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The Lost World (Tor Classics) Mass Market Paperback – Unabridged, June 15, 1997

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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.

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

  • Series: Tor Classics
  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Classics (June 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812564839
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812564839
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,344 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,254,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 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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11 of 13 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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14 of 18 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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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Alex.Cull@tesco.net 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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ken Fontenot VINE VOICE on May 7, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Lost World" was much better on paper than it was on film. The film took a great deal of liberties with the story, going as far as adding entirely new characters and plotlines as well as borrowing from "Jurassic Park" to move the story along. This review, however, is of Michael Crichton's wonderful book and not the film loosely based on it.

I'm one of those people who usually sees a film before I read the book it is based on. With the "Jurassic Park" flicks, I really enjoyed the first one and hated the second one. With this in mind I was hesitant to pick up either of Crichton's dino books. After reading "Jurassic Park" though, I found that not only was the story different, it was much better. That made me wonder if "The Lost World" would do the same. As expected, "The Lost World" did not let me down. It was almost entirely different from the film. The primary plot of this story is that one Richard Levine is curious to find out if a "lost world" actually exists. He has been researching odd animal findings in and around Costa Rica and believes that somehow a few dinosaurs actually survived extinction. Not knowing about John Hammond's business venture in building a dinosaur park where dinos actually exist, he picks the brain of Dr. Ian Malcolm in hopes to convince him to help him seek out this "lost world." Of course, Malcolm is the wonderfully cynical mathematician from "Jurassic Park." He was thought to be dead but through the wonders of the written word, Crichton revives him. As Levine presses Malcolm for help, he eventually decides to go it alone and ends up trapped on Isla Sorna, also known as Site B. At this point the story drops (for the most part) all arguments over evolution and extinction and becomes a rescue mission. Malcolm, along with the likeable Dr.
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