The Lost World
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Another Great Doyle Character
Conan Doyle was most famous for Sherlock Holmes but this sees him create another character, Professor Challenger. Challenger claims to have found a remarkable land in South America where prehistoric creatures still live. The only trouble is, no-one believes him. That is until our narrator, journalist Malone, gets involved. Soon Malone finds himself on an expedition with Challenger to prove the story, along with rival Professor Summerlee and a soldier.
Oddly I thought the set-up was better than the Lost World portion. Challenger is a great character, a genius who knows it and hates all other human life. He's like an academic Scrooge.
Much of the story sees the expedition visiting the Lost World and it is fairly enjoyable, if a little descriptive. A great deal of time is spent describing the landscape and its inhabitants which is enjoyable but as a reader I was keen for something to happen. Eventually it does as the team are pit against a colony of proto-humans,...
Before Jurassic Park, there was The Lost World.
This classic terror/adventure novel has set the standard for today's popular entertainment as followed by Michael Crichton and Steven Spielberg. Featuring the bold Professor Challenger, a character many critics consider one of the most finely drawn in science fiction, The Lost World is the account of a scientific expedition by four highspirited Englishmen - two scientists, a biggame hunter, and a journalist - deep into the Amazon jungle. In this region, cut off from the outside world by unscalable vertical cliffs and fetid swamps, they encounter a world where dinosaurs roam free and natives fight a murderous war with their fierce neighbors, the apemen. Trapped on the isolated plateau with only hunting rifles as protection the four must use savvy and intellect to escape from this primeval terror.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was born of Irish parentage in Scotland. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, but he also had a passion for storytelling. His first book introduced that prototype of the modern detective in fiction, Sherlock Holmes. Despite the immense popularity Holmes gained throughout the world, Doyle was not overly fond of the character and preferred to write other stories. Eventually popular demand won out and he continued to satisfy readers with the adventures of the legendary sleuth. He also wrote historical romances and made two essays into pseudoscientific fantasy: The Lost World and The Poison Belt.