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It's London, 1907. Journalist Edward Malone, rejected by the woman he loves because he is too prosaic, decides to go in search of adventure and fame to prove himself worthy of her. Soon after, he meets Professor George Challenger, a scientist who claims to have discovered a 'lost world' populated by pterodactyls and other prehistoric monsters.

272 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1912

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About the author

Arthur Conan Doyle

12.8k books21.9k followers
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born the third of ten siblings on 22 May 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His father, Charles Altamont Doyle, a talented illustrator, was born in England of Irish descent, and his mother, born Mary Foley, was Irish. They were married in 1855.

Although he is now referred to as "Conan Doyle", the origin of this compound surname (if that is how he meant it to be understood) is uncertain. His baptism record in the registry of St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh gives 'Arthur Ignatius Conan' as his Christian name, and simply 'Doyle' as his surname. It also names Michael Conan as his godfather.

At the age of nine Conan Doyle was sent to the Roman Catholic Jesuit preparatory school, Hodder Place, Stonyhurst. He then went on to Stonyhurst College, leaving in 1875.

From 1876 to 1881 he studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. This required that he provide periodic medical assistance in the towns of Aston (now a district of Birmingham) and Sheffield. While studying, Conan Doyle began writing short stories. His first published story appeared in "Chambers's Edinburgh Journal" before he was 20. Following his graduation, he was employed as a ship's doctor on the SS Mayumba during a voyage to the West African coast. He completed his doctorate on the subject of tabes dorsalis in 1885.

In 1885 Conan Doyle married Louisa (or Louise) Hawkins, known as "Touie". She suffered from tuberculosis and died on 4 July 1906. The following year he married Jean Elizabeth Leckie, whom he had first met and fallen in love with in 1897. Due to his sense of loyalty he had maintained a purely platonic relationship with Jean while his first wife was alive. Jean died in London on 27 June 1940.

Conan Doyle fathered five children. Two with his first wife—Mary Louise (28 January 1889 – 12 June 1976), and Arthur Alleyne Kingsley, known as Kingsley (15 November 1892 – 28 October 1918). With his second wife he had three children—Denis Percy Stewart (17 March 1909 – 9 March 1955), second husband in 1936 of Georgian Princess Nina Mdivani (circa 1910 – 19 February 1987; former sister-in-law of Barbara Hutton); Adrian Malcolm (19 November 1910–3 June 1970) and Jean Lena Annette (21 December 1912–18 November 1997).

Conan Doyle was found clutching his chest in the hall of Windlesham, his house in Crowborough, East Sussex, on 7 July 1930. He had died of a heart attack at age 71. His last words were directed toward his wife: "You are wonderful." The epitaph on his gravestone in the churchyard at Minstead in the New Forest, Hampshire, reads:


Conan Doyle's house, Undershaw, located in Hindhead, south of London, where he had lived for a decade, had been a hotel and restaurant between 1924 and 2004. It now stands empty while conservationists and Conan Doyle fans fight to preserve it.

A statue honours Conan Doyle at Crowborough Cross in Crowborough, where Conan Doyle lived for 23 years. There is also a statue of Sherlock Holmes in Picardy Place, Edinburgh, close to the house where Conan Doyle was born.

* Sherlock Holmes

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,984 reviews
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11.2k followers
April 11, 2012
Move aside, Sherlock…Sir Arthur has conjured a protagonist who's an even more arrogant assbag than you. 

Everyone...the intrepid, the indefatigable, the insufferable Professor G.E. Challenger

If, like me, you enjoy characters that are gruff, prideful curmudgeonly sorts, than you will have fun with this guy. He is a serious hoot. Trust me.
Physically, Prof. Challenger is a funhouse mirror reflection of Mr. Holmes. Instead of a tall, lanky, clean-shaven gentlemen who calmly condescends to the world around him, we have a short, barrel-chested, physically imposing caveman, with a booming voice and serious anger management issues.


Tell me he doesn't look like the spitting image of Bluto...from Popeye. Hmmm?

Intellectually, however, Challenger is definitely a pea from the same pompous pod as Doyle's most famous literary creation. Zero charm, no social graces and a chip on his shoulder the size of Gibraltar. He is a serious piece of unrestrained windbaggery that pins the needle on the Arrogasshat Pricktardo Scale

And he doled out some serious happy to me while I reading.

Like Holmes, of whom I am a screaming fanboy, I found G.E. Challenger to be enormously fun to listen to as he waxed vaingloriously about his greatness and scientific acumen. While I wouldn't want to spend any real-life time socializing with the ill-mannered prig, as a literary companion he's an absolute blast. 

I can think of no better way to introduce you to the professor, and his over-the-top disagreeability, than the method employed by Doyle to unveil him to readers of The Lost World. When reporter Edward Malone (hiding his true vocation) requests a meeting with the reclusive scientist, this is the letter he receives in reply.
I have duly received your note, in which you claim to endorse my views, although I am not aware that they are dependent upon endorsement either from you or anyone else. You have ventured to use the word “speculation” with regard to my statement upon the subject of Darwinism, and I would call your attention to the fact that such a word in such a connection is offensive to a degree. The context convinces me, however, that you have sinned rather through ignorance and tactlessness than through malice, so I am content to pass the matter by. You quote an isolated sentence from my lecture, and appear to have some difficulty in understanding it. I should have thought that only a sub-human intelligence could have failed to grasp the point, but if it really needs amplification I shall consent to see you at the hour named, though visits and visitors of every sort are exceeding distasteful to me. As to your suggestion that I may modify my opinion, I would have you know that it is not my habit to do so after a deliberate expression of my mature views. You will kindly show the envelope of this letter to my man, Austin, when you call, as he has to take every precaution to shield me from the intrusive rascals who call themselves “journalists.”
Yours faithfully,    
Yes...he's like that. Plus he's violent, quick-tempered, pig-headed, racist, elitist, and is not above putting his wife in "time out" when he feels she has misbehaved. Yeah, he's pretty much the whole package of awesome. Once I read that, I knew I was in for something loaded with win.
Not sure this is really necessary, so I will keep this brief. As the title suggests, this is one of the archetypes of the “lost world” genre and Sir Arthur brings his usual skill to its execution. A journalist (the aforementioned Edward Malone) eager to impress his girlfriend, requests a dangerous assignment. He lands a doozy when an expedition is planned to prove (or disprove) Challenger's claim of having discovered an isolated region of the Amazon inhabited by dinosaurs, pterodactyls and other extinct and exotic creatures. Together with Challenger, another professor (the obligatory skeptic), and Lord Roxton, the standard rough and ready adventurer, the four embark on their fateful quest.

Frills, thrills, spills, chills and kills ensue...in abundance.

This is by the numbers storytelling for this sub genre, but Doyle’s talent and engaging prose make it a lot of fun. It's a given that the fantastic elements of the story have, to an extent, lost their ability to deliver the WOW that they originally produced, and the book's sense of depicting the truly wondrous does suffer a bit as a result. Still, I was pleasantly surprised at how engaging the narrative was and how much fun I had listening to Challenger and his colleagues expound with fervor on their dated scientific theories. 

Excellent storytelling has no expiration date, and Doyle, like contemporaries H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, has the ability to engage and captivate his audience with the wonders of a bygone age. 
I enjoyed myself, Sir Arthur. Thank you. 

3.5 stars. Recommended!!
Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,259 reviews5,627 followers
August 9, 2022
اريد رجلا شجاعا لا يهاب الموت..رجل حقق امجادا لا توصف..يخلق فرصه خلقا"ان البطولات حولنا تنتظر من يحققها من الرجال..اريد ان تحسدني النساء على رجلي"ا

بهذه الطلبات التعجيزية تبدأ المغامرات الاسطورية
..هكذا ينطلق الصحفي مالوني مع البروفيسور العبقري المخبول تشالنجر إلى أمريكا الجنوبية ليثبتوا ان الديناصورات مازالت تحيا هناك بكل انواعها

هذه رواية نشرت لأول مرة في عام1912طبعا قبل انطلاق سلسلة افلام الحديقة الجوراسية بتسعين عام
ففكرة العالم المختبيء المليء بالديناصورات هو اسطورة حية في الوجدان العالمي
و تظل الرواية ' كإحدى محاولات سير كونان الابدية للفكاك من غريمه :هولمز

تنتمي العالم المفقود لنفس العالم الخاص برحلات فوق العادة لجول فيرن و كذلك روايات ويلز ..حيث الشخصيات المسطحة..أحادية المنظور ..و البطولة المطلقة للحدث و المكان الاستثنائي. .
بين الابطال .. لا يوجد كسبان او خسران
فقط انت كقارىء الكسبان الوحيد
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
December 10, 2020
Can we start with how this book (written in 1912) was based off of the "Friend Zone" ??

"Poor" Edward Malone confesses his love for a girl but she is not interested. She tries telling him nicely, rudely and all ways in between but he just doesn't get it.
She could but refuse me, and better be a repulsed lover than an accepted brother
So, finally, in a fit to be tied, she makes up some excuse - that he's not adventurous enough for her - that he's not a daring-and-dashing hero. And so, Edward, a journalist, races off to find the craziest adventure he could possibly find.

And boy-oh-boy does he find one hellova adventure.

Edward meets Professor Challenger - an adeptly named adventurer - who just came back from an exhibition. The professor is sprouting a whole host of impossible claims - including that dinosaurs have managed to survive and thrive deep in the jungle.

Edward, the professor and few scientists set off in search for this "Lost World" and discover something far more exciting in the process.

Periodic racism and sexism
My instincts are all against a woman being too frank and at her ease with me. It is no compliment to a man.
Ahhh.... there's nothing blatantly obvious periodic racism and sexism to wake you up in the morning.
Zambo, who is a black Hercules, as willing as any horse, and about as intelligent.
From the half-breeds to "their loyal negro" to the literal annihilation of an entire species . . . This book is a "wonder."
There are times, young fellah, when every one of us must make a stand for human right and justice, or you never feel clean again.
How ironic - considering the first thing they do when they discovered Ape-men was form a posse to slaughter them and sell them into slavery.

Now, if you can ignore all of that - this was a pretty good novel.

It had adventure and mishaps and mayhem. Our meek journalist really finds his stride and absolutely thrives on his journey. If only Sir Arthur Conan Doyle didn't play up the servitude and slaughter all the non-white characters...

Audiobook Comments
Read by Glen McCready - an excellent narrator

The Finer Books Club - 2018 Reading Challenge: A book AJ Rocks has read

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Profile Image for James Tivendale.
317 reviews1,343 followers
May 13, 2019
“If in 100 years I am only known as the man who invented Sherlock Holmes then I will have considered my life a failure.” - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This review will contain minor spoilers. Although Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John Watson, Mycroft Holmes, and Professor James Moriarty are Doyle's most known creations, Professor Challenger, the hot-tempered scientist is another character that many readers will be familiar with. This is the first of the Professor Challenger series and the only one that I had read previously. I started reading religiously in 2012 and The Lost World was one of my favourite stories from my pre-review era. I decided to revisit this exuberant and vivacious science heavy adventure tale that features dinosaurs - and I'm truly glad that I did.

This narrative begins with journalist and international rugby player Edward Dunn Malone as he finally tells the love of his life Gladys about the emotions and feelings that he has been harbouring. Unfortunately, it is soon revealed that she doesn't share the sentiments that Malone has been feeling and therefore he remains in the 'friend-zone.' He just isn't exciting enough. She wants an adventurer, essentially so she can bask in the glory of her partner's deeds. As the archetypal example of a member of the friendzone guild, he doesn't even consider thinking that maybe she is a "bad apple" and not the right woman for him. The antithesis is what he thinks. Malone races down to the office of the Daily Gazette and begs his editor for an exciting, dangerous assignment... war correspondence perhaps? His superior states that there is no task more high risk or hazardous for a reporter than to interview the infamous scientist Professor Challenger.

After an eventful and volatile first meeting between the duo, the emotions cool down and Edward ends up sharing a cigarette with the incredibly intelligent, agog, slightly unorthodox and idiosyncratic scientist. I pictured him as being like an early 20th century Brian Blessed with the presented attitude, extravagance, and description. He divulges information about a potential Lost World which he has visited and the last time he was there, although only for a brief period, he shot a pterodactyl and presents the wing to the journalist. As the next few chapters progress it transpires that a team of three very different individuals will attempt to retrace Challenger's steps to visit this plateau that seems to have ignored the laws of science that the rest of the world's environments have adhered to.

In Sherlock Holmes, the brilliant characters take the concepts from being good to often phenomenal. The same is true here. The trio attempting this escapade (which has been mostly ridiculed by the science community as nothing but fancy and absurd), are Malone, adventurer, and Amazon exploration expert Lord John Roxton, and Challenger disparager and rival Professor Summerlee. They also have Zambo who is described as a "negro Hercules" and he acts as their Amazonian guide.

The beginning of the novel runs at a steady pace as the characters are introduced, foundations are set and the plan is set in motion. It really gets going when the ensemble reaches the infamous plateau. If I had to summarise this tale in a few words it would be "a gripping and rip-roaring adventure." It features suspense, betrayals, surprising revelations, horror, and elements of mystery. Add into the mix a plethora of dinosaurs including Iguanadons, Allosaurus' Plesiosaurus' amongst many other assumed extinct species. Doyle must have done an immense amount of research for The Lost World regarding the science of the Jurassic period and also of his current day. Throughout, the story never comes across as if it was a dull science text. Complex discussions about plants, creatures, and the environment are often humorous as Professor Challenger and Professor Summerlee debate the facts - very rarely agreeing with each other's hypothesis. The players also end up in the middle of a war fought between ape-people and the indigenous tribes of this raised island. The novel also features amazing set pieces that appear as bewildering yet exhilarating for the characters to behold as they were for me to read. There is always the nagging doubt in the back of the ensemble's minds about how on earth they are going to escape the plateau and if they are sitting on one of science's greatest ever discoveries that the world will be oblivious to if they don't succeed and return to London.

"But surely no man had just such a day since the world began."

Simply put, this is one of my favourite stories from when I started reading properly. It will always have a special place in my heart and I'm sure I'll read it again in another seven years. An absolute classic.

James Tivendale
Profile Image for Paul Weiss.
1,251 reviews234 followers
November 25, 2022
A swashbuckling Victorian adventure!

Like Monty Python's laughable character seeking a shrubbery for his uppity princess, Edward Malone, reporter for London's Daily Gazette, is an earnest young man in search of a quest. Gladys Hungerton, the flighty belle of Malone's eye, has told him quite clearly that she couldn't possibly return his love until he had proven himself in the time-honoured fashion of achieving some manly endeavour. When the Zoological Institute skeptically puts together an expedition to verify or refute the blustery Professor George Challenger's wild claims of having found an oasis of still living prehistoric flora and fauna deep in the Amazon jungle, Malone knows he has found his task and pleads with his paper's editor to give him the opportunity to join the group. Professor Summerlee, acknowledged leader of the faction at the Institute that scoffed most loudly at Challenger's claims and now appointed as observer on the expedition, Challenger, Malone and world-renowned gentleman-adventurer and sportsman, Lord John Roxton, steam up the Amazon with a contingent of porters in search of Challenger's mythical island of land that time seems to have passed by!

Men's men all, our intrepid group of adventurers, in the typical spirit of Victorian derring-do, seems to face any difficulty with that chin-up, crusty, indomitable turn of the century Brit attitude. Of course, success is as predictable as the sun rising tomorrow morning and our group finds not only a variety of living dinosaurs and Jurassic plant life in abundance but stumbles into a turf war between a tribe of primitive humans and a race of ape men that Challenger and Summerlee categorize as the elusive "missing link". A rollicking adventure, THE LOST WORLD reads quickly, easily and enjoyably. Having stood the test of time for almost a century, I'm sure it will last another and be just as enjoyable to our grandchildren's grandchildren.

While Challenger, a short, stocky, hirsute bull of a man is physically the complete opposite of Doyle's more well known protagonist, Sherlock Holmes, the same cannot be said of his pomposity, arrogance and mental dexterity. In that regard, he could well have been Sherlock's and Mycroft's long lost sibling. When Challenger addressed his team, trying to solve the riddle of descending a steep, intractable cliff, he opined: "The problem of the descent is at first sight a formidable one and yet I cannot doubt that the intellect can solve it." Would Sherlock have put it any differently?

Modern readers may well be surprised at the deeply entrenched racist attitudes that Doyle displays in his writing. The black porter named "Zambo", one small letter away from the more insulting term "Sambo", is clearly treated as little more than a slave and the native Indian porters are obviously thought of in much the same light. We can forgive Doyle to the extent that he is not guilty of anything more than displaying the attitudes that were prevalent in his day but one hopes the modern reader sees these despicable ideas today as mere caricatures to be sneered at and learned from without allowing them to detract from an otherwise wonderful tale.

THE LOST WORLD is certainly a character and plot driven story but Doyle has not left us totally bereft of atmosphere and scenery:

"For a fairyland it was - the most wonderful that the imagination of man could conceive. The thick vegetation met overhead, interlacing into a natural pergola, and through this tunnel of verdure in a golden twilight flowed the green, pellucid river, beautiful in itself, but marvelous from the strange tints thrown by the vivid light from above filtered and tempered in its fall. Clear as crystal, motionless as a sheet of glass, green as the edge of an iceberg, it stretched in front of us under its leafy archway, every stroke of our paddles sending a thousand ripples across its shining surface."

Now how beautiful is that?

Enjoy! If you've never read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle beyond Sherlock Holmes, this is a great place to start!

Paul Weiss
Profile Image for Jan-Maat.
1,565 reviews1,891 followers
February 14, 2020
Silly bad. A surprisingly dull updating of Journey to the centre of the Earth with extra racism, more dinosaurs, and guns. Surprisingly from the author of Sherlock Holmes, in which the stories although sometimes (always?) somewhat silly and contrived tend to have a certain cleverness to them, one has to wonder when a party of travellers in possession of a 150 foot rope find a forty foot chasm uncrossable and indeed start to prepare a hydrogen balloon before other alternatives suggest themselves - precisely a convenient cave system that allows the adventurers to exit the plateau of prehistoric Sussex but not any of the prehistoric creatures, who fortunately I guess suffer from extreme shyness or claustrophobia.

One basic problem is that the premise of the story is a good deal less interesting that one thinks at first - mostly because we may be familiar with many films in which dinosaurs chase people and other exciting things happen like seeing women wearing furry bikinis. However if we imagine the story 'man takes a walk and sees a cat', and then substitute the word cat for dinosaur, perhaps we see the problem that Conan-Doyle faced, it's actually not very interesting. As much as it hurts me down to the fingers which glued together airfix model dinosaurs in childhood, the simple fact of a dinosaur does not have intrinsic interest to sustain a novel even such a short one, or if it has, Conan-Doyle doesn't mange to find it. So the story runs as follows Dinosaurs still exist, no they don't, yes they do, well let's go and have a look and check, assemble a team to do so, arrive see dinosaurs. And then what? Conan-Doyle's response is to introduce the fearsome - Ape-man, the mysterious missing link, and borrow from King Solomon's Mines (actually referenced in story) with full savage versus savage battle action and European with their rifles worshipped as living gods. And it gets worse (or better depending on your point of view). Creatures the characters don't like are described as filthy and their extermination as cleansing. It's incontrovertible, purely a question of hygiene, well the 20th century was just beginning and this mode of thinking had many more miles to go before it reached the end of that road. What is mildly amusing here is that the species who will meet this fate are part of the "Lost World" a treasury of massive scientific value, the scientists characters are however as happy as everybody else to tidy up nature and kill, kill, kill. Native south-American Indians apparently will intrinsically react to Europeans by carrying the European's luggage even if they share no common language or means of communication. 'Half-breeds' are treacherous and unpleasant ie transgressive in every way, while 'pure' Indians are peaceable and obedient. There is a black man employed as a servant, he is loyal 'like a dog', very strong and somewhat stupid, Conan-Doyle calls him 'Zambo' which is as close as you can get to 'Sambo' as possible, the kind of name you dream up with the assistance of your lawyers when trying to avoid copy-write infringement.

The story suddenly with the introduction of diamonds at the end reminded me of How to read Donald Duck - the point of adventures, and the purpose of the rest of the world, is wealth - wealth which only Europeans can profit from - this is the biggest deviation from Verne's Journey to the centre of the earth

Conan Doyle takes exactly the same dynamic of by the book scientist vs the adventurer who prefers practical demonstration, but strips the charm from the relationship and adds to the aggression and violence, adds a bargain basement version of Allan Quartermain and a journalist in the spirit of the times. The journalist is the story's narrator, Conan-Doyle isn't sure how to use him - a couple of chapters are written as though letters sent by him to London, while the rest aren't and there is no communication possible with the Imperial capital so there is simply a continuous narrative. Conan-Doyle adds a lengthly let's get the heroes together sequence - this is rather dull and silly and when the adventurers do reach the dinosaurs they are more lifeless than the displays in the Natural History Museum, no wonder they became extinct.

Verne is a master of incident to impel the story forward, Conan Doyle isn't. Part of the problem is that his heroes are Britons and representatives of the master race and so can't be seen to be inferior, and therefore can't get lost. Even the Irishman is played straight even if he comes across as a bit lazy and uneducated, when he does something uniquely stupid - going for a midnight stroll in dinosaur country when Conan-Doyle's dinosaurs it has been established, are nocturnal hunters - if all works out for the best as - well I don't want to spoil everything - unlike the map added to the text which gives away great chunks of the narrative. Dull Imperialist story, but on the up side: Rule Britannia!

Also reading here Professor Challenger and his wife, one feels with relief how good it is that Sherlock Holmes was celibate (though admittedly we've only Dr Watson's word for it), and coming to think of it it is a bit suspicious how much of his time he spends round with Holmes rather than practising medicine - or does Watson actual earn his money by selling drugs to Holmes? The story shows that Conan-Dolye was a good writer of genre short-stories but struggled with the novel as a form. This one is all one idea - what if prehistoric Sussex existed on a south-American plateau in the present day? But it is an idea which quickly doesn't get very far without the introduction of perfectly horrid ape-men.
Profile Image for Axl Oswaldo.
332 reviews164 followers
February 24, 2022
Mi primer Conan Doyle y ha resultado ser una experiencia entretenida y emocionante.

El mundo perdido es la primera novela en la que se introduce al profesor Challenger, un personaje hecho para la aventura, aunque con un carácter y un comportamiento bastante complicados —no les miento si les digo que como tal el sujeto no fue de mi agrado—, quien se decide a emprender un viaje (el cual ya había hecho con anterioridad pero sin éxito de recolectar evidencia confiable) hacia un 'nuevo mundo' en compañía de un pequeño grupo de personajes, con quienes vivirá una de serie de aventuras y experiencias extraordinarias.

Disfruté mucho de conocer, primero que nada, la narrativa de Conan Doyle. Sé que pude haber comenzado por alguna de sus obras de Sherlock Holmes, pero justo ahora que me apetecía una historia con una trama rápida de leer, personajes intrépidos y donde pasaran muchas cosas, decidí probar con esta obra y para nada me arrepiento. El autor sabe cómo desarrollar los eventos que se presentan a nuestros personajes, hace que quieras seguir leyendo para saber qué pasará enseguida (en mi caso, con dos noches sumergido en la novela fue más que suficiente), y tiene un par de momentos emotivos que te hacen empatizar con el grupo de aventureros.

Otro de los puntos que destaco es el papel del narrador que cae exclusivamente en el personaje de Malone, ya que además de estar bien logrado, es a través de sus ojos que vemos la historia y nos asombramos junto con él por todo aquello que se van encontrando en el camino. De hecho, considero a Malone mi personaje favorito de la novela, y fue gracias a su personalidad que se me hizo muy amena. Hablando del final, como típica novela de aventuras, le da un buen cierre al viaje y deja las posibles incógnitas resueltas.
Como comentario adicional, estuve pensando que si Viaje al centro de la Tierra (Jules Verne) y La máquina del tiempo (H. G. Wells) hubieran tenido un 'hijo', sin duda sería El mundo perdido de Conan Doyle. Encontré muchas similitudes entre las dos novelas previas con esta, como si se hubieran fusionado, que me fue imposible no pensar en una loca idea como tal. :)

En fin, una historia a la que vale la pena darle una oportunidad, especialmente si lo tuyo son las novelas de aventuras.

"... porque únicamente cuando el hombre se arroja al mundo pensando que el heroísmo lo rodea por todas partes, y con el deseo siempre vivo en su corazón de salir a conquistar el primero que pueda avizorar, es cuando rompe, como yo lo hice, con la vida acostumbrada y se aventura en el crepúsculo místico de la maravillosa tierra que encierra las grandes aventuras y las grandes recompensas."
Profile Image for Ethan.
236 reviews251 followers
May 30, 2021
So to-morrow we disappear into the unknown. This account I am transmitting down the river by canoe, and it may be our last word to those who are interested in our fate. I have, according to our arrangement, addressed it to you, my dear Mr. McArdle, and I leave it to your discretion to delete, alter, or do what you like with it. From the assurance of Professor Challenger's manner--and in spite of the continued scepticism of Professor Summerlee--I have no doubt that our leader will make good his statement, and that we are really on the eve of some most remarkable experiences.

Arthur Conan Doyle is most prominently known for his Sherlock Holmes mystery stories, but The Lost World has proven to me that he can also write a great and quintessential adventure novel. The book starts off by outlining the discrediting and subsequent disappearance from academic life of Professor George Edward Challenger. The cause of his being discredited is somewhat of a mystery, though stories have been floating around about some crazy claims he made after returning from a trip to South America.

A press reporter, Edward Malone, interviews Challenger and finally gets the hot-tempered academic, who never discusses his trip to South America for understandable reasons, to open up about it. He claims to have found a "Lost World" within the, at the time, largely-unexplored Amazon rain forest in South America. He claims this region contains dinosaurs thought to be long-extinct, among other incredible wonders. Eventually, an expedition is mounted to prove his claims, and the cast of characters on this expedition is fantastic; they are all unique, but play off each other remarkably well. The expedition consists of:

Professor Challenger: the narcissistic, hot-tempered, flamboyant head of the expedition, looking to salvage his reputation and humiliate his critics

Professor Summerlee: the normally calm and collected academic, a voice of reason, but one who loves to argue with Professor Challenger and get under his skin

Edward Malone: the soft-spoken but brave reporter

Lord John Roxton: the bushy-mustached, armed-to-the-teeth adventurer and big game hunter, skilled with a rifle and sharp as a whip

Together they embark on their fascinating expedition, taking part in a number of thrilling and highly entertaining adventures that keep the pages turning. The book can be a bit slow and dense at times, but at a brief 172 pages in length these problems never have time to persist for long, and the rewards offered by the story are well worth slogging through these parts. It's also, unfortunately, quite a racist book, reflecting the unfortunate attitude toward and treatment of coloured and native peoples at the time. That being said, if you can overlook these shortcomings, this book is otherwise unlikely to disappoint.

Highly recommended!

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Jason Koivu.
Author 7 books1,256 followers
April 12, 2016
Who doesn't wish dinosaurs weren't still around? Well, maybe not the big bitey ones, but how cool would that be?! Hell, I'd even take the huge, face-ripping ones too if it were an all-or-nothing deal. I figure a little survival of the fittest would do this world good.

Since that's not likely to happen during my lifetime, I'll console myself with movies and books. The Lost World is a good place to be for those of us looking to get lost in a dino world.

This is a forerunner of the what-if history throwbacks to the Jurassic period. Being an older work it suffers for the style of the day. Sometimes writing styles of various eras aren't all that bad, but this one's no good. Nothing kills the momentum, surprise and thrill of reading when the author preempts a thrilling surprise scene by announcing that "a thrilling surprise happened and I'm about to tell you about it!". Damn it man, we can decide if it's thrilling, and furthermore, do you even know what a surprise is?!

Arthur Conan Doyle did better work with his Sherlock series. This book is a fun adventure, but it's not a great read. The set up takes a while. The action moves a bit and the stakes are fairly high, but "a bit" and "fairly" shouldn't be the descriptives used to describe this.

Profile Image for Tharindu Dissanayake.
288 reviews557 followers
June 24, 2020
"There’s many a man who never tells his adventures, for he can’t hope to be believed."

I've been a long time fan of the Lost World TV series, and always wanted to get around to reading the book, and got the opportunity at last. I was amazed to see how different the book is, even down to the attributes/ characteristics of characters.

"Brain, character, soul—only as one sees more of life does one understand how distinct is each."

Some might argue that the book is too short, but for me it was the exact correct length, not too long nor too short. It felt good to back back to Challenger's Hidden Plateau full of adventure after a long time.

“vestigia nulla retrorsum. Never look rearwards, but always to our glorious goal.”

Profile Image for Whispering Stories.
2,757 reviews2,580 followers
January 9, 2018
Book Reviewed by Clive on www.whisperingstories.com

After his initial success Conan Doyle spent much of his literary career trying to break free from Sherlock Holmes but public pressure and the need for a good income kept the two inexorably bound. His historical novels found little success but he achieved more with his science fiction adventures of which The Lost World was by far the most successful. And rightly so. This tale of a hidden world is full of action with many mysteries to ponder. Just imagine the excitement of the readers of Strand Magazine as they waited for the next episode of the story to be published; just what creatures or predicaments would our heroes meet next?

As far as I know Conan Doyle never travelled up the Amazon. He obtained his knowledge from other people’s accounts but his descriptions of the jungle are excellent and help to build the tension before they even reach the site of the lost world.

Despite the age of the book and the language of the time I found it easy to read. Having the story written in the first person helped to maintain the tension and fear.

The principle characters are those one would expect from an action story of that time, the relatively innocent narrator, the two irascible professors and everybody’s favourite, the all-action Lord John Roxton; sportsman, world explorer, British gentleman and all round good egg. The sort of character that we have seen parodied countless times.

I was expecting action and mysterious creatures but my surprise was Conan Doyle’s humour. In particular I found myself laughing out loud at the chapter describing the lecture at the start of the book. To use the vernacular of the time the inaudible chairman was an absolute “hoot”.

For several reasons The Lost World could not be written today. With the benefit of current knowledge it is hard to believe that such a mix of fauna could exist together in such a relatively small space. Also, any modern book would have a balanced mix of gender and race whereas here we have four upper class English male explorers, some Native South American bearers, a loyal “negro” servant and just two very stereotypical female characters with very minor roles.

As is usual for Alma Classics there are a few pages of useful notes to explain some of the references to contemporary persons and literature. The cover has an outline drawing of what must be Lord John in jodhpurs and pith helmet, looking up at pterodactyls flying above.

The book has a lively ending and promised more adventures for the leading characters which Conan Doyle fulfilled with several short stories and another book. The Lost World brightened up a couple of dull post-Christmas days and for sheer “ripping yarn” entertainment I have awarded five stars.
Profile Image for Jon Nakapalau.
5,108 reviews724 followers
June 8, 2017
Almost every 'dinosaurs are alive' movie owes something to this book; a fantastic adventure story for young boys and girls that will make them curious about science and adventure.
Profile Image for Daren.
1,328 reviews4,398 followers
December 28, 2020
An enjoyable romp of a story. Published in 1912, set in 1907 it still does pretty well today. Easy to imagine the Britishness of the characters - the larger than life 'Brian-Blessed-esque' professor Challenger, the cool calm and collected Lord John Roxton and more typical aged professor Summerlee, and rounding out the team, Irish rugby-playing Journalist Ed Malone.

While the paleontology is significantly outdated - with almost all its ideas dis-proven since publication, it is still a very entertaining read. The form of the story - from Malone (our narrator) and his introduction to Challenger, to the episodic reports he returns from the Amazonian jungle - works well, and was obviously suited to publication as a serial in Strand magazine.

I found this very similar to h. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mine, in that it must be read in its context. Consider finding a plateau of undisturbed prehistoric animals, and carrying out some of the actions they did , and the fairly minor use of fascist terms.

Interestingly it was Brian Blessed that led me to read this novel. In his Quest for the Lost World he mentions his love for the Conan Doyle book, and the replication in his own expedition to Venezuela. As other reviews have mentioned, Blessed is a sitter for the role of Challenger.

I enjoyed this, and have copies of some further Challenger stories which I expect to read in the future.

4 stars.
Profile Image for Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*.
2,473 reviews1,083 followers
October 15, 2017
3.5 rating

“So tomorrow we disappear into the unknown. This account I am transmitting down the river by canoe, and it may be our last word to those who are interested in our fate.”

Ironically the first part was better than when the actual adventure started. I think it's because the writer did not indulge in so much descriptive rambling and lengthy pauses during the build-up, which allowed that part of the story to shine triumphantly with humor, quirky characters, and fun motivations.

I loved the protagonist and Professor Challenger - eventually I ended up enjoying the four main travelers, but those two were the most fun. Challenger was especially thrilling with his brutish humor, fearsome reputation, and kinship with the ape people. I laughed aloud a few times, which I didn't expect when I first dared to pick this one up.

While the adventure part was full action-adventure mode, descriptive, creative and chilling, sometimes it left my interest in the dust. The story became long-winded and downright dull for many parts.

It has all the winning tropes – testosterone overload as the men bond and pair against each other, trying to one-up each other’s stories and heroics; betrayals in the group; adventures where people escape at the nick of time; heroes not believed until they show evidence that leaves no doubt; comedy and adventure mixed as one.

Unfortunately it’s a little too action-packed at times, but overall it’s still deserving of its classic reputation and will live on.
September 13, 2011
The Lost World is a classic work of action/adventure that has a lively feel that made for a very fun read. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, best known for his Sherlock Holmes stories, has a way of writing an engaging tale. For readers who fear reading books published prior to the later 20th century out of the desire to avoid dry, stale language, I would offer up this book. Although it shows the sentiments, good and bad, for the period in which it was written, the writing tone could easily be as modern as a work published in the recent years. It doesn't have much of a dated feel to this reader, except in one way that I will address later. Mr. Doyle takes the scientific debates of the later Victorian, early Edwardian period, and gives us vivid characters to speak for the different viewpoints, making what could be a dry discussion of evolutionary biology and the various proponents or antagonists therein, and instead crafting a diverting read.


Challenger is by far the most hilarious character in this story. He is completely pompous and arrogant, assured that he knows everything, and of his utter superiority in every way. He is oblivious to the idea that anything should shake his massive self-confidence. Although he is right a lot of the time, sometimes he's very, very wrong (or his way of analyzing and approaching things is just skewed), not that he lets that bother him much. Mr. Doyle created an iconic figure here, so it doesn't surprise me that he wrote other stories about Challenger. He's too good a character to let go of.


Summerlee is mostly a foil for the more vibrant, and sometimes often obnoxious Challenger. He doesn't come off quite as vivid as either Challenger or Roxton, but he adds to the scope and detail of this story with his acerbic, strong, but not bull-like in the way of Challenger, personality. He turns out to be a very valuable member of the exhibition, both for his counterpart role as the voice of reason to the more bombastic Challenger, but also for his scientific knowledge and rationality in the face of very eye-raising events in the Lost World.


Goodness, I did love this character. I have seen and encountered those in popular media who exhibit the Great White Hunter stereotype, but Roxton didn't strike me that way at all. He's an alpha male in all the good ways. He wasn't one-dimensional, only driven by the hunt and sport (as I feared), although those were important things to him. He's a man's man, but he's also a thinker and a doer. He is a man who lives life to the fullest, and doesn't let fear or 'can't dos' stand in the way. He is a lot more compassionate and crusading that I expected. I thought he would be self-serving and superior. That's not him at all. Roxton is another iconic, larger-than-life character, that no doubt fueled many of the adventurer types that have populated later literature and cinema/television stories in this genre. In his own way, Roxton is also a foil for Challenger. Challenger is convinced of his self-importance, and ever ready to take credit for what he does. Roxton likes the thrill and the challenge. He claims his trophies, but it's not about the right to brag. It's about the doing for him. His very apt, if "school of hard knocks" wisdom saves the day many a time on this journey.


Malone is the point of view of this novel. We see everything through his eyes, and his wry observations make for some very humorous moments. Doyle also uses Malone to convey the wonder of the Lost World. He describes both the dangerous and fearsome aspects of the lost world, and the rare and eye-opening beauty in a way that pulls me into the narrative head first. Malone and Roxton seem to be contrasted in ways in that Malone is a bit more of the thinker, who wishes he was the doer. He has quite a case of hero worship for Roxton, but Malone proves to be very valuable on this expedition, both as a source of information, and by his own feats that save and protect the various members on the expedition. He turns out to be a character that one should not underestimate or dismiss.

You take the good with the bad:

When it comes to older books and stories, one prepares to see some rather disappointing exhibitions of racism come into play. As a reader of classic and pulp literature, I have had it hit me very badly with some authors, and others where I was surprised at how enlightened their attitudes seemed. For the most part, this wasn't as bad as it could have been in that sense. However, it did bother me and made me wince how the one Negro character was referred to as 'our faithful' and as though he was an unintelligent object or possession pretty much every time. I found it very patronizing and offensive. His speech was very stereotyped (poor English and using the word 'Massa'), and showing slavish devotion to his white 'betters'. He was even referred to as being as intelligent as a horse. You could take that in the manner in which it was intended (which I did), as the man being less intelligent than white men, or you could take that as Doyle believing horses are smart cookies. Out of this whole book (which I had mainly favorable reactions to), this aspect left a bad taste in my mouth. It seemed as though the views of the South American natives were more enlightented than the black man. Yeah, that smarts. Also there is a tone that speaks of the inherent superiority of the white man and Europeans. I'm not beating up Doyle. I'm telling it like it is and how it affected me as a reader of color. I realize that these were the prevalent thoughts of the time. But this is not something that makes me a happy camper. Thus, it dulls the shining light of this story somewhat for this reader.

On the good side....:

The science, botany and zoology, exhibited in this story seemed quite knowledgeable, showing that Doyle did attempt to do his homework. I am no dinosaur expert, but I did recognize many of the older names for dinosaurs which probably came into common knowledge around the period in which this was written. This story also conveys a detail about the South American rainforests and tropical environs that made for a seemingly credible read. I felt like I was along for the journey, but immensely glad that I was just reading this book on my Kindle when it came to encountering vicious carnivorous species and the rather vile apemen.

End Verdict:

The Lost World is a piece of classic literature that no respectable adventure fan should go without reading. If you enjoy movies like Indiana Jones or Tomb Raider, or any other of the many treasure hunting/lost world expedition movies and tv shows, then take a little time to explore one of the forefronts in this genre of literature. I give it a thumbs up.

Profile Image for Ivana Books Are Magic.
523 reviews201 followers
October 20, 2021
Obviously, The Lost World is not a very ambitious novel in the literary sense (basically an adventure story with dinosaurs), but the writing is quite engaging and at times wonderfully funny. The plot is silly at times but it makes the over the top protagonists even more hilarious. The subplot doesn't work as well, but more about that later. I think some people miss the humour in this one. I think the 'heroes' are supposed to do stupid things and we are supposed to make fun of them for it. The reporter who tells the story is supposed to be a bit stupid (so no wonder he goes exploring in the night when dinosaurs are hunting), the hunter/sportsman/adventurer Lord John is supposed to be over the top (in a cheesy way but it makes sense in the context of the plot) and professor Challenger well he is supposed to be an insufferable intellectual. The way author makes fun of the professor Challenger and academia is hilarious. Sure, the science in this novel isn't strong in this novel but the story itself is imaginative enough to be interesting and quite fresh for its time. This is the kind of novel that isn't supposed to be taken too seriously.

As expected from an adventure novel written more than a hundred years ago, there are hardly any women characters in this novel. No surprises there. I wouldn't call this book sexist, though. Yes, professor Challenger is not nice to his wife but he is not nice to anyone but himself- he is not supposed to be likable. The journalist's love interest is perhaps only there to serve to plot. At any rate, I didn't see her as a developed character and I didn't form any opinion of her. I wasn't expecting any female characters in an adventure story published in 1912, so I cannot say I was disappointed.

The only real issue I have with this novel is the 'missing link' subplot. The rest of the novel makes sense (even if it is a bit cheesy and predictable), but the 'missing link' part just doesn't. The way the author describes the ape people (if we can call them that) is inconsistent. They are supposed to be the missing link between apes and humans but it seems that Doyle couldn't make up his mind how evolved are they. The result is a mess. First they are described and portrayed as animals, then more as twisted humans (basically a bloodthirsty tribe) and suddenly as a treat to Indians and European 'heroes'. That part of the subplot didn't make any sense to me and it if it was supposed to be a metaphor, I didn't get it. Perhaps it would have been better if Doyle had left the whole 'missing link' creatures out of this novel. It somewhat ruined the novel for me. So, yes basically that's what bothered me the most. The while missing link business. If not omitted, it could have been better written for sure.

As for possible racism of this novel, that can be debated as people often find what they are looking for. While it is true that one sentence is definitely offensive (when the narrator describes a black man as being 'an intelligent as a horse') that's the narrator character and not the writer talking. They are clearly not the same person. One would need more arguments to pin that on the writer and the novel. Maybe some valid arguments exist, but you cannot judge a book on a basis of one sentence taken out of the context. The narrator (journalist character) in the novel is often described as not being bright, so his insult doesn't carry that much weight does it? It could be ironic. Doyle often used contrasting to make fun of his principal characters. Moreover, it can be noted that the Indians and the one African American man are often voices of reason and their actions more reasonable than those of European 'heroes'.

Was this book really racist? Does it put forward the idea that Caucasians are somehow better? I can't say that I got that impression, apart from the 'missing link' subplot that doesn't make much sense so I don't know what to make of that. Perhaps that part can be read as racist, if you insist on that reading but it is far from clear. As far as I noticed, the author makes fun of his 'heroes' so they are not exactly put on pedestal, are they? Who saves them in the end? Right! So, it is not like they have done it all on their own, they had lots of help (and a lot of luck). Plus, this novel isn't exactly very serious, is it? It is an adventure story that doesn't seem to push any definite views. On the other hand, as far as I remember, biracial people were indeed described in a rather negative way (the slave owner, the brother of the slave owner and so on). However, wasn't it also implied that it was the Latin in them that was their downfall? So, wasn't that the critique of Latin and not Indian blood in them? I'm not sure what to make of all that either. It's not as simple as it may look.

All in all, I'm glad I finally got around to reading this book. The Lost World was and still is (in many ways) an influential book, important for understanding the whole dinosaur in entertainment phenomena. I can see why many find this novel appealing. I can also understand why many don't. As for myself, I think I might read the sequel.
Profile Image for Anne.
445 reviews79 followers
February 7, 2022
“So tomorrow we disappear into the unknown. This account I am transmitting down the river by canoe, and it may be our last word to those who are interested in our fate.”

The Lost World is a 1912 sci-fi novel featuring the curmudgeonly character, Professor Challenger. He is an English zoologist/biologist who claims prehistoric animals presently inhabit a remote plateau in the Amazon basin of South America.

The narrator is a reporter named Edward Malone and the story is about what the expedition found on their visit to this region. The group of explorers include a professional adventurer, Lord John Roxton; two scientists, Professor Challenger and Professor Summerlee – rivals; and support people besides Edward, who is send on assignment for the press.

I am so glad I tried the audio! Glen McCready’s performance (because you surely cannot call it merely reading) helped me realize the over-the-top, theatrical tone that was meant by the story. Had I been reading this myself; I may have misinterpreted the writing. It is not really a humorous story but has a melodramatic flare (that I found silly yet entertaining).

The opening scene confused me. It starts off with Edward talking with a woman he’s in love with, only she is unimpressed with his heroic accomplishments. Soon afterwards, Edward becomes acquainted with Challenger (in an explosive interview) just before attending a public meeting where Challenger defends his claims and issues a challenge to find a group to prove him wrong. The selections are chosen from the audience for the expedition team.

The adventure begins with an air of mystery because Challenger has withheld the final coordinates of the journey. The team will find out about it a precise date and time.

Once they arrive at their destination, the dangers are obvious. They encounter lethal animals, primitive people, and strenuous geography. Death lurks around each corner.

I became interested in this book after reading on the Wiki how Haggard’s King Solomon's Mines influenced numerous authors. The Lost World was one of the books named. Several key elements are present in both stories .

A couple film adaptations of this book have been made. I watched the 1960 movie of The Lost World that is loosely based on the book and found it quaint and entertaining. The movie, like the book, has a feel akin to a live stage performance. The set reminded me of television shows of the time like Lost in Space and Star Trek. The film added not one but two women to the team, and, at least, one of them had a vital role to the team’s survival. Other changes include a young man in the group ( whose function is be a companion for one of the women) and two native men from the Amazon (one is a pilot and the other’s role is support). I would recommend this movie to fans of vintage B movies.

Once the team nears the plateau, it is non-stop action and adventure. There are plenty of close calls that moves the pace along. Plus, some unwise risks that are taken. The momentum continues to the end and finishes with an idealistic conclusion.

Overall, it is a fun and engaging adventure tale. I liked the old-school tone and melodramatics. Challenger is a larger-than-life type character that would be a worthy advisory for Sherlock Holmes.

Profile Image for kwesi 章英狮.
292 reviews726 followers
September 25, 2011
I don't like to end the book so soon, I really love this book although I expected something gorier like dinosaur killing the whole tribe or cannibals eat human flesh. Still, I did love this book in many ways and as long as I live I'll treasure this book forever. Hey, stop looking to me like that. I can still remember all the things I read from the book. Amen.

The whole journey started when a Gazette Irish journalist named, Malone, went go straight to the house of notorious Professor Challenged claims that dinosaurs exist. To give them proof the scientist sent away a team and of course himself to journey that they won't regret forever that talks about surviving, extinction and friendship. But when they went home, a sudden change of fate is waiting for them

This is a good book and reminds me of The Time Machine. It has the same narration with the book and the story was kind of documentation by letters of their journey through the land of extinction. There are boring parts in the book and mostly those parts are in the beginning before they left. Anyway, I recommend this book to everyone who loves to read Arthur Conan Doyle's works and people who love prehistoric animals.

As a science student I have problem regarding the usage of a scientific name on chapter 8. About Nuttonia vexillaria said to be a rare plant and the second word must start in small letters to follow the rules regarding naming a plant. But I'm not sure if the plant was in Latin because I did a research online and can't find the plant.

Another unconditional moment on the book was the fight between the Indian tribe and the Ape-men. I was so shock that I can't stop reading that part that I want to know what happened to them and in the end, my heart broke into pieces and nobody can help but to observe the real meaning of extinction. It was a great example and I think most of the readers find it interesting since it has a symbol of how things extinct in real world.

If you don't like spoiler please don't continue.

I also find the naming of the Lake funny and what happened to him and to the girl in the near end. I was so ashamed of him being too young minded bout love and so on. Although romance did not emphasize in the book, it happens that it was so funny that it keeps on popping in my head. The right part, they did not even proved everyone that dinosaurs exist and it was the best thing happened than killing extinct animals for selfish rights.

When Lord Roxton mentioned the blue gay, I have this feeling that diamonds exist from them. It was simple, I watch movies adopted from the book and they usually surrounded by blue clay or sand and same with the other books I read such as Sidney Sheldon's Master of the Game. And why I mentioned it, because everyone had their chance to make their dreams come true in the end. After a cup of coffee or tea, all their hard work payed in a very surprising way.

Review posted on Old-Fashioned Reader .

Rating: The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle, 4 Sweets

Book #256 for 2011
Profile Image for Charles  van Buren.
1,769 reviews194 followers
May 9, 2019
One of the two original, popular "dinosaur" novels.

By Charles van Buren on May 2, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

This review of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's THE LOST WORLD is from the Amazon Classics edition, December 5, 2017. Reviews of this edition also appear at the Amazon listing for a different edition published by Amazon Digital Services, March 30, 2011. Appearing under both lisings are multiple reviews of Michael Crichton's THE LOST WORLD. For instance, of the 35 one star reviews listed on, May 1, 2018, 25 are clearly reviews of the Crichton book. Only 2 are clearly reviews of Doyle's novel.  I have now discovered that my review and many others of Doyle's book appear under at least one of Amazon's listings for Crichton's book.

Doyle's THE LOST WORLD was originally published as a magazine serial in 1912. It was the second story of modern humans meeting dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals to meet with widespread public appreciation. The first was Jules Verne's 1864, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH. Doyle's book was followed by Edgar Rice Burroughs' THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT, in 1918. Over the following years, Burroughs wrote several more "dinosaur" novels. Doyle, Verne and Burroughs are obviously the main forerunners of Michael Crichton's JURASSIC PARK, books and movies.

Doyle's book has a team of four European explorers trapped on the South American plateau of the lost world. SPOILERS AHEAD: there are dinosaurs chasing humans but not devouring them. With but four explorers, Doyle would have run out of characters. Instead, the book concentrates on the many dangers which confront the explorers, character development, suspense and acrimonious arguments within the scientific community. As one would expect from Arthur Conan Doyle, the novel is well written, but don't expect Sherlock Holmes meets dinosaurs. Several movies and TV programs have been based on the book. Some pretty good and some pretty silly. My favorite is Irwin Allen's 1960 movie with Michael Rennie and Claude Raines. It does not follow the book very closely but Rennie, Raines and Jill St. John make up for a lot of the sometimes silly alterations of the plot.
Profile Image for Ben-Ain.
105 reviews17 followers
January 28, 2021
¡Un clásico de aventuras!

Escrito a principios del siglo pasado, El mundo perdido es uno de los libros de aventuras por antonomasia. El tono y el ritmo de la narración me han recordado mucho a los libros de Julio Verne. De hecho, creo que tiene más en común con éstos que con los libros escritos por el propio Conan Doyle sobre su personaje más famoso, el detective Sherlock Holmes. Puede que por eso, por esperar de éste las mismas emociones que sentí con los libros sobre el famoso detective, el conjunto total no me haya llenado tanto.

Es un libro entretenido, contado de la misma forma que muchos otros clásicos que he leído recientemente, mediante el recurso de la acción contada mediante cartas. Edward Malone, periodista de la Gazette, es el encargado de narrar el viaje que les llevará a él, a los profesores Challenger y Summerlee, y al aventurero/cazador Lord John Roxton a confirmar la existencia de vida prehistórica en la tierra de Maple white, una meseta perdida y prácticamente inaccesible en algún lugar del amazonas.

Poco más se puede decir, aparte de que me sigue asombrando el increíble conocimiento que Conan Doyle derrocha en cada página. Da igual que sea sobre zoología, botánica, geología... no hay nada que quede fuera de la órbita del saber de este hombre.

Es un libro corto, de unas trescientas páginas, que se dejan leer y que carece de momentos de pérdida de intensidad. Lo recomiendo para amantes de los clásicos más que para aquellos a quienes les gustan los libros de aventuras, pues, si no se lee teniendo en cuenta cuándo fue escrito (1912), puede que más de uno se lleve una desilusión.

3.75 estrellas.
Profile Image for Apatt.
507 reviews805 followers
June 21, 2016
“He would be a harder, sterner man, not so ready to adapt himself to a silly girl's whim. But, above all, he must be a man who could do, who could act, who could look Death in the face and have no fear of him, a man of great deeds and strange experiences. It is never a man that I should love, but always the glories he had won; for they would be reflected upon me. Think of Richard Burton!”

What? Oh this Richard Burton! I don’t want to post a photo of the explorer Burton (too many pics in this review already) but he looks a bit like Freddy Mercury. Ah! That crazy little thing called love.

The above opening quote is spoken by Gladys, the love of Edward Malone’s life. Malone – you see – is the first person narrator of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s dinotastic The Lost World. So, basically—in order to impress Gladys—the hapless Malone goes on an expedition to South America with the eccentric and very ill-tempered Professor Challenger (who really lives up to his name), also accompanied by a professional jungle adventurer and a biologist. The mission is to bring proof of prehistoric creatures Prof Challenger claims to exist on a plateau he found there on a previous visit. They do, of course, find loads of dinosaurs and other weird critters, otherwise this novel would be pointless. Much proto-Jurassic Park adventuring ensues.

When I read this book as a teen, during the first half of the book I was thinking “enough of all this stuff in London, bring on the dinos already!”. Indeed the first half of The Lost World is all about introducing the colorful characters, and establishing their various motives for the expedition. As a more patient adult reader, I quite enjoyed these earlier chapters, especially the memorable introduction of Professor Challenger who prefers to let his fists do the talking when somebody even slightly annoys him. The little punch-up he has with Malone is quite hilarious. I also enjoy the nonsense with Gladys and the riotous medical students.

I cannot help but admire the way Conan Doyle skillfully builds up the narrative, from the drawing of a stegosaurus by a dead artist

to the team’s suddenly coming upon some iguanodons, to other deadly encounters.

Once the dinosaurs start to appear the book becomes very fast-paced, with the characters getting into scrapes on almost every page.

It is a shame that Professor Challenger is nearly as well-known as Conan Doyle’s most legendary creation Sherlock Holmes, in his ways he is just as intriguing, with his superb intellect paired with an uncontrollable temper.

That's him! Professor Challenger

I am not sure about the scientific feasibility of the plateau which somehow manages to save prehistoric animals from extinction. Seems a bit dodgy, but who cares, right? The many scenes of dinosaur attacks are marvelously vividly written, I particularly love the stuff with the pterodactyls.

I don’t really have a lot more to say about The Lost World, any more plot details would probably spoil the book for you. If you are one of those people who have never read a classic published over a century ago because you have the impression that they may be too stuffy for you then perhaps The Lost World is the ideal one to check out. It really is tremendous old school fun. If you are a Jurassic Park fan this book is a must, Michael Crichton’s 1995 novel The Lost World is basically a reboot of this novel, I suppose the title is a tribute to Conan Doyle. I can’t think of any more ifs or buts, The Lost World should appeal to just about anybody. My only complaint is the absence of any tyrannosaurus rex!
• Audiobook credit: Fabulous Librivox free audiobook, very entertainingly read by Bob Neufeld. Thank you!

• There is only one other Professor Challenger novel, The Land of Mist, by all account it is an unreadable mess, written late in his career when Conan Doyle, grieving from the loss of his wife and child, became involved in spiritualism. His Prof Challenger short stories The Poison Belt, When the World Screamed, and The Disintegration Machine are all fun, though.

Awesome 1925 movie poster, anachronistic sexy jungle girl notwithstanding (click to enlarge)

“Our young friend makes up for many obvious mental lacunae by some measure of primitive common sense”

“He's as clever as they make 'em—a full-charged battery of force and vitality, but a quarrelsome, ill-conditioned faddist”

“An area, as large perhaps as Sussex, has been lifted up en bloc with all its living contents, and cut off by perpendicular precipices of a hardness which defies erosion from all the rest of the continent. What is the result? Why, the ordinary laws of Nature are suspended. The various checks which influence the struggle for existence in the world at large are all neutralized or altered. Creatures survive which would otherwise disappear.”
Profile Image for Craig.
5,142 reviews123 followers
August 28, 2021
Professor Challenger was Doyle's most famous character, after the obvious exception, who starred in a series of scientific adventures of which this was the first. It was serialized in 1912 in The Strand, and is a good kick-off to the literary sub-genre to which it gave a name. The first half has quite a bit of Victorian social commentary and introduces Edward Malone, a newspaper reporter who wishes to impress a young lady named Gladys, and the bombastic Professor. They embark on an expedition to an isolated plateau in South America where dinosaurs have survived, having a lot of exciting adventures along the way, of course. It's obviously dated in many ways, but it's a fun story with interesting characters and a lot of excitement.
Profile Image for Werner.
Author 3 books598 followers
March 2, 2016
Note, March2, 2016: I've just edited this review to correct a misspelled word.

Like one of my Goodreads friends, I should say at the outset that my review can't add much to the excellent one already written by another friend, Lady Danielle (http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... ). But I'll go ahead and share my perspective anyway, for what it's worth. While I did like the book, my rating for it wasn't quite as high as most of my friends gave it (for reasons I'll indicate below). But it's a good adventure yarn, still appealing on that level even 100 years after it was written, and for anyone seriously interested in the roots of modern science fiction, a must-read. The whole SF theme of juxtaposing the prehistoric with the present-day world derives directly from this novel; Doyle continues to be a serious influence on contemporary genre writers like Crichton, and a host of others in between.

Much of the novel's appeal comes from the sheer power and fascination of the concept of being able to directly experience dinosaurs firsthand. In 1912, this idea was completely new; it's less so now, but even so, it retains a lot of its intrinsic excitement. Doyle's treatment mostly builds on this advantage positively; he's a very capable writer in terms of craftsmanship (I don't list him as a favorite for nothing!). His plot is solid and his pacing brisk, with plenty of the jeopardies and challenges that draw readers (including me) to this type of fiction. He peoples the narrative with vividly drawn characters. The most obvious of these is his series character Prof. Challenger, introduced here: too big (physically and in sheer force of personality) to ignore, supremely egotistical, belligerent, and combative, but brilliant, ingenious, and courageous. (Both Doyle's Holmes and Challenger were at least partly based on actual people; the latter on Doyle's medical school professor William Rutherfurd, just as Holmes was on Rutherfurd's colleague Joseph Bell.) But the supporting characters like Lord Roxton and Prof. Summerlee are brought fully to life as well (Roxton is really the most likeable of the group --his character here is vastly different from the arrogant jerk in the very unfaithful made-for-TV movie and series adaptation!). Malone, the narrator and viewpoint character, is less colorful, but he's an Everyman that readers can identify with --and like identifying with, as he proves himself brave and competent in various situations. Being written at a time when literary syntax was no longer as florid and convoluted as it had been in the early and mid-1800s, the prose here is pretty straightforward in style; it won't inhibit any modern reader with a good vocabulary. And the climax of the novel leaves the reader with some of the most arresting mental images I've ever experienced.

For me, though, there were factors that kept the book from being a four-star read. That the science is dated wasn't that big a problem for me; we've explored enough of the earth by now to know that the idea of any surviving Jurassic ecosystem is pretty far-fetched, but in 1912 that wasn't the case. (Though he doesn't name the locality, Doyle actually based his physical setting for the titular Lost World on the then-wholly-unexplored high plateau of Roraima in southern Venezuela.) But the author's uncritical Darwinism is more of a challenge to belief; though one can, I suppose, accept Doyle's "ape-men" (which one character calls "missing links") here much as we accept dragons and unicorns in fantasy. One of my Goodreads friends likes Challenger better than Holmes, but I didn't have the same reaction. Indeed, although Challenger's character fascinates, I can't really say that I like him much at all (in real life, I think he'd drive me up the wall quickly if I had to be much in his company). Lady Danielle, in her review, analyzes the patronizing treatment and negative stereotyping of the only black character in the exploring party, Zambo, and I can't improve on her comments there. I'd add that the treatment of the Hispanic-Indian guide Gomez (he's repeatedly referred to or identified as "half-breed") is equally invidious, or more so; Zambo at least is seen as a sympathetic character, while Gomez is a treacherous, homicidal villain. To be sure, some blacks of that day and now (and some whites) exhibit traits like Zambo's, and no doubt some Hispanic-Indians (like some whites) ARE treacherous, homicidal villains. It's the absence of any balance to those portrayals here that gives the impression that we're being invited to view every real-life black, Hispanic or Indian person that way, a kind of racial stereotyping that comes across as a sour note in the read. The racist attitudes are matched by sexist ones; I can't say that the author's portrayal of women is very favorable. That the exploring party is all male is probably to be expected in any writing from this era, but like Verne in Journey to the Center of the Earth (at least in the translation I read), Doyle uses a conversation between the viewpoint character and his romantic interest at the beginning to pound home the point that adventuring is strictly a male preserve. The lady delivers lines like, "There are heroisms all around 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," and "It is never a man that I should love, but always the glories that he had won, for they would be reflected upon me.... These are the sort of men that a woman could worship with all her soul and yet be the greater, not the less, on account of her love, honored by all the world as the inspirer of noble deeds." (That choking noise in the background is me gagging.) And finally, there's no strong message here that speaks to any truth about the human condition, nor any ideas that make you seriously think.

The negatives here, though, didn't pull down the positives enough to keep me from liking the book overall. If you can put up with the former, the latter will provide you with some rousing entertainment!
Profile Image for Metodi Markov.
1,342 reviews317 followers
September 5, 2023
Какво ли не би направил един млад мъж, за да заслужи любовта на желаната жена?

Всичко, дори ако това означава участие в налудничава експедиция из дебрите на непозната част от джунглите на Южна Америка, под ръководството на сприхавия и ексцентричен професор Челинджър.

Чудесно приключенско четиво, за малки и големи мечтатели!
Profile Image for Celia🪐.
552 reviews1 follower
October 12, 2022
#RetoEdwardianspirit de la cuenta @victorianspiritsblog, premisa “Libro en lo Salvaje”.

Publicada en 1912 y clásico entre los clásicos dentro de la literatura de ciencia ficción y aventuras’ “El Mundo Perdido” narra las peripecias de una partida de exploración en su viaje hacia lo más profundo del Amazonas Sudamericano. Encabezados por el genial y engreído doctor Challenger, los cuatro miembros del grupo buscaran un inhóspito y escondido lugar que ha quedado al margen de la evolución,el cual el doctor descubrió en un viaje anterior. Dicho mundo está habitado por hombres primitivos, criaturas a medio camino entre el mono y el hombre, extrañas especies de animales y plantas, y dinosaurios.

Reconozco que tenía sentimientos encontrados a la hora de empezar esta novela. Me imaginaba que iba a ser una lectura relativamente ligera, pero admito que me daba un poco de pereza empezarla.No he leído mucha ciencia ficción, es un género al que debería prestar más tiempo y atención porque no me ha desagradado para nada las incursiones que hecho en él. Pero aún así, siempre me produce cierta pereza empezar un libro de este tipo. Pero por otro lado me hacía mucha ilusión leer una novela de Arthur Conan Doyle que no tuviera nada que ver con su más célebre creación, cierto detective victoriano que vive en la calle Baker de Londres. Esta es la primera novela que leo de Conan Doyle que no tiene nada que ver con ese personaje y eso me inspiraba, por si solo, no poca curiosidad.

Y tengo que reconocer que el libro me ha sorprendido para bien. Al principio se me hizo un poco pesado, me parece que toda la narración en los primeros capítulos era excesivamente lenta y los personajes me parecieron muy exagerados (sobre todo el del doctor Challenger). Me costó bastante conectar con la obra en general, la verdad. Pero una vez que lo hice y empezaron a desencadenarse los acontecimientos dentro de lo que ha sido la novela, ha sido no poder dejarla ni a sol ni a sombra, no he podido parar de leer hasta haber llegado al final. Creo que la gracia de esta novela es la misma que podemos encontrar en las obras de Sherlock Holmes: Un argumento en el que se dan de la mano el misterio y la tensión con la ciencia de la época; personajes que sin ser excesivamente profundo tienen características individuales muy claras, lo que permite distinguirlas fácilmente unos de otros; y una prosa vivaz y amena que se lee con mucha facilidad. Para mí la gracia total de “ El Mundo Perdido” es la manera en que Conan Doyle mantiene perfectamente el equilibrio entre las minuciosas descripciones del mundo de Maple White (que es como nuestros aventureros bautizan a esa parte perdida de Sudamérica), el misterio y la intriga; la antropología de este mundo y las teorías científicas por las que aboga la novela; y el sentido de la aventura y el descubrimiento. Y todo ello con unas descripciones del entorno muy conseguidas, que quizás a veces resulte un poco pesadas, pero imprescindibles para transportar al lector a ese mundo inhóspito y peligroso.

Durante la mayor parte del libro, la trama tiene un ritmo muy ágil y refrescante, y en ella no paran de ocurrir cosas y de darse descubrimientos y giros de guión que mantienen en vilo al lector totalmente. Estamos ante una obra que mientras la lees se te despierta el sentido de la imaginación y de la aventura, que te transporta plenamente a ese mundo perdido que sale de la pluma de Conan Doyle. Sus personajes están caracterizados de una forma sencilla pero muy efectiva.Durante toda la lectura la recorre un clima de humor socarrón que casa muy bien con los personajes, y que hace que sea todo mucho más ameno y tenga hasta cierta chispa. Nosotros, como lectores, conocemos los hechos por medio de la pluma de Malone, un periodista escocés que se ha embarcado en esta aventura para lograr la aprobación de su amada. Es un personaje con el que es muy fácil empatizar, y no solo porque veamos todo lo que pasa a través de sus ojos y por medio de los documentos que escribe. Se trata de que, aunque es bastante avispado y lanzado cuando la situación lo requiere, también tiene sus momentos de debilidad , se ve obligado a sobreponerse a sus propios miedos, y comete algún que otro error. A Malone le acompañan otros tres aventureros en este viaje plagado de misterios, criaturas supuestamente extintas y no pocos peligros. Entre ellos destaca el del doctor Challenger, un personaje que recuerda un poco a Sherlock Holmes, pero siendo bastante más bestia , maleducado y engreído que el celebre detective. Challenger Es el típico personaje que te cae mal cuando lo conoces, espero que poco a poco va cayéndote mejor y no puede evitar despertar simpatías, ya que el buen hombre, al final, no es tan malo e insoportable.

Y antes de que digáis nada, sí. Se nota muchísimo que es un libro que fue escrito y publicado hace más de cien años. Hay varias ideas y comentarios supremacistas blancos, y a los negros y mestizos se les representa como muy malos o muy leales y buenos, pero simples como ellos solo. Los cuatro protagonistas principales, miembros de la expedición antropológica, son el epítome por antonomasia del hombre blanco, siempre salen al paso de todo lo que se acontece gracias a su arrojo, perspicacia ya lo varoniles que son los cuatro, cada uno a su manera. Todo el libro es una oda al supremacismo blanco, a la inteligencia y a la gran capacidad de adaptación y de control del entorno por parte del hombre blanco. Se nota muchísimo que el libro es hijo de otra época, y alguno eso puede tirarle para atrás mientras lee. Aunque yo, por mi parte, no estoy de acuerdo con esta visión, y me aburro cuando me la encuentro en algún libro, me he tomado esta lectura como lo que creo que es realmente: un producto añejo que en ciertos sentidos ha envejecido mal. Pero que no deja de ser una historia de aventuras en la que la tensión, el misterio y los descubrimientos antropológicos está muy bien llevados con una trama muy interesante y fluida. Es hija de su momento histórico para bien y para mal.

En definitiva, “El Mundo Perdido” pasará por ser una lectura bastante agradable. No será uno de mis favoritos ni del año ni de la vida, pero no esperaba mucho de él, y me ha dado a cambio bastantes buenos momentos. Aunque al principio me ha costado un poco conectar con él, ha sido una lectura que al final me ha entretenido mucho y que ha logrado que me evada de la realidad. Y con eso me quedo. Como siempre, leer a Arthur Conan Doyle es un auténtico placer.
Profile Image for Shovelmonkey1.
353 reviews887 followers
July 2, 2012

The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle is the literary equivalent of the plucky and elegant Caudipteryx when placed next to the stomping roaring Tyrannosaurus that represents the Hollywood mega block busters of Jurassic Park and the Lost World. If it doesn't zip along fast enough it might get squashed. But it does zip along quite speedily and has all the pre-requisites needed for a boys-own adventure story.

Specifically boys-own, because there are no ladies to speak of in this early 20th century romp. Well, there is one but she's nothing but a low down strumpet who cruelly breaks the heart of budding journalist and aspiring adventurer, Mr Edward Malone, so we'll not dwell too long on the tainting presence of those with an XX chromosome within these mostly men only pages.

The simian Professor Challenger is soundly mocked by British academe for his belief that he has discovered a lost world in South America. He claims that he has evidence (literally sketchy at best) to prove the existence of the sort of place that would make Darwin weep into his Earl Grey and have Linnaeus pissing in his britches with excitement. Prof Challenger, like so many Profs of my own acquaintance does not take kindly to criticism or disbelievers, so rallies a group of hardy adventurers to strike out for the Amazon basin with the aim of bringing back proof.

The journey is narrated and documented by Edward Malone who, it seems is willing to put up with all manner of aggravation and patronising comments in order to get his front page story.

After a long and winding journey down the Amazon and finding a way onto the prehistoric plateau, disaster strikes and the group become trapped... and then in the tradition of many great foreign exploits and invasions, realise that being decidedly British and having impressive facial hair are not actually the same thing as having food, supplies and a plan. Numerous encounters with prehistoric beasties are fast and fierce although Mr Malone lacks a bit when it comes to descriptive faculties so instead of giant snarling monsters, you would be forgiven for thinking that the group is being pursued by an overly large and bellicose toad. Angry Anura aside, the Amazonian canopy is also sheltering two sub species of humans. Angry ape-men and meek, mild and more evolved homo sapiens type.

Now keep in mind that the explorers are there for King and Country and therefore the most logical thing to do is slaughter the group that seem less advanced and embark upon a programme of what amounts to basic ethnic cleansing. How terribly colonial. Having dispatched what might have been the missing link, without so much as the blink of an eye or an ethnographic study, the victorious Englishmen return home with the proof they need and a front page story guaranteed to knock Scott of the Antarctic off the front pages. In your face Scott. Ok, no one actually says that in the book.

An entertaining and generally quite wholesome read if you can somehow overlook the colonial-ness of the tome. The dinosaurs are not as scary as anything offered up by unholy-wood in recent times but it's fair to say that, even though it's over one hundred years old, this tale still has some bite.
Profile Image for Fabian {Councillor}.
232 reviews488 followers
December 28, 2022
Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Lost World" focuses on a story about an expedition in the South American Rainforest, leading its four protagonists on a plateau which seems to surround a world believed to be long-gone. Confronted with dinosaurs like pterodactyls, iguanodons or stegosaurus, our main characters have to solve many difficult or even dramatic situations, and it's one enjoyable thing to read it.

"The Lost World" is written from the perspective of Edward Malone - at first as part of a recollection of the events leading up to the expedition, and later in the form of a notebook Malone wrote in order to portray the events during their expedition.

Doyle's characters are one-dimensional and not very interesting. Edward Malone is something like a doppelganger to John Watson from his Sherlock Holmes novels, while Professor Challenger himself, as entertaining as his arrogance and strenuous attitudes were, felt like a second Sherlock, only beamed into a new profession. The two other main characters, John Roxton (an adventurer who might have been an ancestor to Indiana Jones) and Dr. Summerlee (who was just present to contradict Professor Challenger's opinions) weren't too interesting at all, but it wasn't those characters which made the story so enjoyable.

It was its insight into prehistoric life and the depiction of dangerous expeditions which kept me reading. Doyle didn't give too much of an explanation about why dinosaurs were still living in this forgotten part of the world, but it wasn't what I expected to read, since the story centered around discoverers who were meant to investigate this part of the world, not to question its background. The story probably includes a lot of contradictions to what is known about dinosaurs and their lives today, but it depicts what people knew at the beginning of the twentieth century, and it is framed by an enthralling story which reminds readers of how expeditions in those days have really been: dangerous and unforeseeable.

Minor elements in this story include an unexpected betrayal, the protagonist's own romantic desires as well as an important conflict between two human races, but in the centre of it all, the prehistorical aspects are what brings this story to life. In general, it was a very interesting read, and while it will not be reminded for its characters, the story which includes one of the first views on prehistoric life in literature makes it a true classic.
Profile Image for Tom Quinn.
552 reviews167 followers
June 12, 2016
"...I can see that what I am writing is destined to immortality as a classic of true adventure." - p. 154

OK, OK, you got me! It's pulp fiction rubbish, but what's wrong with that? This one I place squarely in the "Guilty Pleasure" column. After all, an enlightened 21st century reading of the text reveals sexism, racism, colonialism, and every other no-good -ism save Catechism, eh? But for all its retroactive flaws, the narrative still proves to be a dashing adventure, and one which led me to turn pages so quickly it's a wonder they didn't catch fire. Surely a classic of the genre! Tally-ho!

4 stars out of 5.
Profile Image for Jelena.
169 reviews95 followers
August 22, 2017
I’ve been on an adventure!

And I’m quite glad I read this at an adult age. “The Lost World” is an adventure novel through and through, pure in its quest for new thrills and sensations, a glorious and unadulterated pulp. An old-school fantasy escapade with all its props and décor protruding out of everywhere. And how I loved it for that!

It’s a pretty safe bet that my 12-year-old self would’ve overanalysed it by acting all grown-up and intellectual, nagging at the characters’ implausible actions and stereotypical features of the story. And there sure are enough of those. But making a fuzz about unscientific conduct on a scientific expedition and rash decisions of sketched-out types is like asking who’s in charge of refuelling the Blackbird or what Batman does when he’s got to pee during an all-night crime-fighting spree. It simply doesn’t matter. Instead, this book has got it all: Opening with a capricious brat and a poor, delusional nerd in need of adventure, moving on to an infallible example of all-round manliness and a catfight between eminent scientists. Even though there are no grand revelations and twists and the reader knows what to expect from the very beginning, the story shows quite a dynamic pace and focusses on the events and experiences along the way. The best part, though, are and always will be the dinosaurs. Whoever fails to get all giddy and excited about dinosaurs is forever dead inside.

“The Lost World” has got something of a journey through time. It felt like a visit to my younger self, the one who wanted to be Indiana Jones, as well as to a completely different world and atmosphere – not only to the lost plateau itself, but also to its literary world, since this novel is absolutely a child of its time. And it was all a delight!
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