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Customer Review

on 11 May 1999
I read "The Lost World" long ago - I expect you know the sort of book it is, and whether you will like it or not. But this volume also contains (so far as I am aware) all of the Professor Challenger fiction, and you just HAVE to read it, for its curiosity value, if for nothing else. I draw your attention in particular to "The Land of Mist". It's a bad novel, I admit: but I guarantee that you will be mesmerised by its sheer awfulness. Conan Doyle impudently reveals at the start that the events of "The Lost World" were a fabrication, that they never ocurred; the rest of the book concerns itself with spiritualism. Does it ever! Brave, noble, humble, intelligent and sane spiritualists abound (although there is one charlatan spiritualist who is cowardly, ignoble, arrogant, stupid and tending towards madness). We see how the evidence for spiritualism is overwhelming, and how only the most dastardly conspiracy of the popular press keeps it a secret; we see how bigotted the so-called men of science are; we see how the full machinery of the law is brought to bear to ruin the lives of innocent, hard-working ghost-conjurers. All in all it's hard to imagine a more thorough-going stretch of pure propaganda. (Please don't expect a story.) The cream of the jest is this: Conan Doyle may be biased, but he isn't dishonest (well - not exactly), and so his description of sceances makes it perfectly obvious exactly how he was being gulled. At any rate, if the thought of owning a copy of this appalling and unique book doesn't appeal to you, buy the volume anyway for "The Lost World" and "The Poisoned Belt".
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