The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle – 5/5 Stars

The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle - Front Cover
‘Jurassic Park’?

Not the exact same as ‘Jurassic Park’ by any means! There is much adventuring in The Lost World observed by Watson-esque ‘Malone’, who is a journalist waiting to do something heroic for his romantic interest Gladys. As you can expect of a classic written in the early 20th century, there is much description, delivered with the investigative interest you’d see in Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories.

The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle - Back Cover

Who is Professor Challenger?

The Lost World (TLW) is a unique story with imposing, yet culturally outdated, characters you can’t help but be fascinated by, in particular the bombastic overbearing Professor Challenger who is violent to journalists he despises. Why? Challenger claims to have seen prehistoric life in South America and nobody believes him. He’s at the mercy of the press, and the scientific establishment thinks he’s a loon.

There is a more tolerant side to Challenger, though his intelligence and inventiveness don’t redeem him. He sees most people and races as inferior due to their non-European education and upbringing, I suppose, which would not be acceptable now. Challenger is a fascinating character simply because we observe his crude ways and sense of humour, and his expedition to prove his reputation is the reason for the story. He’s admonished by his wife for his violence, who he sits on a high table from which she can’t get off, for punishment, which I found odd and confusing. I only realised after reading there weren’t any important female characters on the expedition itself.

Do we see actual dinosaurs?

Yes, I confirm there are dinosaurs. It’s not the crazy dinosaur extravaganza or the human hunt you’d expect, but we certainly get a vision of what The Lost World is and how wondrous it is. The ending is the best part of the story, and you have to go through the entire adventure to truly appreciate the moment. The whole story was fascinating, and the ending made it sublime. Definitely worth reading!

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