The Lost World

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The Lost World

Lost World, The - Hardcover - UK - 1st Edition.jpg

Hardcover - UK - 1st edition.

Author Arthur Conan Doyle
Published 1912-??-??
Type Fiction
Genre Adventure
Themes Adventure, Lost World, Prehistoric, Speculative Fiction, Wilderness
Age Group Adult

The Lost World is a speculative fiction fantasy epistolary novel by Arthur Conan Doyle published in 1912. This story is in the public domain.

In the story, a caustic British scientist named Professor Challenger claims to have discovered a vale in South America filled with living prehistoric animals. Challenger is called a fraud by his fellow zoologists, and demands they send a party to evaluate his claim. A small group composed of Professor Summerlee, a scientific peer; Lord John Roxton, an adventurer; and Edward Malone, a reporter trying to prove himself a worthy adventurer to a woman, travel to South America where they are unexpectedly met with Challenger who guides them to the hidden valley. There, they do indeed find living, and very deadly, mega-fauna that has long since been extinct elsewhere in the world as well as a dangerous tribe of ape-men. The book chronicles their adventures and near-death-experiences as they get stuck in the valley and try to find a way out.


Read?Audio book read by Michael Prichard.

I read this book to better familiarize myself with early science fiction.




— This section contains spoilers! —


  • The idea of a lost glade in which long-since extinct species still live is a wonderfully exciting idea.
  • Professor George Edward Challenger is hilariously condescending to everyone.


  • Using an epistolary format adds to the realism factor, but pretty much prevents any suspense.
  • The book becomes very boring near the end when most of the dangers have been eliminated, and everything becomes merely descriptive.


  • A fair amount of the book is racist and sexist implying that Irish people are naturally stubborn, proper women should be slightly afraid of their husbands, black people are intrinsically dumb, and so-called brown "savages" instinctually know to prostrate themselves before their white superiors.
  • After committing genocide the characters are not only remorseless, but quite proud of themselves.


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