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The Land That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice…

The Land That Time Forgot

by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Caspak (1)

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lost world, science fiction ( )
  sultrydiva | Apr 30, 2014 |
Standard Burroughs fare. Easy reading, somewhat engaging but ultimately little more than dime store science fiction. Hero battles nasty Prussians, ferocious creatures from a long lost era and saves damsel in distress.

For those interested in 19th century science fiction, my opinion is that time is better spent on the likes of H.G. Wells or Jules Verne. ( )
  la2bkk | Oct 11, 2012 |
This is very much in the style of Conan Doyle's Lost World and Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth, but is not up to the standard of either of those. The characters are flat and unmemorable and not much actually happens - indeed the main part of the story does not start until 40% of the way through after various skirmishes between English and German sailors in 1916. I think I will track down the sequels, but it isn't great stuff by any means. 3/5 ( )
  john257hopper | Apr 7, 2012 |
It's been said that the golden age of Burroughs is 12 or, sometimes, 14. Well, I tried to read Burroughs at both ages, and it didn't take. Way too many coincidences for me.

Well, it's been more than 25 years since I've read Burroughs. Inspired by watching the latest movie version of this book and hearing the Caspak series praised as his best outside of the Tarzan and John Carter series, I decided to give ERB another try.

The plot is pretty straightforward. Narrator Bowen Tyler has his ship torpedoed out from under him in 1916. He is picked up by a British tug - but not before meeting the instantaneously recognizable love of his life, Lys La Rue, another passenger, as they float around in the water. Said ship is then sunk - by the same German U-Boat that torpedoed Bowen's ship, and Bowen, Lys, and several of the tug's crewmen are taken prisoners aboard the sub. A struggle for control of the vessel ensues. Not to fear, though. Our narrator just happens to belong to a submarine manufacturing family out of Santa Monica, and they built the sub he's now on. Of course, the situation is a bit complicated by Lys being the U-Boat commander's fiancé.

And the coincidences are just beginning. But, after about 50 pages into this slender, 126 page book, the real story begins after landfall on Caspak - a lost continent full of what should be extinct animals from Earth's distant past. Naturally, dinos are going to be fought, Prussians are going to be surly and treacherous, and Lys is going to get kidnapped. And Burroughs does do something genuinely novel with the primitive humans of this land.

Burroughs, whatever his other faults as a writer, is a master of pacing. And, however melodramatic the scenes of Bowen and Lys acknowledging their love for each other are and their philosophical discussions, there are some moments of grandeur and poignancy as they face their solitary fate on Caspak - all related in the manuscript Bowen has put in a thermos and tossed into the sea.

This is the first third of a serial originally published in 1918, and this is one Burroughs series I will be completing. ( )
  RandyStafford | Feb 29, 2012 |
This book is split right down the centre:

The first half is a WWI spy drama set partially on-board a German U-boat in the Pacific Ocean.

After his ship is sunk in a torpedo attack, Bowen J. Tyler, Jr, (ironically son of the wealthy industrialist who built the killer sub. prior to the war) is temporarily rescued, along with the only other survivor Miss Lys La Rue, by a passing vessel which suffers a similar bombardment shortly after.
In a daring assault this crew aided by Bowen's inside knowledge of the enemy vessel board the U-boat and manage to take it over only to have their efforts at getting home thwarted by constant sabotage attempts - not to mention the fact that with the radio dead they cannot hope to get to safe waters without becoming a target themselves!
In the confusion, and with malfunctioning navigation, they come across a lost island, cut off from the rest of the world by an almost impregnable cliff wall, but manage to steer their vessel safely through a narrow underwater shaft only to emerge on the other side in a kingdom frozen in time - a time when dinosaurs ruled supreme!

On the surface this classic adventure is really no more far fetched than many of the stories written today; but the world was a much bigger place a hundred years ago, and what with today's GPS and Google Earth on every home PC, it may take a little more effort to accept the storyline. The same adventure written today would likely have to take place on a distant planet in a far off galaxy, but the thrill of this was the possibility that somewhere in a remote region of our own planet such a place might just still exist?

Like I said it is two very different stories joined together; and I for one couldn't wait for the prehistoric dino-rampage to begin, so it lost one star from my perspective. Do read the second instalment 'The people that time forgot' which for me ticked all the right boxes.

Worthwhile reading - YES. ( )
  Sylak | Jan 26, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Edgar Rice Burroughsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carter, LinForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krenkel, Roy G.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It must have been a little after three o'clock in the afternoon that it happened - the afternoon of June 3rd, 1916.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the first volume of the three Caspak books, and should not be combined with the Caspak trilogy, sometimes called "The Land That Time Forgot" as well.
{need a better definition than this, since these three books ARE a trilogy. Are you referring to an omnibus where all three are in the same volume?}
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Book description
When adventurer Bowen Tyler was taken captive aboard an enemy submarine, he never dreamed that his voyage would end in a land where time itself was prisoner. But in the uncharted seas at the bottom of the world Tyler and the crew of the U-33 discovered the mysterious forgotten continent of Caspak, where the savage denizens of a thousand lost ages roamed vast primeval jungles.

Surrounded by dinosaurs and Bronze Age warriors, saber-toothed tigers and cunning beast-men, Bowen Tyler began to unravel the incredible secret of Caspak - even as he battled to save the life of the woman he loved.


At the sight of me, the huge reptile charged and climbed to the deck. I let it have a bullet right between the eyes. The thing opened its mighty jaws to grab me as I tumbled backward into the tower.

Olson commenced chopping away at the hideous face, but the thing had insufficient brain to entertain more than a single idea at once. Though chopped and hacked, with a bullet-hole between its eyes, it still persisted madly in its attempt to get inside the tower and devour us, nor did it cease its efforts until Olson had decapitated it ....
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0803261543, Paperback)

Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950) was a prodigiously productive writer of pulp fictions--literary entertainments, that is, published in inexpensive, easily obtained periodicals. His style was simple and instantly accessible, his stories riveting if often implausible tales of adventure, and of good overcoming evil. Burroughs wasn't much of an artist. But, as Mike Resnick writes in his introduction to this commemorative edition of Burroughs's immensely popular trilogy The Land That Time Forgot, first published in 1924, almost every book Burroughs wrote remains in print, and countless readers turn to his Mars and Tarzan novels every day.

In Land, Burroughs concocts a fabulous microworld, located somewhere in the South Pacific, called Caspak. On this mountainous island live winged, humanlike creatures, dinosaurs, ferocious beasts of prey, Neanderthals, "wild ape-men," and monstrous reptiles; they terrorize each other, to say nothing of the mixed crew of World War I-era adventurers who inadvertently land on a Caspakian beach and fight their way across the island, dining on Plesiosaurus steaks and having a grand old time in the company of a jungle princess. The story streaks onward like a bullet toward its surprise ending, and it's pure fun all the way. --Gregory McNamee

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:27 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

"Caspak..a mysterious and menacing island is lost in time. Here you'll find tribes or primitive ape-like cave-dwellers, huge pterodactyls that soar on their bat-like wings, and mighty dinosaurs that prowl the dark shadows of primeval forests. What fate lies in wait for the only humans from the modern world to ever set foot upon this accursed land?"--p.4 of cover.… (more)

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Average: (3.45)
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2 9
2.5 2
3 32
3.5 12
4 23
4.5 2
5 11


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