Mark Adams,
Meet Me In Atlantis: My Obsessive Quest to Find the Sunken City
(Dutton, 2015)

Writer Mark Adams was asked by the editor of a women's magazine to take a look at the famous philosophers, boil their wisdom down into digestible chunks and determine who among them were most important to the contemporary lives of young women of America. While researching it, he came across Plato's story of Atlantis. He writes, "I did not yet understand that Atlantis is a virus and that I'd been exposed."

Originally a skeptic, he found himself obsessed by the possibility that the Atlantis legend is indeed true and spent several years researching it, traveling the world talking to and searching for the lost continent with just about every expert, both the true experts and the self-proclaimed ones.

He has written a fascinating book about his search. Don't know anything about Atlantis? Doesn't matter. He has a chapter summarizing the legend and what has been done to prove or disprove it to bring you quickly up to speed. Think it's all too silly to waste time on? You won't when you finish this book. Don't care about Atlantis? You will when you close the covers.

Turning from a skeptic to a sort of critical believer, one who is willing to accept the story but demands evidence, Adams' international search for the truth is fascinating. The places he goes and the people he meets range from off-beat and eccentric to earnest and and placid. What the people all have in common though is their obsession with the lost continent that Plato so confidently discussed.

Does he find it? Well, no spoiler here when I point out that the continent hasn't surfaced yet. It is still missing but that doesn't matter. A lot of times, the search is more important than the discovery and this is one of those times. No, Adams does not locate the lost continent but he does shoot down a lot of theories, refine a few more, clarify some ancient philosophy and come up with a unique theory of his own.

And he gives us a book that entertains, enlightens and teaches us something.

book review by
Michael Scott Cain

1 Aug. 2015

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