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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"Glen McCready's performance captures the time and tone of Doyle's material perfectly without straying into melodrama." (Publishers Weekly)
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.
The book starts off a bit slowly, and after about 30 minutes, the real action starts. It has all the ingredients that make a great story--a logical storyline, beautiful writing, humour, adventure,...
After all, it's written by the author of Sherlock Holmes series. How can it be anything less than wonderful?
I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.
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.
First, the narrator doesn't help matters. He has a dry, old-time English voice, which is rather appropriate if they were trying to replicate the voice used at the time. Nevertheless, it is not a very engaging voice for a modern audience. In addition to that, it takes at least half of the short audiobook for anything really interesting to happen. Then it is mostly calmed down for the last hour or so of the book. So there is roughly 3 hours of good, exciting story. I would recommend a pass on this one for most people.
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.
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.
Excellent narration and an imaginative adventure
The scene where the ape men relate to Challenger as his appearance resembles their chief.
Laughed at some points
I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.
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.
Top 3. I also love Treasure Island and Sherlock Holmes.
Wow, too many to name. Sit back and let your imagination take in the amazing way the author portrays this "lost world." Their narrow escape is really cool but I don't want to say too much to give anything away.
They were all done with individual characteristics - very well done by the narrator. I might have a slight sweetness for the big burly captain.
I'll probably listen to this again in a year, it is really phenomenal.
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