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Lost and Found (Foster, Alan Dean) Hardcover – Jun 2004

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey Books (Jun. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345461258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345461254
  • Product Dimensions: 24.5 x 16.4 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,156,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Marcus Walker loved Chicago, and Chicago loved him, which is why he was in Bug Jump, California. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "rob-the-welshman" on 16 Nov. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Enough action to make it interesting, enough comedy to make it enjoyable. I was expecting a novelisation of that terrible t.v. series called TAKEN and was pleasantly surprised with what arrived, this book has nothing at all to do with the series (thankfully). Two strangers are brought together on an alien ship after being kidnapped, one has four legs (and fleas) and a brain boost to allow it to communicate with the less interesting human half of the duo. After spending far too long on display in an alien zoo the duo team up with some even odder aliens to make their escape, trading the frying pan for the fire they are still lost, even after they are rescued.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. R. Edwards on 30 Sept. 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
With an engaging idea and ADF's ability to write a good character this could have been up there with his best.
I was dissapointed almost throughout. I couldn't make up my mind if he was trying to write a 'straight' S/F book (it was too shallow for that) or a humerous S/F book (it aint funny).
I have been an ADF fan for years, but I know that if I do read the next volume in this saga, I will borrow it from a library and not waste money buying it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Elf Mistress on 21 Nov. 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have not bought a ADF books for years. (The last one was one of his Flinx books.) However when I saw this one I thought I would give it a try and on the whole it was passable. So I moved swiftly on to the next in the series, which I finished in half a day! Yes I admit it was uncomplicated to say the least. I particullarly liked the dog character, George. Chuckle at the doggy jokes people... If you want something untaxing and with a canine twist to it this would be a good start. Some of Mr Fosters' weaving of alien cultures is intriging. I will get the third book but only when it is available in paperback. Hardback is way too expensive.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 36 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A Noble Savage Among the Decadent Aliens? 5 July 2004
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Lost and Found is the first novel in The Taken trilogy. Marcus Walker was a commodities broker from Chicago. Somehow, he found himself camping near the miniature metropolis of Bug Jump, California, to win a bet that he could actually survive outside civilization. Aside from a close encounter with the relatives of a possibly pregnant maiden, Marcus was looking good going in to the home stretch. Then he heard some strange noises around his tent and opened the flap to shine his flashlight directly into the eyes of a very alien countenance.

In this novel, Marcus wakes up the next day in a fairly convincing simulation of his campsite, but not in California. Instead, he is on a starship many lightyears away from home and putting even more distance from Chicago with each second. After some days of solitary confinement in his little diorama, one wall opens up to reveal the neighboring cell, an urban alley scene, and its inhabitant, a now talking dog of unknown ancestry.

After some discussion, the dog lets Marcus address him as George. Strangely enough, he is also a native of Chicago and was taken directly from that city. George has not been as belligerent as Marcus, so he has had the run of the common area for several days and has met many of their fellow captives. Thanks to his universal translator implant, George has discovered much about their captors. Among other info, George has discovered that they were captured for the curiosities market by a mercantile company of Vilenjji.

With some coaching by George, Marcus begins to mingle with the other captives and soon starts working on a plan to gain their freedom. He meets two other captives with exceptional mental and physical powers and brings them into the conspiracy. Despite their blatant disbelief in his goals, Marcus is determined at the least to strike back at their captors and, if remotely possible, to escape from the ship.

In this story, Marcus learns that he is not very special. Only his ability to learn humility keeps him alive. However, he perseveres in his goals, despite all objections; some would say that he is just too dumb to understand his situation, but he doesn't agree ... most of the time (those midnight doubts are hell).

The storyline combines the tale of the ignorant savage introduced to high society with that of the powerless slave escaping from the chains of a hellship. Of course, the author includes a clean, disease-free environment maintained by advanced automata, so the outward forms of this captivity are not as visible, but the psychological environment is just as miserable.

Highly recommended for Foster fans and for anyone else who enjoys light tales of humans among advanced technological societies and sophisticated sapients.

-Arthur W. Jordin
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Pure escapist fun 23 Aug. 2004
By booksforabuck - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Chicago commodity trader Marc Walker is planning to win a bet by spending a week camping by a beautiful California lake. The strange object in the sky is less initially less interesting than the attractive woman at the bar but when Marc wakes up to discover that his bit of California lakefront has been transported into an alien spaceship, he realizes that he's misplaced his priorities. With the assistance of a talking dog and a group of also-abducted aliens--intended for some sort of alien zoo or perversion--Marc battles despair. Still, what can one human, even if assisted by an overly smart dog, do against an entire spaceship full of alien-tamers?

Some of the captive aliens are smarter than Marc. Some are much stronger. But Marc's drive for success made him a top commodity trader back in Chicago and it eggs him on--to do something rather than wait to be sold into slavery. Unfortunately, he must also deal with the reality that not all of the prisoners want to escape--and there are always some willing to betray him in exchange for food or simply out of cruelty. And even if he did escape, where, exactly would he go on a huge spaceship located billions of miles from the planet he once called home?

Author Alan Dean Foster writes a charming story of alien abduction and human survival. The characters of George the dog, Braouk, the monster, and Sque the vain octopus-creature are amusing and well thought out. LOST AND FOUND is a bit of a throwback to the science fiction of the 1960s, with pure escapism at its heart.

If you're looking to take a break from 'serious' SF and seeking for some pure escapist fun, LOST AND FOUND may be just the ticket.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
a boy and a dog go to space... 31 Dec. 2005
By Michael Lynn Mcguire - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book reminds me of a Heinlein Juvenile. It a very good read and the first of a trilogy. Having a man and a dog collected for a space zoo is a cool idea and their travails were interesting.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Take a book if you get abducted to pass the time 1 Aug. 2004
By James N Simpson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Marcus Walker is abducted by aliens while trying to win a bet that he can't live in isolation by camping in the wilderness. Isolation is now a major factor being confined to his holding pen on board a giant spacecraft where the Velenjii (aliens who abducted him) barely communicate with him. After a while he is aloud out into the grand enclosure, a sort of prison yard which links the cells, where he meets a dog from earth who he names George and many other aliens from different planets. He quickly learns that himself and the other cargo will be sold as slaves and are being psychologically experimented on around the clock before they reach their destinations. Just like in an earth prison there are captives who are friendly and those that are not, as well as those who will squeal on him to the Velenjii if he does anything against the rules. There are also of course visions of escape. The only thing is where can you escape to when there is nothing beyond the ship but outer space?

This is an interesting book which tackles alien abduction and slavery. The major thing I thought was overlooked was why the Velenjii only abduct one or two species from each planet. Surely it would make better economic sense to abduct multiple numbers of the higher value creatures. I also would have liked a more satisfactory ending and would have liked the Velenjii's point of view chapters to have continued throughout the book then just ending where they did. There are better books out there but this is a satisfactory read.

The first I have heard that this is book 1 of something called The Taken Trilogy according to the title in Amazon. It does not say this on the actual book anywhere.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A horrible disappointment from a talented writer 1 July 2006
By Eric D. Austrew - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Alan Dean Foster has a talent for producing science fiction of the beach reading variety. The protagonists are always shoehorned into their roles as villian, hero, or lovable sidekick, and each character has just enough idiosyncracies to keep them interesting. The plots are always clear clashes between good and evil, and the bad guys always get their butts kicked by the end of the book. However, in this case Foster has neglected the polish and tight plotting that typically make his books fun, and instead produced a dry, unexciting, and utterly predictible book. I read it AT the beach, and I can tell you for sure that it's not suitable.

Problems abound from the very start of the book. Foster's style is unnecessarily verbose. It seems as if he were trying for a tongue-in-cheek parady of those high-falutin writers who aren't happy until they've stuffed several adverbs into each sentence, but he doesn't take it far enough or do it consistently enough to be anything other than awkward. For example: "It did not take the edge off their collective consumate weirdness for George to declare that, insofar as he knew, each and every one of the ambulating menagerie was sentient..." The result is a book that never uses a short word where a long one can be substituted, and leaves far too little unsaid. This style is so annoying that it would probably earn the story a low rating even if everything else were great.

Unfortunately, everything else is not great- in fact practically nothing is. The plot is hackneyed and cliched, and not in the entertaining way that some sci-fi can be. The story can be summed up as "John McClane versus an alien spaceship." Usually this is a great setup, but in this case so little happens for so long that the inherent possibilities are never really explored. Of course, there are plenty of stories of high-tech captivity where the protagonist has to invent ingenious methods of escape and/or retribution. But if an author is going to take on a staple plot of the sci-fi genre, he or she has got to show us an original idea or a new take on the predicament to keep our attention. Foster does neither.

Nor does he provide engaging characters to entertain us through the predictable and overdone plot. The hero comes across as oddly flat, probably because of the wretched prose style already mentioned. The aliens are put together like comic book characters, with loving attention paid to their physical appearance but no plausible inner life. And the one character that should have been more fun than any of the others, a stray dog from Chicago abducted and uplifted to full intelligence, comes across as nothing more than a human wearing a dog suit. In the end, I found myself not even caring what happened to these characters.

I'm certain that Foster is setting up further books in this trilogy, but I recommend that you save yourself the time and money and skip them all, starting with this one. Check out the three books in Foster's "The Damned" series (Starting with "A Call to Arms") for a better introduction to this usually entertaining writer.
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