In 1839, John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood decided to chase rumors of ancient ruins in Central America. Their difficult trek across jungle, facing hostile soldiers and deadly Malaria is chronicled in William Carlsen’s Jungle of Stone.
If Carlsen had attempted a narrative non-fiction of this journey, I think I would have enjoyed the book more. The stone temples of the Maya were truly magnificent, and Catherwood’s illustrations were a wonderful window into what they stumbled across and how it appeared to them nearly two centuries ago. The biggest problem I had with this book was all the background information on every actor included in the narrative. It was just too much information about the other parts of their lives – it dwarfed the adventures of finding the ruins.
I also would have liked more information about the Mayans themselves. I know very little about this civilization and obviously the reason this discovery was important was that it revealed so much about these ancient peoples.
3 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2016
Amazon Book Preview of Jungle Of Stone