THE LOST CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD

A True Story

Douglas Preston

#1 New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller

For five hundred years, legends have told of an ancient, lost city hidden in the Honduran rainforest—a place so sacred that those who dared disturb it would fall ill and die.

In 2012, Douglas Preston joined a team of scientists on their quest to find the White City, climbing aboard a rickety plane whose historic flight would change everything. Using a space-age technology that could map terrain under the densest jungle canopy, that flight revealed tantalizing evidence of not just a city but an entire lost civilization.

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#1 New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller

For five hundred years, legends have told of an ancient, lost city hidden in the Honduran rainforest—a place so sacred that those who dared disturb it would fall ill and die.

In 2012, Douglas Preston joined a team of scientists on their quest to find the White City, climbing aboard a rickety plane whose historic flight would change everything. Using a space-age technology that could map terrain under the densest jungle canopy, that flight revealed tantalizing evidence of not just a city but an entire lost civilization. But when the expedition finally reached the ruins, battling torrential rains and venomous snakes in the world’s densest jungle, tragedy struck: Preston and others contracted a mysterious—and incurable—disease.

The Lost City Of The Monkey God is the true, eyewitness account of one of the great discoveries of the twenty-first century—a story of ancient curses, modern technology, a vanished culture, and a stunning medical mystery.

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  • Grand Central Publishing
  • Paperback
  • September 2017
  • 336 Pages
  • 9781455540013

Buy the Book

$15.99

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About Douglas Preston

Douglas Preston has worked as a writer and editor for the American Museum of Natural History and taught writing at Princeton University. He has written for The New Yorker, Natural History, National Geographic, Harper’s, Smithsonian, and The Atlantic. The author of several acclaimed nonfiction books—including the bestseller The Monster of Florence—Preston is also the co-author with Lincoln Child of the bestselling series of novels featuring FBI agent Pendergast.

Praise

“High adventure at its best, and all true.”Erik Larson

“Nuanced and sublime. —New York Times Book Review

“As great adventure stories go, this one ticks all the boxes.”The Washington Post

“A very entertaining book.”The Wall Street Journal

Discussion Questions

1. The legend of the Ciudad Blanca has been around for more than five centuries, and in that time, generations of adventurers have risked their lives in search of it. What do you think the appeal is of this kind of quest? What is it about the idea of discovering a lost city that maintains such a perennial grip on the human imagination?

2. Preston offers a colorful history of the men who had tried to find the Ciudad Blanca over the centuries—many of whom came back with vivid accounts of their discoveries. Do you believe that any of them came across the same city that Preston and Elkins and the expedition found in T1, and if so, who?

3. In 1940, The New York Times ran a front-page article announcing that “City of Monkey God Is Believed Located” by swashbuckling explorer Theodore Morde. However, Preston’s research reveals a shocking new twist to this seventy-five-year-old story. How does this new information change our understanding of the history of the legend of the lost city? Why do you think Morde’s original account remained unchallenged so long?

4. Do you think the team underestimated the challenges that they would face, by themselves in the jungle? Why or why not? If offered the opportunity to go on a similar adventure, would you want go yourself?

5. After Elkins, Preston, and the team emerge from the jungle and announce their findings, a conflict breaks out in the archeological community. What is the source of the disagreement, and do you think either side is correct?

6. What can the discovery of the city at T1 teach modern-day archeologists about the past? What are the biggest surprises that surround this discovery? Does it change the way we understand any of the history of the New World?

7. Do you believe in the curse of the Lost City of the Monkey God? Why or why not?