Steven Howes's Reviews > The Lost World

The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle
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May 24, 12

Read in May, 2012

I wish I had read this book in high school. At that time, I was embarking on a life-long interest in biology and zoology. This book would have helped to not only further that interest; but also would probably have been looked upon favorably by my lit. teacher. While the author is best known for his Sherlock Holmes novels, this book demonstrates his knowledge of botany and zoology (he was trained as a physician). I would think this book, among others, served as the inspiration for the modern day Jurassic Park and I am sure Sir Arthur would have been fascinated by subjects such as DNA and cloning.

This book was originally published in 1912 at a time when there were still many terrestrial environments yet to be explored so the premise of the story probably wasn't all that far-fetched. Since then, we have discovered a number of species that were thought to be extinct.

The primary focus of the book, of course, is the story of an unlikely group of two professors, a newspaper reporter, and an explorer (think an Indiana Jones type) and their exploration of a previously undiscovered land somewhere in the Amazon. At times, the prose is a bit flowery but still the book is an easy and exciting read. One important message I think the book conveys is the need to protect such unique areas. The group was willing to sacrifice some of their scientific credibility in order to keep the location of "The Lost World" secret and safe from exploitation (It probably sat on a large oil deposit).
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