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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grand adventure in 1910s
Edward Malone, reporter for the Daily Gazette, finds himself caught up in the claims of the eccentric Professor G. E. Challenger to have found a South American plateau where dinosaurs still live. Malone volunteers for a fact-finding mission, along with the dubious Professor Summerlee and the fearless big game hunter Lord John Roxton. The band voyages to South America,...
Published on 1 Sep 2005 by Kurt A. Johnson

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My Word
I feel a bit ambivalent about this collection of stories. On the one hand Conan Doyle had some remarkable and modern ideas. But oh my word, it's morality isn't for the faint hearted. I would tentatively suggest that Challenger probably isn't a character that modern readers would necessarily warm too.
Published 9 months ago by Neville Watkins


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5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased with shipping!, 5 Jan 2012
By 
Sadistica (Poole Dorset) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Lost World & Other Stories (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
I'm very pleased with the shipping on this product, it had arrived just a few short days after placing the order, came nicely packaged, I however was shocked when I saw the size of the book only to discover there were more of Arthur Conan Doyle's works in among the weight of the book! (Should have read that as stated on the product description but I was in a Haste to purchase this book as a recommended) Very pleased, cannot wait to give it a read after I've finished the last of the Sherlock Holmes collection! And the price was very good.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Generally good collection of stories though the first two are the best, 31 May 2011
By 
John Hopper (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Lost World & Other Stories (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
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
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic pulp fiction, 9 April 2004
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Chinatown Blue "cthulhoid" (S-O-T, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Lost World & Other Stories (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
This collection of the Professor Challenger stories is a worthwhile reminder that Conan Doyle had more up his sleeve than Sherlock Holmes. The style can be a bit Victorian, and the spiritualistic stuff sadly shows Doyle's desperate grief for the loss of his son, but these stories are for the most part excellent action adventures, and well repay reading. I'm just surprised that only the title story has made it to film, since the cast of characters(especially Challenger himself, and the acerbic Professor Summerlee) are made for cinema, and the plots could be blockbuster material.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My Word, 11 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Lost World & Other Stories (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
I feel a bit ambivalent about this collection of stories. On the one hand Conan Doyle had some remarkable and modern ideas. But oh my word, it's morality isn't for the faint hearted. I would tentatively suggest that Challenger probably isn't a character that modern readers would necessarily warm too.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stick to Holmes, Sir Arthur, 20 May 2011
By 
Simon Welch (Chiang Mai, Thailand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Lost World & Other Stories (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
This is at best a very mixed bag, comprising two novels, a novella and two short stories, all featuring some or all of the same four key characters. Frankly none of them are good, and two at least are absolute stinkers.

The first of the novels is "The Lost World", an adventure yarn from the mantle of Henty and Rider Haggard. The story is well known, but essentially a mixture of dinosaurs, prehistoric plants, ape men ("the missing link" as one character describes them) and modern man co-exist on a South American plateau the size of an English county. The scientific basis of this is thin at best, and the characters typical of their time with attitudes to match. The fact of the ape men being forced by the protagonists to become subservient to the South American Indians reflects the imperial mindset of the time. Read it as an adventure story, but do not expect great literary merit, nor a "thrilling" tale.

The Poison Belt, a novella, is a strange tale in which the Earth passes through a poisonous field in the "ether" - still a popular notion at the time this was written. The central characters are saved by breathing pure oxygen, but the occupants of the rest of the planet appears to have died; those who are regarded as "lesser" peoples "die" first, thus Australian aborigines before the whites, Slavs before Teutons, etc. This is all slightly distasteful to 21t Century tastes. Almost comical is the fact that people remain at their posts and "die" in harness, reflecting again on the attitudes of the day. The impact of being the only people left alive is not reflected upon, nor the impacts of the outcome on the world more than a trifle.

The foregoing are towers of literary genius compared to the third offering "The Land Of Mist", a 200 page peon to spiritualism - in which Doyle developed a keen interest after the death of his wife I believe - disguised as a novel. For me, this was one of the worst pieces I have ever read, and if I had been able to award a negative rating for this in isolation, would have done. If you read this collection, I earnestly suggest you save 200 pages of your life and read the Yellow Pages or something else more enlightening than this load of rubbish.

The collection ends up with two short stories. The first "The Disintegration machine" is a short 10 page piece which I took to be blackly comic. The final piece "When The World Screamed" starts of by proposing an early "Gaia" hypothesis that the planet is an organism, but then moves to the farcical by making the area below the crust some sort of sentient being. Utter rubbish.

The editor of this collection suggests in the introduction that Doyle should be regarded as a father of Science Fiction. This I cannot agree with, all bar The Lost World being a mix of pseudo-science and bilge. The first novel in the collection is just worth reading. The remainder have not aged well and are only of interest to the most fanatical Doyle fan. Overall, I would avoid.
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2 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Old-fashioned dinosaurs., 15 May 2004
By 
Ian Thumwood "ian17577" (Winchester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Lost World & Other Stories (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Click on the Amazon search engine for dinosaurs and half the books seem to be about Barney. Fittingly then, "The Lost World" is really a childrens book, the characters, if they can be called that, are stereotypes of the kind of heroes that populated popular fiction in 1912 when this book was written. Consequently, I think that Michael Crichton's "Jurassic Park" is more "adult" and also benefits from our increased understanding of prehistoric times.
Given that any book with dinosaurs in it is automatically worth one star, this is an enjoyable work, if not particularly well written. Naturally, the story is proposterous with the protagonists exploring a plateau deep in South America that is stuck in a prehistoric time warp. Notwithstanding the fact that they could have visited Portsmouth with much greater ease and still seen Ape-men, this is a fair story but, like H.G. Wells' "The war of the Worlds", subsequent films have often been superior to the book. This is particularly true when compared with the recent BBC production that improved on the story by making it a lot more menacing in tone and adding a female character to the expedition.
I would have liked to have read more interesting accounts of the dinosaurs encountered on this expedition, although it is curious to see how the perceptions of these fascinating creatures have changed with the advance of science. Certainly, this book recalls a time when I avidly collected tea cards that illustrated these reptiles as looking a million miles away from the multi-coloured, computer-generated images these days.
Younger readers may be disappointed to learn that none of the dinosaurs in this book are purple.
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The Lost World & Other Stories (Wordsworth Classics)
The Lost World & Other Stories (Wordsworth Classics) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Paperback - 5 April 1995)
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