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

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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.

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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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,281 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By G. M. Warnken on October 13, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I would just like to point out that Amazon has combined the reviews for Arthur Conan Doyle's classic adventure novel The Lost World and Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park sequel The Lost World. They're both excellent books, but COMPLETELY SEPARATE TITLES, and to combine them both under one product heading is incredibly stupid and confusing. Please fix this, Amazon.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Karl Janssen on January 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Outside of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous creation is the scientist and adventurer George Edward Challenger. Professor Challenger starred in three novels and two short stories, beginning with The Lost World, first published in 1912. Edward Malone, a journalist of athletic build but timid demeanor, seeks an interview with Challenger, hoping the eccentric misanthrope might provide some good copy for his paper. Though at first Challenger is hostile to the reporter out of a general hatred for those of his profession, he soon takes a liking to the young man. The relationship between the two characters is very similar to that between Holmes and Watson, except that Challenger is a bigger jerk than Holmes and a far less intriguing character. Challenger reveals to his newfound confidant that in the Amazon rain forest he has discovered a remote plateau where prehistoric creatures that have long been thought extinct still thrive. When Challenger makes his findings public before a meeting of the Zoological Institute, he is confronted by doubters. To test the veracity of his claims, an expedition is hastily organized, consisting of Dr. Summerlee, a rival scientist; Lord John Roxton, an aristocratic sportsman, and Malone, who volunteers for the journey in hopes not only of finding a good story but also of adding some much-needed adventure to his life.

Malone is the narrator of the tale, and most of the book is written in the form of letters sent back to his newspaper. This makes for an awkward construction, as it becomes clear that at the end of every chapter Malone is going to be safe in camp scribbling his account, while some overly convenient method will be contrived for an Indian to carry off his letter to the civilized world.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Harley on November 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first read this book when I was in grade school. I happened across it recently 40 years later and fell in love with it all over again. There is something about late Victorian era adventure tales - specifically English ones - that have always appealed to me. Doyle, Kipling, and others with their characters that dash off across the British Empire, etc, etc. While the charaterizations in the book are sexist, racist, and twelve other "ists" as compared with modern thinking, there is a certain classic form and content to the story telling of this era that started my wanderlust as a boy and brought fond memories to an aging man. If you never read Doyle, Welles, Kipling, or Burroughs as an adolescent then you may not want to start now as the books will feel old fashioned and hoplessly out of place in today's world; but if you grew up with these authors they are worth another visit for a glimpse back into a time where adventures ruled, the guy always got the girl, and the characters had simple and clear values and beliefs (albeit often narrow minded and bigoted).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By on April 21, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've just re-read The Lost World back-to-back with Jurassic Park, and the sequel suffers somewhat by comparison. It's a lot bleaker than the movie version, with a smaller, less hospitable island, and the creatures wasting away from prion diseases (mad dino disease!) The T-Rexes display proper Spielbergian family values, but the raptors (and others?) seem to be afflicted with terminal behavioural problems; the outlook for them is not good. Where The Lost World loses out, compared to the first story, is in the plot and the human action. In Jurassic Park there was a terrific buildup and a scramble for survival, truly compelling stuff; in the sequel, we have a sort of field trip/rescue operation which only occasionally gains momentum. That said, there is plenty of food for thought, with Ian Malcolm & Co never at a loss for a theory or three concerning extinctions. Some people have said that Arby and Kelly add nothing to the story and might as well not be in it at all; I say that at least they're smart and sensible (unlike poor Lex in Jurassic Park, who has some of the dumbest lines ever printed.) So to sum up, not bad but lacks the bite of the original.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Bojan Tunguz HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on November 27, 2013
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.
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