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The Lost World (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – Unabridged, January 26, 1998

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 and up
  • Grade Level: 6 and up
  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Unabridged edition (January 26, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486400603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486400600
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (741 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews 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.

Customer Reviews

When I read this book I literally could not put it down.
This book was somewhat exciting but after I was done with it I didn't feel as satisfied as I did after I read the first one.
Nicholas M. Lamarca
The good things: great action, awesome excitement, and characters that make up for the loss of plot (sort of).

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Bojan Tunguz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on October 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
When it first came out almost two decades ago, "Jurassic Park" (the movie) was a huge sensation. Steven Spielberg marshaled Hollywood's technical wizardry in order to create the closest that we'll ever be to seeing the actual dinosaurs. Spielberg's adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel by the same name was revolutionary in many respects. However, the distinction of creating and popularizing the "modern man meets dinosaur" sci-fi subgenre belongs to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Almost a century ago he wrote "The Lost World," and imaginative and suspenseful novel that tracks an expedition of European scientists, journalists, and adventurers deep inside the South American jungles where they explore a hitherto undiscovered plateau that seems to have been cut-off from the rest of the world for millions of years, and where some dreadful prehistoric creatures still roam.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known for creating Sherlock Holmes, one of the most famous literary characters of all time. Sherlock Holmes was based on an actual person, a university professor that Doyle knew, and was characterized by cold, calculating and brilliant abilities of deduction. "The Lost World" has seen the introduction of Professor Challenger, a character that Doyle used for a few more of his subsequent works. Challenger is no less brilliant than Sherlock Holmes, but in every other psychological (and physical) trait is the exact opposite of the famous sleuth. Where Holmes is cold and aloof, Challenger is passionate and physically confrontational. In terms of appearance, Challenger is stocky and exceptionally strong, and sports a long black beard. Challenger continues Doyle tradition of strong-minded characters that use wit and ingenuity to solve even the problems where the brute force may seem to rule the day.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kenri A. Mugleston on January 24, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Look out Mr. Crichton, the original is still the best. The premise of a lost world in the middle of the Amazon is not only possible but plausible. There areas in the Amazon that man has never stepped foot in and there is no telling what could be found in those areas.
Professor Challenger is an engaging character as he takes his small group of adventurers into the wilds of the Amazon, to confirm to the world that his dicovery of a lost world with Jurassic dinosaurs, is indeed real.
Man eating dinosaurs, ape men, cave men and an entire new world, who wouldn't want to go?
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By George R Dekle on November 4, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Professor Challenger, a protagonist as unique and eccentric as Sherlock Holmes, "challenges" the London Zoological Society to send a team of impartial judges to verify his claims that dinosaurs live on a plateau in the Brazilian rain forest. Professor Summerlee, a staunch foe of Challenger, accepts the challenge. Lord John Roxton, a soldier and big game hunter, agrees to go along, and Edward Malone, a star rugby player and journalist, goes as their scribe.
The world they find is every bit as captivating as Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park, and the danger is every bit as exhilarating. The characters are more engaging, and the story contains a good deal of humor as the four strong personalities clash a number of times on a number of levels.
There are no velociraptors to menace the adventurers, who have become hopelessly marooned, but a tribe of ape men serves quite well to provide the danger. It is a pleasure to have the English language used so well in describing the adventures of the four.
"The Lost World" is obviously the inspiration for Crichton's "Jurassic Park." Crichton may have modernized the story, but he certainly didn't improve it. Unfortunately, "The Lost World" reflects the ethnic insensitivity and "classism" of the Victorian Era, but if you can overlook that flaw, you will thoroughly enjoy the story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Rouse on December 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle shows us in The Lost World that he is capable of far more than short detective stories. In this book we are taken on a journey into the heart of the Amazon in South America, to an isolated place where the prehistoric has survived to the present. Four men together face the wonderous awe and danger inherent in such a place, which quickly shifts from paradise to hell and back again as new dangers and wonders present themselves.

The four men who undertake this expedition are: (1) Professor Challenger, an immensely conceited (and brilliant) scientist who has perhaps the worst temper I have ever read about coupled with a very dominating personality, (2) Professor Summerlee, a scientist with a very acidic personality who is rather less courageous than the rest of the party and whose chief role is largely to constantly argue with Professor Challenger, (3) Lord John Roxton, a rather level-headed explorer/big-game hunter who is somewhat a mentor to the main character/narrator who is, (4) Ed Malone, a young reporter who goes on the expedition to impress a girl he likes. He is rather rash and undisciplined at times, though he is far more level-headed than the rest of the party, excepting Lord Roxton.

Doyle achieves not only a truly exciting adventure story, but also a very humerous/insightful study on the relationship between four very different people with conflicting personalities. I always found it most amusing to read about the two professors bickering over what species the creatures which were immediately threatening their lives were, while the other two tried to find a solution to the danger.
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