Lost City of the Monkey God (2017, Grand Central Publishing) 4 stars

More like "Lost City of leishmaniasis"

3 stars

Here lies my expectations, completely unmet.

Yes, a lost city is discovered. Two, actually, but we only hear about one of them for reasons. The other is mentioned a few times, but I have no idea if anything significant was there. Yes, the City of the Monkey God was mentioned in the leadup to exploring the city (also called the White City), but it never was said if this city was actually the city of legend or not. Yes, this was a true story, but more of a true story about the leishmaniasis disease than a true story about lost city exploration.

I loved the first half of the book leading up to the expedition. There was a ton of information laid out about the legend of the White City and the technological means they used to map out difficult to explore jungle regions in search of the ruins. I also loved the exploration of the ruins they selected as the likely site, and the author’s experiences there. But we spend hardly any time there at all (about a chapter and a half), before he’s back in civilization and dealing with his struggle with leishmaniasis. Which, don’t get me wrong, is a valid topic as I hadn’t heard of the disease before and evidently gets very little funding for research because of its prevalence in the poor populations of countries, I was just expecting more of the Lost City of the Monkey God in my Lost City of the Monkey God book.

I actually learned more about the ruins from the author’s article (found here: ) than I did from the author’s book. Just kind of a letdown all around, honestly.