Jungleland by Christopher S. Stewart
A Mysterious Lost City, a WWII Spy, and a True Story of Deadly Adventure

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Synopsis

"I began to daydream about the jungle...."

On April 6, 1940, explorer and future World War II spy Theodore Morde (who would one day attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler), anxious about the perilous journey that lay ahead of him, struggled to fall asleep at the Paris Hotel in La Ceiba, Honduras.

Nearly seventy years later, in the same hotel, acclaimed 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—no one found a trace.

Legends, like the jungle, are dense and captivating. Many have sought their fortune or fame down the Río Patuca—from Christopher Columbus to present-day college professors—and many have died or disappeared. 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 and claimed to have discovered what he called the Lost City of the Monkey God.

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 in the tradition of The Lost City of Z and Lost in Shangri-La. 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.

 

About Christopher S. Stewart

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Christopher S. Stewart is an editor at the Wall Street Journal. His work has appeared in GQ, Harper's, the New York Times Magazine, Paris Review, Salon, Wired, and other publications. He is the author of Hunting the Tiger, a book about Zeljko "Arkan" Raznatovic, the Serbian mobster and warlord at the center of the 1990s Balkan wars. He served as deputy editor at the New York Observer and is a former contributing editor at Conde Nast Portfolio. He lives with his family in New York.
 
Published January 8, 2013 by Harper. 301 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Action & Adventure, Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Jungleland

Kirkus Reviews

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Set against a background of the latest military coup in Honduras and the activities of narcotraficantes, corporate jungle destroyers, pirates, robbers and other human predators, as well as deadly snakes and insects and almost impenetrable jungle, their modern search bears eerie parallels to the t...

Dec 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Jungleland: A Mysterious Lost...

Publishers Weekly

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In a modern-day quest to locate the fabled Lost City, Stewart, an editor at the Wall Street Journal and the author of Hunting the Tiger, takes the reader on a perilous, thrill-laden search for that mythical place, first bitten by the adventure bug in the spring of 2008 after researching the journ...

Dec 03 2012 | Read Full Review of Jungleland: A Mysterious Lost...

Dallas News

Or if you’re like Christopher Stewart, an editor at The Wall Street Journal, you can leave your wife and child and set off for a monthlong trek through Mosquitia — hundreds of miles of relentless Honduran rain forest and jungle — in search of a lost ancient civilization.

Jan 18 2013 | Read Full Review of Jungleland: A Mysterious Lost...

Bookmarks Magazine

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.

Jan 07 2013 | Read Full Review of Jungleland: A Mysterious Lost...

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