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The Lost World Paperback – May 27, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Forget the Michael Crichton book (and Spielberg movie) that copied the title. This is the original: the terror-adventure tale of The Lost World. Writing not long after dinosaurs first invaded the popular imagination, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle spins a yarn about an expedition of two scientists, a big-game hunter, and a journalist (the narrator) to a volcanic plateau high over the vast Amazon rain forest. The bickering of the professors (a type Doyle knew well from his medical training) serves as witty contrast to the wonders of flora and fauna they encounter, building toward a dramatic moonlit chase scene with a Tyrannosaurus Rex. And the character of Professor George E. Challenger is second only to Sherlock Holmes in the outrageous force of his personality: he's a big man with an even bigger ego, and if you can grit your teeth through his racist behavior toward Native Americans, he's a lot of fun. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In 1912, Doyle took his Victorian readers deep into the South American jungles where, high atop a treacherous plateau, a small band of British explorers encountered a terrifying world of prehistoric creatures long thought lost to the sands of time. The adventurers included a young newspaper reporter, Ed Malone; the swashbuckling aristocrat, Lord Roxton; the skeptical scientist, Professor Summerlee; and the brilliant and bombastic Professor Challenger, who leads the party. Doyle unfolds high adventure at its best with fantastic encounters with pterodactyls, stegosaurs and cunning ape -men. Glen McCready's performance captures the time and tone of Doyle's material perfectly without straying into melodrama. He nicely balances Malone's sense of youthful wonder with the professors' scientific pragmatism, while fully exploiting the humor spread strategically throughout, planting numerous chuckles among the thrills. McCready's entertaining reading more than fulfills the author's introductory wish to give one hour of joy to the boy who's half a man, or the man who's half a boy. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (May 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141033770
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141033778
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.8 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (904 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,700,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Any Jurassic Park fans should read the books!
Matt
If you like books that keep you up all night because you just have to know which dinosaur will eat whom next.....this one is for you.
N. Artik-Blood
The good things: great action, awesome excitement, and characters that make up for the loss of plot (sort of).
basilicus@hotmail.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 21, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Whatever else it may be, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's THE LOST WORLD has certainly been influential. The 1925 silent film version was one of the great special effects landmarks of its day, and the novel has been filmed on at least two other occasions, once in 1960 and once more (for television) in 2002. And one scarcely need mention such LOST WORLD-influenced efforts as THE LAND UNKNOWN or the book-to-film JURASSIC PARK and its various sequels. There seems no end in sight.
Doyle's original is remarkably straightforward and devoid of the subplots and love-interest introduced in the various film versions. The story is told from the point of view of a London reporter, Edward Malone, whose beloved spurs him into action when she declares that she could never marry a man who has no taste for high adventure or bold risk. Malone accordingly begins to cover a scientific scandal: Professor Challenger has returned from South America with outrageous claims of prehistoric life that survives on a plateau in the Amazon. When Challenger suggests a party be formed to verify his claims, Malone jumps at the chance.
It is interesting to read Doyle's LOST WORLD in comparison with Wells' WAR OF THE WORLDS, for the two novels counterpoint each other terms of mindset; where Wells' famous novel is a covert satire of the brutality of English imperialism, Doyle accepts English imperialism with a manly embrace and sends his explorers off into the uncivilized wilds, where they repeatedly encounter undesirables in great need of a blast from an English-made rifle. Indeed, they often seem more interested in eradicating newly discovered life forms than in observing them!
But we would do a disservice to both Doyle and his novel by taking it too seriously.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. D. Allison (dallison@biochem.med.ufl.edu) on June 5, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is one of a number of Professor Challenger adventures of Sir A. C. Doyle. A noted zoologist (Challenger) has come across evidence that there is a plateau in South America that can be reached from deep in the Amazon rain forest in which prehistoric animals still exist. An expedition of four (Challenger, a sceptical zoologist named Summerlee, a noted hunter (Lord John Roxton), and Edward Malone, a journalist) sets out to verify this report. The arguing and interactions between the academics is interesting in that little seems to have changed in the last 87 years! It should be noted that Doyle isolates the plateau so that there is minimal interaction with the rest of the rain forest (thus, the dinosaurs can't escape). But, why couldn't the ptereodactyls spread out? This story was one of the earliest "Lost World" tales and has been made into a film a number of times. Other stories in this sub-genre owe much to Doyle and Challenger.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Denis Benchimol Minev on February 27, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is Conan Doyle's original tale of dinoasours still alive in the world. The setting is a plateau deep in the Amazon jungle, separat5ed from the rest of the world by very high rock walls. Up on this plateau dinosaours have survived.

The book beging with Professor Challenger, a forceful and egotistical scientist claiming dinosaurs are alive in the jungle and he has seen them in a recent trip. A team is put together to verify this claim, including Challenger, another professor (Summerlee), a big-game hunter and a journalist (the narrator). This group arives at the plateau and begins exploring a way to get up on it. Once up there, they verify the existence of those dinosaurs, having terrifying experiences with pterodactyls and Tyranossaurus Rex. They also meet humans and an ape species that dominate the humans. The story unfolds from then to the climatic end, when Professor CHallenger releases a pterodactyl in a scientific gathering in London.

Overall, this is an entertaining book, it reads like a precursor of Jurassic Park and other monster thrillers. One interesting fact is that the place described by Doyle in fact exists: it is Mount Roraima, at the Brazil/Venezuela/Guyana border. It is exactly as Doyle described it, which is fitting since he based the book on it. Though the plateau is interesting and strange, upon it there are no dinosaurs.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By nmlawson@netusa1.net on January 9, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Lost World" is one of the best books I have ever read. Crichton was ingenious while writing it, although I have head that he very much hated it himself, when writing it, until he read it once again. I have read it 5 times and have seen the movie 6. It is one of my favorites along with "Sphere", "Airframe", and several others of his. His characters, such as Ian Malcolm, Sarah Harding, Doc Thorne, and Eddie Carr are very strong, and it seems as if you could actually meet them once you get into the book. The movie was not as good, but much better than "Jurassic Park". The original had much more research dedicated to it, but when Malcolm describes this information, which he does often, he begins to drone, and becomes especially boring. He is not near as boring in the sequel, but, as one other person remarked in their own review, Malcolm was said to be dead by Muldoon, who would have surely known. The others left the island--Isla Nublar--in helicopters, and the island was obliterated with bombs, unless other choppers came to the compound, taking Malcolm's 'dead' body away, and fixing him up. Anyway, "Lost World" is a magnificent book, and I would advise others to read it.
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