Dave's Reviews > The Lost World

The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle
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Jan 05, 09

bookshelves: arkham, fiction, speculative-fiction
Read in May, 2004

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Lost World" is a classic adventure story first published in 1912. It is the story of a scientific expedition that is sent to determine if the reported findings of prehistoric life still existing in a remote area of South America are true. Professor Challenger is the one defending his findings, Professor Summerlee is the skeptic, and there are two unbiased observers: the guide, Lord John Roxton, and a reporter Ned Malone, who also servers as the Narrator of the story. This story has the feel of a Jules Verne's adventure.

This book is certainly showing some of its age. The opening of the book, in which we learn of Ned Malone's motivation, certainly comes across as dated and sexist. In it the woman of his dreams tells him "There are heroisms all round us waiting to be done. It's for men to do them, and for women to reserve their love as a reward for such men... That's what I should like - to be envied for my man." Much later in the book, we have the scientific expedition deciding to try to wipe out a race of previously unknown ape-men, hardly something a scientist would contemplate in this day and age, and I doubt it would have been even when this book was first published. Yet despite these and other flaws, I did enjoy reading this book. The characters were eccentric and entertaining, and I was compelled to keep reading to find out what would happen to them.

This book was tied for 9th on August Derleth's Arkham Survey of `Basic SF Titles', but it really is more of an Adventure novel than a Science Fiction novel.
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