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The Lost World Mass Market Paperback – Unabridged, June 15, 1997


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Classics (June 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812564839
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812564839
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 4 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (728 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,748,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

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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Customer Reviews

The book The Lost World, by Michael Crichton, is an action book.
"scot-irish-samuri"
The characters all seemed really interesting when they were first introduced, but they were not developed any further throughout the novel.
Joe M
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

46 of 61 people found the following review helpful By M on January 4, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Professor George E. Challenger, noted scientist, says dinosaurs are still alive, and he knows where to find them. The scientific community says he's a madman or a fraud, or both. Challenger's only evidence is a bunch of blurry photographs. Fellow scientists say the photos are obviously doctored and the newspapers call it a fantasy. Boiling with rage, Challenger goes into seclusion. Anyone foolish enough to bring up the tender subject around him is liable to end up in the gutter outside his house, with a few extra lumps for the gutter press.
The only reporter brave, or stupid, enough to face the professor's wrath and get the story is Edward Malone, young, intrepid journalist for the Daily Gazette. At a boisterous scientific meeting, Professor Summerlee, a rival scientist, calls Challenger's bluff. Summerlee will return to South America and prove Challenger wrong. The young journalist volunteers to go along. Lord John Roxton, the famous hunter, can't miss an opportunity to return to the jungle and adds his name to expedition. Professor Challenger is happy they are taking him seriously, even if they don't all believe him. But what will they find in South America? A strange, living time capsule from the Jurassic period filled with pterodactyls and stegosaurs? Or will they only find vast tracks of endless jungles and Challenger's daydreams? Either way there will be danger and adventure for all.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote "The Lost World" in 1912 for the Strand magazine, the same magazine that published his Sherlock Holmes stories. It's a great Edwardian science-fiction adventure, although some may not like the British Imperialism and Darwinian racism. Still, in "The Lost World" Conan Doyle lets his hair down a little.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 31, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was really a very talented writer, and he had many tales to tell that did not involve the famous Sherlock Holmes. The Lost World is perhaps the best known of his noncanonical stories. He describes a lush, mysterious plateau in the remote Amazonian regions of South America in which creatures thought to have died out eons ago still stalk the earth. Professor Challenger, while possessing some of the confidence and intellect of a Holmes, could not be more different in his passions and boisterous, conceited behavior; it is his contention that a "lost world" does exist. Recruiting a disbelieving zoologist, a famed adventurer, and a fresh, young newspaper man to go with him, the group sets out for the inaccessible reaches of the jungle and manages, after some great effort, to reach the isolated plateau. By an act of treachery by an Indian bearing a grudge against the famed Lord Roxton, their portal of entry is destroyed, leaving them trapped in the mysterious new land they dub Maple White Land after an American who earlier discovered the place but died soon thereafter (but not before encountering Professor Challenger in the Amazon and revealing to him its existence and location). They build a camp and begin investigating the area, quickly discovering unknown forms of plant life and animal life, including dinosaurs and pterodactyls. As if the monstrous reptilian beasts aren't hazard enough for them, they soon find themselves besieged by a vicious race of ape-men, whom they eventually take on in alliance with a separate race of Indians. The newspaperman narrates events in a series of postings he manages to get sent back to London, describing the creatures and their habits.Read more ›
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10 of 12 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William R. Cooper on August 13, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sherlock Holmes was not the first fictional detective but is surely the most famous. "The Lost World" may not have been the first novel of its kind, but as with the incomparable sleuth of 221-B Baker Street, Conan Doyle penned its first memorable novel of the genre; of prehistoric life defying all odds to live on in a virtually inaccessible portion of our planet. How many other writers can claim to have such a profound effect on two different types of literature?
"The Lost World" is a fast-paced and entertaining story of a small expedition to the wilds of the Amazon River Basin and the the dangers the 4 mismatched heroes face from slave traders, the jungle itself, and of course from the prehistoric beasts and ape-men roaming the plateau so dangerous to human habitation. The love interest in this story is negligible but the reader barely notices the absence, as this is an adventure story and not a romance. The main characters are all of a type that would have been familiar to Doyle's Victorian audience, with the egotistical and brilliant Professor Challenger dominating the book. Doyle's humor illustrated within many of Challenger's bombastic pronouncements is a touch that rarely is present in the Sherlock Holmes stories, masterpeices as they are. This is not to say that Lord John Roxton, Professor Summerlee and Edward Malone are pale shadows by comparison - they just don't think they are always right! Warning: Politically correct readers need not bother - Doyle would not get your stamp of approval, but remember he is writing this novel a hundred or so years ago.
Many books, movies and TV shows owe a great deal to Sir Arthur for his authorship of this book, which I certainly recommend for action, storytelling and a glimpse of the Victorian view of the effect of European civilization upon other worlds.
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