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9 April 2012 / getrus

The Lost World — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Most people when they think of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle think of his sleuth Sherlock Holmes and trusty sidekick Dr. Watson.  (I’ll admit that I do, too.)  But, Doyle wrote more than just mysteries.  The Lost World is about Professor Challenger finding what he believed to be a plateau in an unexplored region of South America which still held living dinosaurs.

Challenger returns to England where, of course, no one believes there are actually still dinosaurs roaming the Earth.  He enlists the help of a reporter who is trying to prove the woman he is in love with that he is more than just a measly reporter, a professor of Anatomy by the name of Summerlee, and Lord John Roxton a sportsman and traveler.  Shortly after the crew was assembled they began their journey from England to South America and down the Amazon River.

Eventually they reach the point at which Challenger points out the great plateau.  There is however no way to get up there as they only way up had been blocked off.  After trial and error they find themselves on top of the plateau, trapped no less because of unforeseen events.   They find though that Challenger was indeed correct.  There were dinosaurs living on the plateau.  There were also creatures, a cross between an ape and a human, which were smart and managed to capture Challenger and Summerlee.

It was during this capture that the crew found that there also happened to be a tribe of natives who lived on the plateau as well.  The natives claim not to know of a way off the plateau, or don’t want to help the crew off (after many failed attempts).  Eventually, a young native takes pity on them and shows them the way.

They make their way back to England with their findings and the reporter who wrote down an account of the entire trip to be put in to print.  I think I’ll leave out the ending and make you read it if you are curious enough to want to find out.

While I enjoyed reading this book, it wasn’t quite different than what I was used to when reading Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.  Challenger and Holmes have many of the same qualities.  I would say, however, if you liked Holmes than you should giveThe Lost World a read.

**** (Four stars)

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