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The Lost World Hardcover – September 17, 1995


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 393 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1st trade ed edition (September 17, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679419462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679419464
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (798 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Written in the wake of Jurassic Park's phenomenal box-office success, The Lost World seems as much a guidebook for Hollywood types hard at work on the franchise's followup as it is a legitimate sci-fi thriller. Which begs the inevitable questions: Is the plot a rehash of the first book? Sure it is, with the action unfolding on yet another secluded island, the mysterious "Site B." Is the cast of characters basically the same? Absolutely, from a freshly minted pair of cute, compu-savvy kids right down to the neatly exhumed chaos theorist Ian Malcolm (who was presumed dead at the close of JP). But is it fun to read? You betcha. Hollywood (and Michael Crichton) keeps telling us the same old stories for a very good reason: we like them. And the pulp SF formula Crichton has mastered with Jurassic Park and The Lost World is no exception. --Paul Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

One fact about this sequel to Jurassic Park stands out above all: it follows a book that, with spinoffs, including the movie, proved to be the most profitable literary venture ever. So where does the author of a near billion-dollar novel sit? Squarely on the shoulders of his own past work?and Arthur Conan Doyle's. Crichton has borrowed from Conan Doyle before?Rising Sun was Holmes and Watson in Japan?but never so brazenly. The title itself here, the same as that of Conan Doyle's yarn about an equatorial plateau rife with dinos, acknowledges the debt. More enervating are Crichton's self-borrowings: the plot line of this novel reads like an outtake from JP. Instead of bringing his dinos to a city, for instance, Crichton keeps them in the Costa Rican jungle, on an offshore island that was the secret breeding ground for the beasts. Only chaos theoretician Ian Malcolm, among the earlier principals, returns to explore this Lost World, six years after the events of JP; but once again, there's a dynamic paleontologist, a pretty female scientist and two cute kids, boy and girl?the latter even saves the day through clever hacking, just as in JP. Despite stiff prose and brittle characters, Chrichton can still conjure unparalleled dino terror, although the wonder is gone and the attacks are predictable, the pacing perfunctory. But his heart now seems to be not so much in the storytelling as in pedagogy: from start to finish, the novel aims to illustrate Crichton's ideas about extinction?basically, that it occurs because of behavioral rather than environmental changes?and reads like a scientific fable, with pages of theory balancing the hectic action. As science writing, it's a lucid, provocative undertaking; but as an adventure and original entertainment, even though it will sell through the roof, it seems that Crichton has laid a big dinosaur egg. 2,000,000 first printing; BOMC and QPB main selection.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Michael Crichton was born in Chicago in 1942. His novels include Next, State of Fear, Prey, Timeline, Jurassic Park, and The Andromeda Strain. He was also the creator of the television series ER. One of the most popular writers in the world, his books have been made into thirteen films, and translated in thirty-six languages. He died in 2008.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 59 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 22 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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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By D. McDiffett on May 25, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
You know you're reading an old book when "flaccid organ" has nothing to do with sex! And what an enjoyable book this one is. Attracted by the pictures of the dinosaurs on the cover, I finally got around to reading it and recommend it to all lovers of adventure stories. Warning: You may need patience to wade through the wordy descriptions, but it's well worth it for the humorous encounters between the two Professors and the conflicts with the prehistoric world. Yes, Doyle reflects the racism of his day towards Indians and blacks, but readers who see his words as time capsules from an earlier time will not have a problem with them.
My only complaint was that the odd, hopping carnivorous dinosaur is never linked to a dinosaur I am familiar with. Iguanadons, pleisiosaurs and even a stegosaurus are mentioned, but no specific name is given the most dangerous of all. Minor complaint, though.
Grab a copy of this book and enjoy a trip to the wilds of South America's rain forest!
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