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The Lost World Hardcover – September 17, 1995
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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.
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Top customer reviews
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.
As far as the book itself is concerned if you are a big fan of the jurrasic park movies and you have not read the booksyou have no clue what you have been missing. Spare me your “oh but it’s sooooooo science-y and I got bored before the story really took off” or the “you do know there is no way this could ever really happen, right????” talk. I don’t care. Yes, it is super science-y and yes, dinosaurs still aren’t free-ranging on an island off the shores of Costa Rica, but it doesn't change the fact that this book is phenomenal. I had given Spielberg so much credit (even knowing his film was based off of this book), but the credit is all owed to Michael Crichton. Not only are the characters/dialogue/etc. ripped right out of the book, but Crichton did it so much better. Sure, certain unforgettable scenes were created purely by Spielberg but there are literally HUNDREDS of pages of action that were not included in the motion picture, additional plot twists, new dinosaurs and other surprises to prove to all that Crichton’s original was sheer genius. In fact, after reading Jurassic Park I questioned why some parts of the original were ever changed for the film at all. Of course I realize that not every page of a book can be included in a movie adaptation, but the changes in Lex, Tim, Ellie and Grant’s characters were unnecessary and the changes to Hammond are almost unforgiveable. Hammond was never meant to be portrayed as a well-intended old fool, but rather a mad scientist much like Dr. Moreau. I’ll refrain from saying more as to not spoil the reading experience for all, but trust me when I say if you liked the movie, you’re going to love the book.
By the way, I wish the movies had made use of the chameleon-type dinosaurs. They were really cool in how their skin changed to match their surroundings and would have been visually stunning in one of the movies.
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It makes ms feel like I'm in the story along with the characters