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The Lost World Mass Market Paperback – Print, September 1, 1996

4.1 out of 5 stars 1,006 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Jurassic Park Series

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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

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (September 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034540288X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345402882
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,006 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,228,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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"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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I had seen both of the Jurassic Park films based on the novels and had enjoyed them. I finally got around to reading the novels and was surprised at how different the books were. The film's were made family friendly with neat endings. The books are thrilling page turnovers, that are fascinating. The Lost World in particular is much different from the film. Like Jurassic Park, it is one hell of a novel. Three quarters of this book is not in the film, and it is even more thrilling and realistic. The events on the island are fast paced and incredible. I love the fact that Ian Malcolm is a bachelor and there isn't much romance between him and Sarah Harding. Sarah is a real action hero in this book with a much larger role than in the film. There are two kids in this story who are both educated and intelligent and are helpful in this novel, unlike the the kids in the Jurassic Park novel. The boy Tim was smart, but the girl Alex was annoying as hell. Author Crichton includes his well researched theories and scientific information along with thoughtful discussions on the nature of man and our impact on the planet. While the novelization of Jurassic Park included this as well, this is more of a roller coaster ride. I preferred the novelization of Jurassic Park (the first film), I enjoy both film version and the novel for the Lost World. I would've loved to see films based on the novelizations of both books, James Cameron would have done them justice instead of reorganizing them to be family-friendly. A fantastic must read and a new favorite of mine.
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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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I have been a fan of Michael Crichton since middle school, and re-reading some of his best works just reminds my why his particular blend of science fiction, adventure, and horror always catch my attention. He takes interesting characters and drops them into situations that amaze and bewilder at first, but the real strength of his writing comes as their situations begin to break down and they are put at the mercy of their environment.

In The Lost World, it is established that Jurassic Park was only the public face of John Hammond's dream. You learn that most of the park's attractions had actually been bred on a second island referred to as "Site B". When the events of the first book resulted in a closure of the park before it ever opened, Site B was abandoned and the various species of dinosaur were released on the island. This has created a sort of dinosaur natural preserve that draws in the main characters and sets up the overarching plot of the book. This also begins an interesting study on how humans approach such a resource with different intentions, as our heroes have to deal with a second group on the island whose motives are not so pure.

Overall, this is a great read for anyone that likes tense adventure within the frame of science fiction related to genetic engineering.
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