The Lost World

ISBN: 1426455488
ISBN 13: 9781426455483
By: Arthur Conan Doyle

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About this book

This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.

Reader's Thoughts


This was fun! A multi-cast recording with sound effects. Made the story seem more alive. And for when this book was written, it is very imaginative. my only complaint was not enough dinosaurs. LOL


The Lost World, by Sir Arthur Conan DoyleAs much as I adore the Sherlock Holmes stories it always saddens me that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s other fiction often gets overlooked. He wrote superb historical novels, some great horror short stories (including the one the movie The Mummy was based on, tales of adventure on the high seas and just about every other genre you can think of. And he wrote science fiction. Like The Lost World.This short novel is not quite my favourite Conan Doyle science fiction tale. The Maracot Deep is for my money stranger and more original. But The Lost World, published in 1912, remains the classic story of its type.A young newspaperman named Malone sets out to impress his girlfriend Gladys by doing something brave and daring. And attempting to interview Professor Challenger certainly requites both courage and daring. The eccentric scientist has a famously violent temper and has put a number of journalists in hospital. And he’s in an even worse mood since he returned from his recent expedition to South America. Challenger had came back with an extraordinary tale to tell but unfortunately his supporting evidence had been lost on the return journey and his account was met with ridicule and venomous hostility by his many scientific enemies. Surprisingly he takes a liking to young Malone and invites him to a lecture he is giving. When the Professor tells the audience that he had discovered a lost world filled with prehistoric creatures he is greeted with laughter and catcalls. He throws out a challenge to anyone prepared to set out for South America to establish the truth of his story. There are three volunteers - Professor Summerlee (his most bitter scientific adversary), famous big-game hunter and adventurer Lord John Roxton and Malone whose enthusiasm and determination to impress Gladys got the better of him.And there is indeed a lost world. An immense plateau which seems to have no means of access, but eventually our intrepid explorers find an ingenious way to enter this forgotten land. They find dinosaurs, isolated for millions of years, but other more advanced forms of life has at various later times managed to reach this plateau. There is a primitive human civilisation, and there are apemen.Other lost world tales have more ingenious and more inventive plots but there are two areas in which Conan Doyle’s story stands supreme. The first is simply Conan Doyle’s skill as a story-teller. The second is characterisation, most importantly in the creation of the extraordinary personage of Professor Challenger. Challenger is not merely eccentric and irascible, he’s violently insane and frighteningly unstable. But he is a genius, and he is immensely entertaining.The Lost World is a ripping adventure yarn. Recommended.

Mike (the Paladin)

I preferred Challenger to Holmes and dug up all the Challenger stories when I was younger. I agree with the "blurb" forget the newer story by this name and read this one. Great "high adventure" you don't seem to see anymore.Be aware that this is an older book and like others of its era it is NOT PC. There are words used in the text that were acceptable then and are not acceptable now. If you are aware of this and can read the book without it bothering you then you'll find that the book is well written (if you like Conan Doyle that's still him after all). English gentlemen exploring a plateau where time has "stalled" (yah, I could have said "time stood still" but you know...its been done). Of course they end stranded on said plateau, have many adventures (not listed here lest I spoil the book for you). Professor Challenger has been laughed at, ridiculed, and insulted for years over his original report that he'd discovered dinosaurs in South America...he's also assaulted several reporters over it. So, he ends up leading this expedition. Will they survive? Will they find great scientific truths? Will they discover great riches? Will they get home alive?Their English, what do you think?:)


Oh, I had forgotten how much I love paragraph-long, physiognomy-based character exposition. I don't find modern writers can lay meaning on a face with quite the zeal of Victorian and fin de siecle writers. Why not add more than one personality trait in just the brow alone? I loved the outset of this novel, but my loyalties were tested by the plot twists. It wasn't enough Darwinism to have a plateau with dinosaurs. And it wasn't enough "What ho" bigotry to have double-crossing Amazon half-breeds and faithful Negro. No, there had to be apemen AND a counter tribe of "smooth limbed," liquid-eyed smart men. Not sufficient for the white men to conquer prehistoric monsters and geologic impossibility just getting there, no, let's watch them conquer their evolutionary forebears. Has there ever been a lost land withOUT diamonds? Really? I'd have to reread The Swiss Family Robinson (and it's thicker than you would imagine), but i'd make a small bet on it. I may have enjoyed this so much just because it was a nice infusion of Doyle who i have not read in over a decade. And SO much shorter than SFR!


The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle is part of the fantastical adventure novel genre that was so popular among the late Victorians. In it, eccentric British scientist Professor Challenger claims that dinosaurs still exist in a remote area of South America. He intends to prove it. Included in the expedition are Professor Summerlee, a skeptic, Lord John Roxton, a big-game hunter, and Ned Malone, a reporter. They soon become stranded in the remote “Maple White Land,” threatened by lumbering dinosaurs with tiny little brains and a tribe of “missing link” ape men.I suppose The Lost World was cutting edge of science fiction when it was written. But as paleontology has changed, so must it be considered fantasy today. As I understand it, many of the early ideas about dinosaurs (and missing links) were wrong. Therefore, much of the scientific basis of the Lost World is also wrong.It still works, however, as a fantasy and I enjoyed it more than, say, H. Rider Haggard. It has more humor and a considerably breezier style. Also, it was a touch (though only a touch) less condescending towards other nationalities. The exceedingly petty quarrels between the professors were amusing and consistent with my understanding of Victorian science.The Lost World is a fast-moving tale, full of danger and action. It’s a fun, light-hearted little book.


The things we do for love. The Lost World begins with our hero, Edward Malone, wanting desperately to propose to his ladylove, Gladys, and being thwarted because, as a mere reporter, he isn't adventurous enough for her. Not that she wants adventures herself; she simply wants to bask in reflected glory. It's his determination to prove himself worthy of Gladys that shortly finds him tumbling down a staircase, grappling with the world famous scientist George Edward Challenger.Challenger, a bull of a man, as brilliant as he is supercilious, is also in love -- with himself, to be sure, but more importantly with science. His recent discovery of an American's sketchbook -- a sketchbook that suggests the existence of prehistoric life on a plateau deep in the jungle -- has left him no alternative: he must find that plateau and expose its wonders to the world. Conveniently putting his detractors to shame in the process, naturally.His most vocal and distiguished opponent is Professor Summerlee, who would love nothing more than to show up Challenger as a fraud. Thus, though an older man past his physical prime, he signs on to journey across an ocean and into the deepest heart of the forbidding jungle.As an aide of sorts for Summerlee, Lord John Roxton rounds out the expedition, and he is a natural choice. His muse and his love is adventure itself. Already a world-famous sportsman and traveler, he is also familiar with South America, where he earlier waged his own private war with slave-runners, and the Amazon in particular.But love is a funny thing, and not everyone finds it in quite the way they expected.The Lost World is a delight -- exciting, witty and humorous, and, best of all, gloriously romantic, a tale from a time when its fantastic premise still seemed almost plausible. The irony, of course, is that it carries with it the particular bane of this sort of romance: science and the belief of man's inherent superiority over nature. Reading the story, the title takes on an unintended double meaning, as, once the explorers reach the plateau, all that really matters is how it can be exploited for man's benefit. So add a certain melancholy to the book's charms.That, and a couple of horrific scenes involving a tribe of ape-men who deal with their enemies in a particularly nasty fashion. I like a fantasy with teeth.The Lost World (1960), directed by Irwin Allen


One of the most pleasant aspects about reading adventures like those of Doyle, Wells, Kipling, and Haggard is the particular presence of the characters, their little joys and quarrels and concerns. There's this humorous self-awareness throughout the story that makes the whole thing read as if its being told, given over to the reader in a particular voice. Certainly, this can be carried too far and made condescending, as with C.S. Lewis, but it goes to show what a winking authorial presence can lend to a work, especially to a melodrama adventure. Too often among the lesser class of 'thrilling' books, we get flat characters who are so profoundly competent and neutral that they lose any chance of possessing a personality. It just goes to show that a good story, be it action or horror or what have you, still requires some humor, some wryness to inject suitable depth and humanity, just as a good comedy can profit from a bit of pathos and tension. Of course there are some rather insensitive colonial notions woven into it, which some readers are quick to forgive as being a 'symptom of the time', but a perusal of Wells shows that it was not an inextricable part of the Victorian man's mind.The story's notions are delightful, made up of the sort of thing that can still fire up a young man's imagination today, and it's hardly surprising to see that they were picked up and elaborated upon by numerous later authors, most prominently in Burroughs' 'Tarzan' and 'The Land That Time Forgot'.The latter book I actually read as a child and mistook for Doyle's work, and it was only recently that I realized and rectified my error, and I'm glad I did.

Arun Divakar

This could probably be the start point for the dino craze in literature, of course am venturing a guess by suggesting this too. But still this work shines as one of the best to be written on the adventures of man on the threshold of a primitive world.Prof. Edward Challenger and his rag tag bunch of adventurers do hold some charm as the book proceeds in twists and turns. Some exciting adventures might feel cliche in the days now, but thinking of the time this book was written they still hold the magic.Recommended....


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Lost World" is a classic adventure story first published in 1912. It is the story of a scientific expedition that is sent to determine if the reported findings of prehistoric life still existing in a remote area of South America are true. Professor Challenger is the one defending his findings, Professor Summerlee is the skeptic, and there are two unbiased observers: the guide, Lord John Roxton, and a reporter Ned Malone, who also servers as the Narrator of the story. This story has the feel of a Jules Verne's adventure. This book is certainly showing some of its age. The opening of the book, in which we learn of Ned Malone's motivation, certainly comes across as dated and sexist. In it the woman of his dreams tells him "There are heroisms all round us waiting to be done. It's for men to do them, and for women to reserve their love as a reward for such men... That's what I should like - to be envied for my man." Much later in the book, we have the scientific expedition deciding to try to wipe out a race of previously unknown ape-men, hardly something a scientist would contemplate in this day and age, and I doubt it would have been even when this book was first published. Yet despite these and other flaws, I did enjoy reading this book. The characters were eccentric and entertaining, and I was compelled to keep reading to find out what would happen to them. This book was tied for 9th on August Derleth's Arkham Survey of `Basic SF Titles', but it really is more of an Adventure novel than a Science Fiction novel.

The Thousander Club

Adam C. Zern opines . . . "Among all of the classic adventure tales I've read so far, which includes Treasure Island, Around the World in 80 Days, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Time Machine, among others, I have liked The Lost World the most. I think its charm lies in its themes, even if they're somewhat subtle. Doyle's interesting insights into the subjects of science, faith, love, and truth make the book meaningful when the moments of grandeur, awe, and danger come. It's not too heavy, however, so the book can be enjoyed even with a somewhat distracted reading.Luckily, The Lost World doesn't fall into the same trap that 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea did by needlessly cataloging a myriad of plant and animal life, although the potential for it was there. The film version of Jurassic Park gives me the same feeling as Doyle's book. The new world, the lost world, is full of wonderful creatures and things, but it's also incredibly dangerous. You feel a sense of reverence for these new discoveries, and then something tries to eat you. I could have done without the conflict between the Indians and the ape-men, but that is a minor complaint.Among all the adventure books I've read, I would recommend The Lost World first. It's a quick read but still meaningful. It, thankfully, avoids some of the common weaknesses of other 'classic' adventure stories, like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and its incessant and obnoxious cataloging. The Lost World has also given me an impetus to read some of Doyle's other works, such as his Sherlock Holmes stories, and that's the best compliment I could give."

Chris The Story Reading Ape

In this tale, I suspect Arthur Conan Doyle was having a go at the the Honourable Learned Gentlemen of the the Victorian Era Royal Society, who were famed for their pompousness and regarded themselves as the last word in all matters scientific, prehistoric and everything else come to that ...The characters of Challenger and Summerlee were typical representatives of the RS I suspect...The Story is rich with descriptions of characters, appearances, attitudes and the ideas of prehistoric creatures known of in those days.I thoroughly enjoyed this yarn which was a refreshing departure from the Sherlock Holmes stories, much as I also enjoy them.See my reviews also at:

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's depiction of an area of the South American rainforest that still harbours prehistoric life is legendary. The writer, best-known for his Sherlock Holmes stories, also dabbled in science fiction and medical writing, and although in his later life he wasted a large amount of time dabbling with the occult and the spiritual, that didn't affect his prolific productivity.The Lost World is similar in premise to the Michael Crichton novel of the same name, and I can't help but wonder where to draw the line between imitation and plagiarism. Professor Challenger, an imposing old man based on the real-life figure of William Rutherford, discovers a lost world, which is populated by prehistoric life.The Professor is joined by journalist Ed Malone, fellow scientist Professor Summerlee and the adventurous Lord John Roxton. Together, the party travels to the place where Challenger found evidence of the lost world, and what they find there is astonishing.Interestingly, Professor Challenger returned in a number of other Conan Doyles novels, including The Poison Belt and The Land of Mist, the latter of which is about the supernatural and comes about as a result of Conan Doyle's spurious spiritual beliefs. He's a good character - bull-headed, entertaining, intellectual and aggressive, all at the same time. You'll like him.In all seriousness, this book is phenomenal - as good as, or even better than, the Sherlock Holmes stories. I strongly recommend you buy a copy and check it out - just beware of the dinosaurs and don't get caught by the missing links.


It’s hard to think of another long departed author, whose name is so well known to the general public, who would be so disappointed by his reputation. Conan Doyle of course saw himself as a great historical novelist, in his dreams that’s how he would have liked to have been remembered (probably he’d also have liked to be known for his spiritual writings). Instead he has an albatross smoking a pipe hung around his neck, in the form of Sherlock Holmes.Of course after Holmes (as Mike states so correctly below) the best known of his works would be ‘The Lost World’. Until now I’ve not read any of Conan Doyle’s non-Holmes works, but on the evidence of this (and ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’, say), he was a superb adventure writer.‘The Lost World’ is a rollicking boy’s own yarn. Professor Challenger leads an expedition of a fellow academic, a journalist and a gentleman adventure, to an Amazonian land where dinosaur still exist. It’s a superbly plotted tale which kept me gripped to the end.From a more liberal twenty-first century perspective, there are some problems. The ever faithful black servant must surely have seemed something of an anachronism even in Conan Doyle’s own life-time. While the fact our four heroes help massacre the less advanced tribe on the plateau does – even with the author bending so that he can touch his heels to hammer home the glory of battle – echo the most troubling parts of colonialism. But perhaps, now, we can see the title in two ways. It’s not just about dinosaurs, but a window to a lost world of post-Victorian attitudes which have now – thankfully – vanished.


I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have said in the past that I don't like classics but this one was written in 1912 and wasn't all flowery language, it just got on with the adventure story. It was hard to read knowing of the modern technology we have these days though. Proving that there was an undiscovered plateau in the middle of South America somewhere, inhabited by prehistoric creatures would be so easy to do these days, with helicopters, mobile phones, digital cameras, GPS, etc. I don't think there is anywhere on the Earth these days that it could possibly take 6 weeks to get to! The characters were fun: two blustering professors, at odds with each other's views and almost coming to blows; a young reporter along for the adventure to impress his possible future wife; and a previous explorer who can help anyone out of a scrape. They get themselves into some situations and somehow get themselves out of them too!I much preferred this version than the Hollywood film version by Michael Crichton. In fact apart from the idea, there isn't really much resemblance between the two.


Professor Challenger is Arthur Conan Doyle's other eccentric hero. While I loved the Sherlock Holmes stories, I never got around to reading this well-known adventure novel until now. Challenger, along with a rival professor, a big game hunter and the narrator, a young reporter, go to Venezuela to find a plateau where dinosaurs still survive. It is a very enjoyable tale but certainly not up to the best of the Holmes stories. Those into action and those interested in the early origins of science fiction will enjoy this. The 1912 novel does have some ideas and themes that may bother the 21th century reader. The South American Indians are portrayed as inferior, almost as children, and the idea of wiping out an entire race of ape-like sapiens will repulse some. It is probably best to realize and accept the times in which this story was written. However, if you are looking for a rip-roaring adventure yarn, you have found it

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