The Lost City of the Monkey God

The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story - Douglas Preston, Bill Mumy

 

The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story is not my normal cuppa, but came to me highly recommended. I'm glad that I reserved the audio at my library.

 

The story was enjoyable and educational, but I was slightly disappointed at the time spent actually exploring. The beginning of the book goes into previous expeditions to areas near this city and the problems faced due to the fact that Honduras can be a very dangerous country. Not only due to the insects, snakes and other poisonous creatures, but also because of drug cartels.

 

The brief portion that involved the actual exploration was fascinating. Imagine going into an area completely untouched by mankind in 500 hundred years. How exciting! However, the actuality of exploring such an area means exposing oneself to thousands of dangers from extremely deep mud, insects of all kinds, snakes and even jaguars, to name just a few.

 

There was another brief section talking about the problems with other archaeologists and academia throwing shade on this expedition, some of them doing so with no REAL knowledge of what went on, how LIDAR worked and what was found.

 

Lastly, and the part I found most interesting, was what happened to many of the explorers after they got home and that is: Leishmaniasis. OMG. This is a disease, (actually many diseases and symptoms, grouped under one name), which is carried by tiny sand flies. The havoc this disease can wreak is almost unbelievable. This led to another section of the book which spoke about new world diseases and how they affected the Americas. There is talk of how some of the early civilizations disappeared and how that may have been caused by parasites and diseases. I found all of this fascinating but extremely scary. Most especially when it was mentioned that cases of Leish have now been found in Texas and the speculation about how that is because sand flies are moving northward due to climate change.

 

What I found most surprising is that many of the explorers that were diagnosed and treated for Leish, jumped at the chance to go back to the site. I can only assume that they were CRAZY!

 

I enjoyed this book and I learned a lot about Honduras and its history. I recommend The Lost City of the Monkey God to anyone interested in learning more about Honduras, the city and the history of the world, in general.

 

*I checked out this audio from my local library. Libraries RULE!*