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The Lost World and Other Stories by Sir…
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The Lost World and Other Stories (original 1952; edition 1928)

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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454622,953 (3.79)11
Member:Jargoneer
Title:The Lost World and Other Stories
Authors:Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Info:Wordsworth Editions Ltd (1995), Wordsworth Classics, Paperback, 461 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:Scottish Literature, Fiction, Novel, Science Fiction

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The Lost World and Other Stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1952)

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
The Lost World is a great read and, on its own, would rate 5-stars. The other stories in this edition let it down slightly, with only The Poison Belt coming close. The Land Of Mist is interesting from the point of view of how Spiritualism was conducted at the time, but it's dragged down by its preaching and slow pace. The other two short stories are fine, but are not particularly memorable. The book is worth buying for The Lost World alone, however, so the other stories can be seen as interesting, if flawed, bonuses. ( )
  nwdavies | Aug 21, 2014 |
The Lost World

This still comes up well and is probably the author's most famous non-Sherlock Holmes story, the inspiration for many others, including Michael Crichton. It is very Jules Verne-esque, though I think Conan Doyle is the better writer. The story is told from the viewpoint of a young journalist Ed Malone. The characters are still rather cliched, but that doesn't detract from the sense of adventure and scientific wonder. Challenger is an amusing and mostly rather likeable central character. The main part of the novel does end rather abruptly, though with am amusing vindicatory postscript. 4.5/5

The Poison Belt

A corker of a post-apocalyptic story, though everything of course comes right in the final chapter. A real atmosphere of doom and horror here, with the central characters looking out at a dying world. Great stuff. 5/5

The Land of Mists

This overlong story has no real plot as such and serves merely as a vehicle for Conan Doyle's growing belief in spiritualism during his latter years. Various characters including the central figures around Professor Challenger (the same set as in the earlier stories, except that Professor Sumerlee and Mrs Challenger are dead, the latter's role supporting the Professor being replaced by a hitherto unmentioned daughter, Enid) are converted through a range of experiences to spiritualism, until eventually even the great man himself succumbs near the end. Some genuinely touching and chilling scenes that give food for thought, but this story has not aged well. 3/5

The Disintegration Machine

Very short story about the invention of a machine with dire consequences. Fairly predictable ending. Challenger seems almost Holmes-like in this. 3.5/5

When the World Screamed

I found this concluding story rather a disappointment. Although it is now quite common to conceptualise the Earth and its eco-system as analogous to a living organism, here it is taken very literally and unconvincingly. Unlike the other stories, it is told not from the point of view of the journalist Ed Malone, but from that of the engineer Peerless Jones. On a minor point, there is a passing reference here to Mrs Challenger, so this must take place before The Land of Mists (unless there is a second Mrs C, of course). 3/5

Overall 4/5 ( )
  john257hopper | May 31, 2011 |
The Lost World is a definite must for anyone interested in 19th Century science fiction. Forget Jurassic Park, this is where it started! Adventurers head off into deepest South Africa and comes across a high plateau (based on the huge Tapas mountain ranges?) where dinosaurs roam and humans are a much put upon race. Real 19th Century adventuring stuff, on a par with Quatermain. Another good read in this collection is 'The Poison Belt' when seemingly every living thing dies.... or do they? ( )
  ruthich | Jun 1, 2008 |
I enjoyed this story. It was easy to read and was quite fun at times. The only problem I had was the amount of exposition...not a fan. I enjoyed the ending quite a bit. Makes me hunger for adventure.

http://iamagirldork.livejournal.com/15050.html ( )
  iamagirldork | Jun 20, 2007 |
Whoa, five stories in one book. The Lost World is surely the best story of them all. Professor George Edward Challenger, the main character besides the narrator, is probably literature's most egoistical, megalomaniac, boisterous, conceited, passionate, pompous character I've ever read about, yet also very brilliant. Taking an eager young journalist, a world-famous explorer and a fellow academician who does not believe in his statement regarding a "lost world" hidden in South America, he embarked on a journey that would put him as one of the greatest scientists in his time. In the said Lost World, dinosaurs are still alive (but no T-Rex in there, so don't expect much Jurassic Park-like actions), as well as the ape-men which are said to be the "missing link" (according to one of the characters, they should stay missing because of their dangerous behavior, haha...). Overall, The Lost World is an easy-to-read tale of wonders, adventure, heroism, almost perfectly executed by Doyle.

The other stories:
Poison Belt = the earth has been driven into a poisonous ether belt, instantly killing its whole population starting from the Southern sphere to the North, except Challenger and his friends, who realized the danger before it's too late.

The Land of Mist = different with other "scientific" issues in this book, the Land of Mist tells about psychic phenomenon, poltergeist, soul mediums, etc. I don't really like it. Perhaps it's just not too adventurous, hence boring.

The Disintegration Machine = the shortest story in the book. Tells about a Latvian scientist who invites Challenger to see his invention: a machine that could disintegrate any matter into unseen atoms and reverse the process. Challenger does not like this machine, because the Latvian scientist plans to sell it to the highest bidder. Imagine what the machine can do to countries in war. In a blink of an eye, one mother ship with its crew vanished into thin air. The ending is nice, by the way.

When the World Screamed = ecological disturbance caused by men's exploits (such as mining) will make the earth "scream". What does this mean? Just read the story. A bit preposterous (not too mention disturbing), methinks.

The conclusion is, if you like science-fiction genre, you might want to check out this book. It'll give you description on the early development of the genre. Doyle CAN write sci-fi, not only about the famous Sherlock Holmes and his cases. ( )
1 vote Choccy | May 8, 2007 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sir Arthur Conan Doyleprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gooden, PhilipEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schutte, E. F.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140437657, Mass Market Paperback)

Spurred on by the woman he loves, young journalist Edward Malone eagerly joins forces with irascible Professor Challenger on an expedition to South America. They are accompanied by Professor Summerlee, keen to expose his old rival as a fraud, and soldier-adventurer, Lord John Roxton. Their mission is to verify Challenger's claim of the existence of a mysterious Jurassic-age plateau untouched by human civilization that brings both wonder and terror in the form of prehistoric creatures, from fierce ape-men to grazing iguanodons and rookeries of pterodactyls. "The Lost World" (1912) is accompanied here by "The Poison Belt", a novella that reunites Challenger and his team of explorers in an apocalyptic adventure, and two fantasies, "The Terror of Blue John Gap" and "The Horror of the Heights".

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:30 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Spurred by the woman he loves, young journalist Edward Malone eagerly joins forces with irascible Professor Challenger on an expedition to South America. Their mission is to verify Professor Challenger's claim of the existence of a Lost World: a mysterious Jurassic-age plateau untouched by human civilization, which holds the promise of treasure and of terror.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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