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For fans of National Geographic

The city of the monkey god
by Douglas Preston

Rated with 3.5 stars

Preston reports not only about the preparation and the course of the expedition, but also about the historical background, mysterious curses, old myths and the downfall of an unknown civilization.

It is exciting to accompany Douglas Preston on his expedition. The enthusiasm and extensive research is contagious. He describes his feelings, impressions and discoveries vividly and fluently, as one is used to from his novels. If you didn't know Preston before, you will get to know the adventurer in him in this book. The man who wrote nonfiction books on American history and also writes regularly for magazines like National Geographic. In this book he writes about his adventure in a province in the rainforest of Honduras, which could be scanned from the air using modern laser technology and showed an unknown terrain.

Aggressive snakes live in this region and no one can beat torrential rain, dense vegetation and parasite-borne diseases. The expedition itself only comprises a few chapters. First of all, there is a mystical excursus about numerous researchers and inquisitive people who were already interested in the White City. The report on the time after the expedition tells of the aftermath and consequences of the visit to the jungle and an outlook for what may still come. This expedition is just a start because "The encounter between the old and the new world was inevitable."(P. 346)

As a reader you get a realistic insight into a jungle expedition and the preparations and consequences that result from it. Preston proves to be a talented storyteller who offers interested and inquisitive readers an entertaining report. Anyone who has never heard of the lance viper, leishmaniasis, the treasure of Lima or lidar recordings will read a lot of interesting things through this book and learn why our culture cannot escape its fate either.