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Summary

The Lost World is a novel by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Released in 1912, it tells the story of an expedition to a plateau in the Amazon basin where prehistoric animals still survive. The character of Professor Challenger was introduced in this book. The novel also describes a war between Native Americans and a vicious tribe of ape-like creatures.

Scottish-born author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 - 1930) was a major innovator in the field of crime fiction. His other works include science-fiction stories, historical novels, plays and romances, poetry, and non-fiction.

Please note: This is a vintage recording. The audio quality may not be up to modern day standards.

Public Domain (P)2009 RNIB

What listeners say about The Lost World

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A brilliant adventure but of its time be warned

It's ACD at his pompous best, letting off some steam about those sceptic scientists who refused to believe in his beloved spiritualists. In reality, it was ghosts that were poo pooed but here it's dinosaurs. The reader is wonderfully old-fashioned and a pleasure to listen to. It should be said though that this story was written during the zenith of British colonialism and the attitudes of the ruling class at that time looms over a modern reader like a (love the pronunciation) pateradactil. Here we have a bunch of posh English schoolboys running off on a caper, enslaving "red men" and "great, black brutes with the intellect and power of a horse" ( I paraphrase only slightly) and committing a kind of mini race-cleansing murderous spree against a lesser breed of human. In case anyone was confused, CD helpfully likens the behaviour of the British superior race to the enslavement of the Jews. I found myself listening with a regretful smile on the tube, allowing the author his racist undertones acknowledging that times have changed and, really, what else can we do? But then again I'm not Asian, black or Jewish so it's less likely to offend me. I'd treat it as a funny, boys-own adventure book written by an overgrown, arrogant but very talented Victorian public schoolboy and see it for that.

26 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good story.

Good story but spoiled by the stupid chapter system by Audible.

How are you supposed to to navigate the chapters when there are chapters within chapters I wish Audible would sort this out.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent classic

It sounded like Basil Rathbone reading it, in black and white. Marvellous story the style and tone of which reminded me of Jules Cerne’s ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ or ‘Around the World in 80 days’.

There were a couple of times when some unfortunately outdated views on race cropped up.

The whole premise is of course preposterous but it’s a ripping good yarn.

I think one day this Conan Doyle fellow might write something even more popular than this story. He has it in him!

3 people found this helpful

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Loved it

Thrilling, well written and told. A wonderful old fashioned story of exploration and friendship. A must read.

3 people found this helpful

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Of its time

It is amazing how well the early recordings for the RNIB were achieved. No digital editing, simply a reel-to-reel system with the reader needing to keep going through minor flubs, sips of water and pauses for breath. Yes, you can hear these during this performance. It is what it is, someone reading to you. Yes, some of the pronunciations differ from the current version but this was before we had all heard multiple sources and become familiar with the words. The performance is strangely appropriate for the age of the story. They are both old fashioned and have their failings and should be listened to as such.

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic classic, pleasantly performed

This is my first experience of a Doyle novel and possibly my 3rd audio book. I thoroughly enjoyed the narrative and the performance and would love to hear more.

2 people found this helpful

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Great classic

Couldnt really give it 5 stars because of the racism and slavery, but it is a very interesting read aside from that and for its time must have been an instant classic

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic

What an absolutely fantastic tale. I have memories of both an audible and written but abridged versions when I was a dinosaur obsessed child. The full version is a fantastic tale of which I expected nothing less from Conan Doyle.

Let me add the reading was fantastic and very in keeping with the era of the novel.

1 person found this helpful

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Top story, superbly read .

superb narration, esteemed voice which made it very easy listening. good story line keeps you hooked.

1 person found this helpful

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Great book

Well narrated. Perfectly in keeping with the original era and a timeless story from a great writer

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrea
  • 23-03-10

Fun book, but characters are muddled

This is a fun book to listen to, but it was difficult at times to understand which character was supposed to be speaking. The narrator would sometimes stay in one character's voice throughout several lines of dialogue between several characters and it would take me a minute to realize that it wasn't just one character that was speaking. This made listening a little confusing. The book is fun though and it was mostly an enjoyable listen.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Rick
  • 10-06-17

Warm and Wild British Adventure

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a prolific writer of much more than Sherlock Holmes mysteries, was a friend of the explorer Percival Fawcett (see “The Lost City of Z”). Fawcett vanished on a South American expedition in 1925, having told Doyle of seeing “monstrous tracks of unknown origin” in Bolivia. Thus, the inspiration was probably set for a grand account of great adventure in a post-Victorian world.

It’s the first time I’ve ever heard the “p” pronounced in “pterodactyl.” But unlike Fawcett’s unspeakable miseries in multiple explorations of the Amazon Basin, this is a gentlemen’s yarn, ably narrated by John Richmond (1912-1992) in the most authentic of British intonations.

It would be the first of Doyle’s five stories featuring Professor Challenger, a pompous, abrasive, but unarguably brilliant scholar.

Fawcett had written in his memoirs that “monsters from the dawn of man’s existence might still roam these heights unchallenged, imprisoned and protected by unscalable cliffs.” Which is exactly as Professor Challenger finds them, and the many surprises that follow.

Not unlike a Sherlock Holmes enigma, there is an engaging story and character development among an ensemble cast, and the eventual moment when everything comes together and makes perfect sense, no matter how many dinosaurs and apes have been involved along the way. It is a kind of story constructed with great care and no small degree of cleverness, and makes for a highly enjoyable listen. Incidentally, the advisory about this being a “vintage recording” presents no problems at all.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joseph Cleveland
  • 06-05-22

Re-reading

I first read this in the 60s in elementary school and it was one of my favorites. Reading it again as an adult I was stricken with the blatant racism and misogyny. I guess it has to be taken as “a product of the times” but from my current perspective it was cringe-worthy.