Chasing the Thrill: Obsession, Death, and Glory in America’s Most Extraordinary Treasure Hunt

Daniel Barbarisi. Knopf, $27.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-525-65617-3
Journalist Barbarisi (Dueling with Kings) chronicles in this captivating account the exploits of an eccentric community of treasure hunters who scoured the Rocky Mountains from 2010 to 2020 in search of New Mexico art dealer Forrest Fenn’s hidden chest of gold and jewels. Following the nine clues in Fenn’s cryptic poem (“Begin it where warm waters halt....”), Barbarisi started searching for the treasure in 2017. Interweaving his own search efforts with profiles of fellow hunters, Barbarisi documents how the “Fenn blogosphere” helped turn the treasure hunt from a “lark” into a “community hazard.” One man spent $30,000 digging holes in a state park, and at least five people died searching for the treasure, including a Colorado pastor who was looking in an area Barbarisi had explored the week before. Barbarisi eventually dropped out of the hunt, but he interviews the searcher who discovered the treasure chest in a Wyoming forest in June 2020 and gets an up-close look at its contents. Shot through with dramatic plot twists, colorful personalities, and insights into the nature of obsession, this rollicking account will appeal to fans of The Orchid Thief and Born to Run. (June)
Reviewed on : 03/09/2021
Release date: 06/08/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-0-525-56611-3
Paperback - 576 pages - 978-0-593-41446-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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