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By Diane on 01-15-16
The Lure of Atlantis
There is something about ancient mysteries that proves to be an irresistible draw for many of us and that really is what Mark Adams' exploration into the legend of Atlantis is about. If you're looking for a book about the woo woo world of ancient aliens, super beings or alternate dimensions, this will not be the book for you--although there are brief forays into the beliefs of Madame Blavatsky, Edgar Cayce and even Nazi Occultists (who believed that the "superior" Aryan race was descended from the inhabitants of Atlantis).
Rather, Adams engages us in a thoughtful and intelligent quest into the meaning of Atlantis and its potential reality. Large sections are devoted to an analysis of Plato's writings on the topic (our sole source for the existence of Atlantis) as well as the writings of other contemporary philosophers and historians in the ancient world. We also learn a lot about the history of the ancient world culturally, meteorologically and geologically. Adams explores current thinking about the topic, interviewing archeologists, scientists (including a physicist whose interest in Atlantis was initially spurred by a Scrooge McDuck cartoon) and a plethora of amateur investigators. He treats his subject seriously and with an open mind as to the possible origins and veracity of the legend.
The book can be pretty dense at times and would have benefitted from an accompanying pdf with maps and diagrams of some of the concepts, but Adams does a good job of not overwhelming the reader with technical information--breaking it up with often humorous descriptions of his travels. I learned a lot from this book and not just about Atlantis. Narration is excellent. A good and thought-provoking read.
25 of 25 people found this review helpful
By Jim N on 04-04-15
An Engaging Quest!
Adams is a talented writer, as anyone who read his previous book, Turn Right at Machu Picchu, can attest. He writes with wit, enthusiasm and a healthy skepticism (arguably a little too healthy at times) and although the enduring mystery of Atlantis lies at the heart of this book, it's really Adams' journey to learn about that mystery, and the fascinating people he encounters and interviews along the way, that make it such a good read/listen. Through those people, serious, devoted researchers into Atlantis, we get some insight into possible locations for the fabled land while also developing an appreciation for why they search. Adams develops that appreciation too, and eventually, he's drawn into the search and dreams of finding Atlantis himself.
The end, of course, is unsatisfying, as it must be without a real resolution on the subject. Atlantis remains an unsolved and much-debated mystery but this book provides an excellent, entertaining overview and it's anything but dull or dry. Highly recommended.
Andrew Garman does an excellent job as the narrator.
31 of 32 people found this review helpful