The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fulfilled half of the “Two Books with the Same Title” category of the PopSugar 2019 Reading Challenge. I also read The Lost World by Michael Crichton which I’ll be reviewing next.
I’ll do my best not to cross-reference too much in this review. The following one will be a complete compare and contrast. How can I not compare two books with the same title about the same subject?
I debated for many titles for the category. Should I read Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood and Stephen King? Or should I read Nightshift by Stephen King and Charlene Harris? In the end, it was an easy choice. I’d already finished both Nightshift titles and I have another Margaret Atwood on the blog already. Besides, I’m a huge Sherlock Holmes fan and I read Jurassic Park last year. (Twenty years late but who’s counting?)
I’ve read a few books this year that aren’t my usual cup of tea. Hard sci-fi and literary classics fall low on my to-read list. I love a cozy mystery, a contemporary romance, and Brit lit with a hint of Austen. I liked The Windup Girl, and The Hours was okay, but when that British accent came over my audio player reading Sir Conan Doyle’s words, I purred.
Just ask my evil cat. He didn’t know what to think.
I’ve been trying to read all of Agatha Christie (who I love), and now my brain is set to Anglophile, happily. It might bias the review but I loved The Lost World by Conan Doyle.
The story is an epic journey of manly proportions. I have to say it. It’s set in the early 1900s so testosterone was king. A young man travels with three companions—two professors and a sportsman—into the Amazon rain forest and beyond. They hope to prove Professor Challenger (what a name!) correct about dinosaurs in an isolated mesa.
Spoiler, they succeeded with much chasing, shooting, scientific discovery, and peril. It was great, absolutely a representative of the style and subject of writing at that time. It made me think of the Thursday Next series and her friend Commander Trafford Bradshaw, who was a big game hunter and adventurer. Totally that same ilk. Did I mention Challenger wore a straw hat, not unlike John Hammond of Jurassic Park? (Some inspiration there, methinks)
The story, in between and sometimes during, fighting and surviving, focused on scientific discovery. Professor Challenger and Professor Summertee debated constantly about the flora and fauna of the lost world. I read Mr. Crichton’s book first and his animals caused issues (more later). But I found that Sir Conan Doyle also used care when selecting what type of animals to populate his lost world. He found a good balance to explain their existence over millennia.
Throwing in the human element was interesting. Sir Conan Doyle waited on that topic for a while before introducing it. And humans caused to end of problems to the animal paradise. Not only did the four explorers shake up the universe, just having the natives there changed the environment. Though the author didn’t detail the effect of humans on the land.
The story was a fun romp through the Amazon and of course, DINOSAURS!
I give The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Five Iguanodons.