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The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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The Lost World (original 1912; edition 1962)

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,941641,954 (3.68)126
Member:dragonasbreath
Title:The Lost World
Authors:Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Author)
Info:Pyramid
Collections:Your library, Mystery, Classics, Fiction
Rating:*****
Tags:Fiction, Dinosaur, Adventure, South America, Ape Man

Work details

The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1912)

  1. 91
    King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard (Rynooo, Polenth)
  2. 81
    Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: An obvious rec, I admit. Doyle's story is the original "modern men interact with dinos" tale and Crichton's is the best one since.
  3. 60
    The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (chrisharpe)
  4. 50
    The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (chrisharpe)
  5. 40
    The Land That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Sylak)
  6. 30
    Dinosaur Summer by Greg Bear (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: Dinosaur Summer is a continuation of Doyle's The Lost World
  7. 30
    The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan (chrisharpe)
  8. 20
    Green Mansions by W. H. Hudson (chrisharpe)
  9. 21
    The Poison Belt by Arthur Conan Doyle (sturlington)
    sturlington: Also features the same characters.
  10. 10
    The Lost Steps by Alejo Carpentier (chrisharpe)
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English (58)  Danish (2)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  All (64)
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
In an effort to win the heart of a fickle young lady, intrepid newspaper reporter Edward Malone volunteers as a member of an expedition to South America to seek proof or otherwise debunk the wild claims of arrogant and intractable paleontologist Professor George Edward Challenger.

Upon returning from South America many years prior, Challenger claimed to have discovered prehistoric life still thriving atop a plateau deep in the jungles of Brazil. Unfortunately, his camera was damaged during a boating accident, leaving him with scant and inconclusive photographic evidence and only the sketchbook of one Maple White, a poet and artist who died of severe injuries shortly after escaping this supposed land of dinosaurs.

During a contentious interview, Challenger permits Malone to peruse the sketchbook, wherein White had drawn numerous mundane flora and fauna—until the final image of an impossibly large reptilian creature. Malone, however, remains unconvinced.

Despite his unadulterated aversion toward the press, Challenger sees some potential in Malone and invites him to a meeting of the Zoological Society where Professor Challenger, living up to his name, disrupts the guest lecturer when mention is made of the extinction of the dinosaur before the dawning of man.

Challenger’s claims of eyewitness accounts of pterodactyls in Brazil draws ridicule from both the audience and his peers, including one botanist and zoologist Professor Summerlee. By the end of the raucous evening, a new team of explorers agrees to travel to Brazil and put the matter to rest. In addition to Malone and Summerlee, famed adventurer and big game hunter Sir John Roxton offers his considerable skills.

Shortly thereafter, the trio embark for South America and are surprised by the appearance of Professor Challenger himself once they reach Brazil. Challenger naturally assumes the role of team leader and guide as the adventurers, along with a number of local hired hands, begin their voyage along the Amazon into the realm of the unknown—where they encounter far more than any of them ever imagined possible.

The story is told from the POV of the reporter, Edward Malone, as he journals the team’s adventures through this unfathomable—and unmistakably treacherous—domain. It had been at least 30 years since I’d last read The Lost World, yet so many elements remained with me since then, such as the cantankerous and haughty Professor Challenger, the fearsome ape men, the pterodactyl pit, and a few other vivid details. After reading it again this past week, I found myself just as enthralled as I was the first time. This should come as no surprise since much of Doyle’s work, most notably Sherlock Holmes, has soundly withstood the test of time. ( )
  pgiunta | May 18, 2017 |
Arthur Conan Doyle. It didn't really hold up well. I guess it is just to familiar and dated. ( )
  nx74defiant | Feb 11, 2017 |
As you would expect from Mr. Conan Doyle, a rousing story well told. I've seen any number of movies based (some quite loosely) on the story line, so the story was familiar to me, but a very enjoyable read. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Oct 6, 2016 |
Forget about the science, look beyond the imperialistic racism (simply a "given" at the time this was written), and just go along for the ride, and you'll have fun. The Lost World is what Monty Python characterized as a "ripping yarn."

I have to admit, though, that once ape men were introduced to the story, it got a bit less fun. In fact, a slaughter is perpetrated which is pretty ugly. But that again, is something which likely wouldn't have been questioned by contemporaries of Conan Doyle's.

As problematic as the book is, however, it's much better than the cinematic treatments that have been made of it. As a kid, I remember loving the Irwin Allen production, even with its kitchy dinosaurs consisting of iguanas with fins glued on their backs. But the book evidences that Claude Rains was clearly miscast as Professor Challenger. Needed instead someone like Robby Coltrane doing his Hagrid role--except crankier. But if the movie had written the Challenger role as the book portrays him--cantankerous and a bloviating egotist--as a kid I'd probably have been scared by him and stayed away.
Loved the blowhard as a adult, though! ( )
  kvrfan | Aug 19, 2016 |
Read a few times as a teen and then again a few years ago. Rousing good adventure, what ho? Rich commentary on evolution and race, too. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sir Arthur Conan Doyleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Beecham, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McCready, GlenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I have wrought my simple plan
If I give one hour of joy
To the boy who's half a man,
Or the man who's half a boy.
Dedication
[None]
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Mr Hungerton, her father, really was the most tactless person upon earth - a fluffy, feathery, untidy cockatoo of a man, perfectly good-natured, but absolutely centred upon his own silly self.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0812967259, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:02 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Two scientists, a big game hunter, and a journalist travel to the Amazon rain forest. On a volcanic plateau, they discover an isolated world still inhabited by dinosaurs, climaxing in a chase scene with a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 17 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100860, 1400109264

Urban Romantics

An edition of this book was published by Urban Romantics.

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Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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