopher S. Stewart wonders what he's gotten himself into. Stewart and Morde seek the same answer on their quests: the solution to the riddle of the whereabouts of Ciudad Blanca, buried somewhere deep in the rain forest on the Mosquito Coast. Imagining an immense and immaculate El Dorado–like city made entirely of gold, explorers as far back as the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés have tried to find the fabled White City. Others have gone looking for tall white cliffs and gigantic stone temples but no one has found a trace.
What begins as a passing interest slowly turns into an obsession as Stewart pieces together the whirlwind life and mysterious death of Morde, a man who had sailed around the world five times before he was thirty.
Armed with Morde's personal notebooks and the enigmatic coordinates etched on his well-worn walking stick, Stewart sets out to test the jungle himself—and to test himself in the jungle. As we follow the parallel journeys of Morde and Stewart, the ultimate destination morphs with their every twist and turn. Are they walking in circles? Or are they running from their own shadows? Jungleland is part detective story, part classic tale of man versus wild. A story of young fatherhood as well as the timeless call of adventure, this is an epic search for answers in a place where nothing is guaranteed, least of all survival.
If you like this, try these:
The Lost City of Z by David Grann
Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff
Points Unknown by David Roberts