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The Lost World by Michael Crichton
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The Lost World (1995)

by Michael Crichton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Jurassic Park (2)

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English (54)  French (3)  Spanish (1)  All languages (58)
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
I found it difficult to finish this book. I found the characters uninteresting and the plot weak. The first Jurassic Park is one of my favorite books, which made the followup all the more disappointing for me. ( )
  ColinOBlivion | Sep 28, 2014 |
Originally Posted at Novel Reveries

“Was the human species engaged in behavior that would eventually lead to its own extinction?” (Introduction)

Where the first novel focuses on the chaos theory and sporadic events, this second novel is propelled by the theory of evolution and adaptation. As InGen’s original “Park” project declined and went into bankrupt and secrecy, they left behind something more sinister: a Lost World.

Ian Malcolm rejoins us for this book with some colleagues, Sarah Harding, Thorne and his assistant Eddie; some stowaway kids, Arby and Kelly; and an overzealous dinosaur obsessed researcher, Levine. Unknowingly, Levine is being followed around by Lewis Dodgson and his cronies, as Dodgson’s style is to steal research from those who do the hard work, and make it his own.

With Ian Malcolm shutting down Levine’s theory that there may be diseased dinosaur-like creatures discovered in the costa rican area, he makes the mistakable effort of going out to prove his theory of an existing Lost World. Things go wrong, and he goes missing and it’s up to Ian Malcolm and the others to find and save him; but will Dodgson interfere?

“In his view, a theory was nothing more than a substitute for experience put forth by someone who didn’t know what he was talking about.” (67)

Dodgson seems no different from Hammond (Jurassic Park) in that he wants the dinosaurs for monetary gain. He feels that if he could obtain the eggs from the different dinosaurs on the island, he could start up his own hunting preserve where wealthy people can hunt them. What everybody (especially Eddie) doesn’t understand is that with their young, dinosaurs are no more different than most other animals who would do anything to protect their family.

“‘this island presents a unique opportunity to study the greatest mystery in the history of our planet: extinction.’” (185)

I liked the idea of this book taking a different turn from the first novel, Jurassic Park, as it was driven by theories on evolution, adaptation and extinction. Although not as thrilling and suspense-filled as the previous book, The Lost World makes a point in making an example of the dangers of misinformation, rumors, unreliable sources and varying views on Earth’s development. I still love Ian Malcolm’s wit and deep insight into the philosophy and science of life.

I also loved how this novel exemplified different ways in which us humans influence the adaptation and evolution of other animals. The candy bar, which was both foreshadowing (I sensed that littering would lead to some hard times for the crew,) and representative of how animals adapt to survive how they can (dinosaurs apparently are quite fond of candy bars.) The crew ended up staying on the island because they figured they might as well get some research out of the animals, but they soon found out that their mere presence changed the normal ecosystem of the island. “That basic truth became the Heisenberg uncertainty principle: that whatever you studied you also changed.” (271) Building into their environment, stepping into their territory and trashing their ecosystem changes evolution and animal’s adaptive abilities, which may lead to extinction alone.

The Lost World, which is filled with the fantasy of observing evolution and extinction, is a wonderful informative novel, just as the first Jurassic Park is. Although lacking in the same thrilling excitement, this second novel had me energized and moving through the book with the crew as they explore and learn how interfering with a delicate ecosystem can be catastrophic for everyone.

“‘Human beings are so destructive,’ Malcolm said. ‘I sometimes think we’re a kind of plague, that will scrub the earth clean. We destroy things so well that I sometimes think, maybe that’s our function. Maybe every few eons, some animal comes along that kills off the rest of the world, clears the decks, and lets evolution proceed to its next phase.’” (429)

P.S. If you’re thinking that this book will be like the second movie, you will be disappointed. I was only disappointed that the movie was not like this book, and that the director & screenwriters just decided to do whatever they wanted. They even made unnecessary changes such as giving Ian Malcolm an African American daughter (which always had me scratching my head...) and the plot was hardly followed at all. Reading this book turned me against the movie. Since this was the last book in the Jurassic Park series, I have no idea why moviemakers decided two more movies needed to come out (Jurassic Park IV comes out in 2014,) I’ve never liked the third movie, and now I know why it’s so different from the first two.

First Line: “The late twentieth century has witnessed a remarkable growth in scientific interest in the subject of extinction.” (Introduction)
Last Line: “‘It’s time for us all to go home.’” (430)
----------------
Quotes

“The characteristic human trait is not awareness but conformity, and the characteristic result is religious warfare. Other animals fight for their territory or food; but uniquely in the animal kingdom, human being fight for their ‘beliefs.’” (7)

“Obsession is just a variety of addiction.” (86)

“‘Hammond’s little genetic zoo was a showcase. But this island was the real thing. This is where the dinosaurs were made.’” (144)
( )
  Dnaej | Mar 14, 2014 |
Originally Posted at Novel Reveries

“Was the human species engaged in behavior that would eventually lead to its own extinction?” (Introduction)

Where the first novel focuses on the chaos theory and sporadic events, this second novel is propelled by the theory of evolution and adaptation. As InGen’s original “Park” project declined and went into bankrupt and secrecy, they left behind something more sinister: a Lost World.

Ian Malcolm rejoins us for this book with some colleagues, Sarah Harding, Thorne and his assistant Eddie; some stowaway kids, Arby and Kelly; and an overzealous dinosaur obsessed researcher, Levine. Unknowingly, Levine is being followed around by Lewis Dodgson and his cronies, as Dodgson’s style is to steal research from those who do the hard work, and make it his own.

With Ian Malcolm shutting down Levine’s theory that there may be diseased dinosaur-like creatures discovered in the costa rican area, he makes the mistakable effort of going out to prove his theory of an existing Lost World. Things go wrong, and he goes missing and it’s up to Ian Malcolm and the others to find and save him; but will Dodgson interfere?

“In his view, a theory was nothing more than a substitute for experience put forth by someone who didn’t know what he was talking about.” (67)

Dodgson seems no different from Hammond (Jurassic Park) in that he wants the dinosaurs for monetary gain. He feels that if he could obtain the eggs from the different dinosaurs on the island, he could start up his own hunting preserve where wealthy people can hunt them. What everybody (especially Eddie) doesn’t understand is that with their young, dinosaurs are no more different than most other animals who would do anything to protect their family.

“‘this island presents a unique opportunity to study the greatest mystery in the history of our planet: extinction.’” (185)

I liked the idea of this book taking a different turn from the first novel, Jurassic Park, as it was driven by theories on evolution, adaptation and extinction. Although not as thrilling and suspense-filled as the previous book, The Lost World makes a point in making an example of the dangers of misinformation, rumors, unreliable sources and varying views on Earth’s development. I still love Ian Malcolm’s wit and deep insight into the philosophy and science of life.

I also loved how this novel exemplified different ways in which us humans influence the adaptation and evolution of other animals. The candy bar, which was both foreshadowing (I sensed that littering would lead to some hard times for the crew,) and representative of how animals adapt to survive how they can (dinosaurs apparently are quite fond of candy bars.) The crew ended up staying on the island because they figured they might as well get some research out of the animals, but they soon found out that their mere presence changed the normal ecosystem of the island. “That basic truth became the Heisenberg uncertainty principle: that whatever you studied you also changed.” (271) Building into their environment, stepping into their territory and trashing their ecosystem changes evolution and animal’s adaptive abilities, which may lead to extinction alone.

The Lost World, which is filled with the fantasy of observing evolution and extinction, is a wonderful informative novel, just as the first Jurassic Park is. Although lacking in the same thrilling excitement, this second novel had me energized and moving through the book with the crew as they explore and learn how interfering with a delicate ecosystem can be catastrophic for everyone.

“‘Human beings are so destructive,’ Malcolm said. ‘I sometimes think we’re a kind of plague, that will scrub the earth clean. We destroy things so well that I sometimes think, maybe that’s our function. Maybe every few eons, some animal comes along that kills off the rest of the world, clears the decks, and lets evolution proceed to its next phase.’” (429)

P.S. If you’re thinking that this book will be like the second movie, you will be disappointed. I was only disappointed that the movie was not like this book, and that the director & screenwriters just decided to do whatever they wanted. They even made unnecessary changes such as giving Ian Malcolm an African American daughter (which always had me scratching my head...) and the plot was hardly followed at all. Reading this book turned me against the movie. Since this was the last book in the Jurassic Park series, I have no idea why moviemakers decided two more movies needed to come out (Jurassic Park IV comes out in 2014,) I’ve never liked the third movie, and now I know why it’s so different from the first two.

First Line: “The late twentieth century has witnessed a remarkable growth in scientific interest in the subject of extinction.” (Introduction)
Last Line: “‘It’s time for us all to go home.’” (430)
----------------
Quotes

“The characteristic human trait is not awareness but conformity, and the characteristic result is religious warfare. Other animals fight for their territory or food; but uniquely in the animal kingdom, human being fight for their ‘beliefs.’” (7)

“Obsession is just a variety of addiction.” (86)

“‘Hammond’s little genetic zoo was a showcase. But this island was the real thing. This is where the dinosaurs were made.’” (144)
( )
  Dnaej | Mar 14, 2014 |
This review is also posted on my book blog, Rinn Reads.

Jurassic Park is one of my favourite books. As a child, the film both simultaneously fascinated and terrified me. I was one of those children who loved dinosaurs, and collected fossils on the beach. This interest in palaeontology led to an interest in history, which then led to an interest in archaeology. So I think I can say that I have Jurassic Park to thank for where I am today.

So I was so disappointed that I didn't particularly enjoy this book. If you have read Jurassic Park, you will know that unlike in the film, Ian Malcolm actually died at the end. Hence why I was so confused as to how he was the main character in this one - apparently the press 'wrongly reported' his death. Funny how this book came out after the Jurassic Park film, huh? Funny how one of the films more popular characters has been bought back from the dead? I just couldn't shake a funny feeling that Crichton was cashing in on the success of the film throughout the entire time I was reading the book...

If you have seen the second Jurassic Park film, you will know it involves Ian Malcolm going back to the island, after reports that something wasn't right. His daughter sneaks into one of the trailers - but in the book it is actually originally two young (middle-school?) students, along with the professor they help out and a few others. Despite the constant menace of the T-rex and raptors, the action just kind of felt flat - even though they were in great danger, I always felt like I was waiting for something really big to happen.

The writing is very typical of Michael Crichton - to the point, technical in places yet still accessible to the reader. I quite liked the majority of the characters - and of course with this sort of book, there's got to be some you don't like, so you're waiting them to be snatched up by the T-rex or velociraptors, or some other horrible fate. And there are several rather arrogant or cocky characters in this just waiting for that to happen.

Overall - yes, I enjoyed the book (dinosaurs!). But somehow it almost felt unresolved, it felt almost like the middle part of a book, with the beginning and ending missing. Perhaps Crichton was betting on a third book, I don't know. It just doesn't have the excitement and wonder that the first Jurassic Park book had, and is nowhere near as tense - events somehow seemed much more predictable. ( )
  Rinnreads | Sep 24, 2013 |
I loved Jurassic Park as a child and watched it three times in the theater. I loved it so much, I began to write my own sequel to it, which I should still have (it's a few paragraphs at most). I was in middle school when this book came out. My parents bought it for me at Costco, and I read it. Later, I took a weekend trip with my family, and when I got home late Sunday night I suddenly realized I had a book report due the next day. So I decided to just write it about this book. Since I didn't have a lot of time, I created a 'quiz' book report, where I asked questions and gave multiple choice answers. I thought it was pretty skimpy, but figured it was better than turning in nothing. The teacher actually gave me a good grade on it, said it was 'creative.' So ... thanks, Lost World! Oh, the book itself? Not as good as the first, better than the film. If you want to see scenes that this book contains, you'd have to watch the second and third films. ( )
  AmberTheHuman | Aug 30, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Crichtonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
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Epigraph
"What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world." Albert Einstein
"Deep in the chaotic regime, slight changes in structure almost always cause vast changes in behavior. Complex controllable bahavior seems precluded." Stuart Kauffman
"Sequelae are inherently unpredictable." Ian Malcolm
Dedication
To Carolyn Conger
First words
The Santa Fe Institute was housed in a series of buildings on Canyon Road which had formerly been a convent, and the Institute's seminars were held in a room which had served as a chapel.
Quotations
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Wat mij werkelijk interesseert, is de vraag of God enige keuze had bij de schepping van de wereld. (Albert Einstein)
Diep in het chaotische regime zorgen kleine structurele veranderingen bijna altijd voor gigantische wijzigingen in het gedrag. Complex beheersbaar gedrag lijkt uitgesloten te zijn. (Stuart Kaufman)
Nawerkingen zijn altijd onvoorspelbaar. (Ian Malcolm)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
It is now six years since the secret disaster at Jurassic Park, six years since the extraordinary dream of science and imagination came to a crashing end - the dinosaurs destroyed, the park dismantled, the island indefinitely closed to the public.

There are rumours that something survived.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 034540288X, Mass Market Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:27 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

People It is now six years since the secret disaster at Jurassic Park, six years since the extraordinary dream of science and imagination came to a crashing end--the dinosaurs destroyed, the park dismantled, the island indefinitely closed to the public. There are rumors that something has survived.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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