The creator of Sherlock Holmes delivers a classic adventure fantasy in this tale of a trip by journalists, scientists, and adventurers to investigate rumors of dinosaurs on a mysterious plateau deep in a mythical South American jungle. Much fun and over-the-top adventure ensue. The author is ably supported by Glenn McCready, who delivers a narration very much in the nineteenth-century style. He plays up the characters' big personalities and celebrates the rather orotund style of the writing, which isn't as tight as in the Holmes series. Not for modern-fiction-only readers, this collection will appeal most to lovers of nineteenth-century literature.
Here is the precursor to Jurassic Park. Victorian explorers have heard there is a remote plateau where dinosaurs still survive, and a group set outs on a dangerous mission to find out more about it..
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Conan Doyle is best known for Sherlock Holmes, but his other stories, like The Lost World, are equally entertaining. This book has bold, larger than life, characters and an exciting narrative that holds your attention. There are interpersonal tensions, danger and jeopardy, all of which help to make it a page turner. However, possibly the most compelling aspect of the book is its central idea that pre-historic animals still exist on an isolated plateau in the darkest reaches of the South American jungle. So, although characters and ideas come ‘out of left field’ (like Sherlock Holmes), it was easy to suspend disbelief and become engrossed with the story. Whilst the prose of one of the main players is rather loquacious and old fashioned, it is in keeping with the character and does not slow down the pace of the novel, or seem out of place.
On the critical side, this is a book underpinned with Victorian sensibilities that are no longer ‘politically correct’ and it has a strong male perspective, with only one minor female character. My guess is that older white males will find this book an easy and enjoyable read/listen, but it may not be to the taste of a younger generation .
Finally, a special mention should go to the narrator who does an outstanding job in making the novel come alive through the consistent, and appropriate voicing of the different characters. An excellent performance by Glen McCready.
"Wit and Drama"
I love this book, it's hugely entertaining with superbly drawn characters and a rip roaring plot. The reader of this edition, Glen McCready, voices the tale into colourful, energetic, life and really brings out the humour in the writing. I expect I'll listen to this one a few times.
"Sherlock Holmes Observes Pterodactyls???"
Ah, the world is a wonderful place when you can enter a vast, isolated, inviolate plateau rising high from the Amazonian jungle wilds and then examine its unknown flora and fauna, discovering "extinct" dinosaurs from the Jurassic. Of course, some of those creatures are nightmarish predators, giant, strong, and fast, and there are other unpleasant surprises (ranging from huge ticks to brutal ape-men).
It all seems far removed from the world of Sherlock Holmes, and yet Sir Arthur Conan Doyle???s Professor Challenger (in his prodigious intelligence, great physical strength, cold scientific vision, and formidable pride) is nearly a wonderfully savory and funny caricature of the famous detective.
The Lost World is a humorous, exciting, vivid, and well-written early example of the "lost world" sub-genre of science fiction, featuring intrepid (white) explorers whose adventures in inaccessible exotic locales become catalysts for violent and dramatic change.
And the reader Glen McCready is excellent! His savory reading caught me from the opening scene, in which the lovesick newspaper reporter Malone woos his spoiled beloved Gladys but is rejected because she wants him to be a hero. And McCready's pedantic and pompous booming Professor Challenger voice is a delight for the ears. His good-natured narrator Malone, dry Professor Summerly, and steely Gentleman-Sportsman-Adventurer Sir John Roxton are fine, too. And he reads every word and phrase and sentence and pause with just the right amount of wit, meaning, pleasure, pitch, and pacing.
One of the great old adventure stories that still holds up today. Glen McCready's narration is perfect. Highly recommended!
What a creation! The superb narration, assigning wildly entertaining voices to such unique characters, brought to life a tale so fantastic that I half believed the account was genuine!
Stop reading this right now & go download it. 5 stars straight across! There is a reason This book is considered a classic and I for one am thrilled it wasn't ruined by horrible direction or narration. I highly recommend this book.
"Great performance of an excellent story!"
McCready's performance alone would make this enjoyable even if the book wasn't so well written. The last five hours are especially exciting, fast paced, and filled with adventure. Doyle includes a lot of humor in the book which McCready expertly delivers. I immediately started looking for other books narrated by McCready.
"The Original Jurassic Park? Yes and No."
It's amazing how you can be aware of a book all your life, think you know what it is, and then be completely stunned because it's not what you expected at all. If you've seen TV or film versions, you've not experienced the real story. Having said that, the story is a much quicker adventure than I expected, and it almost demands a sequel just to explore what isn't touched upon. Prof. Challenger, especially, is one of those memorable characters of literature who just stays with you because you love to hate him - even though he's not a villain - because it's hard not to share his enthusiasm for the adventure. Every film version I've ever seen paints him the straight-laced gentleman, and it just couldn't be further from Conan Doyle's original. As a surprise, it's quite a bit different from the writing style of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. All in all, it's very much a straightforward, old world adventure, and well worth the short time it takes to go through it.
"Thin characterization = I don't care"
It's possible that it might have come across somewhat better on paper. Perhaps people familiar with the full body of Conan Doyle's work would know how to get something out of his less successful works that I didn't.
His characters were adult men who whine and bicker with each other like a couple of children in the backseat of a car. If I liked any of the characters I would have cared more about their adventures. But these were not people I wanted to spend time with.
McCready's character voices are dry, English and generally unemotional, which makes them hard to particularly like. So when the high points of the performance come from listening to him argue with himself, it's a recipe for the whole thing to be downright unlikable.
There were two scenes at the British Archaeological Society meeting - one at the beginning, one at the end - that had me laughing out loud.
You can't win 'em all.
"Fantastic story told by a brilliant narrator"
A great, classic rolling kind of story with great characterization and a good pace. The narrator was amazing.
Great story. I love the formal language of the British, and the British phrases. This book reminds me of Edgar Rice Burrows (Tarzan) books, which I dearly loved as a teenager. The four main characters, Malone, Lord John and the two professors are engaging heroes - stiff upper lip and mostly fearless. Truly enjoyable listen. I cannot think of a better reader than the one chosen for this book. He is fantastic. I highly recommend!!
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