1912 marked the first Professor Challenger novel and a new series for Arthur Conan Doyle. The narrator is newspaperman Edward Malone, who chronicles an expedition up the Amazon to verify the existence of a prehistoric world populated by dinosaurs. Michael Prichard handles the dialogue with a good bit of bluster, which to be sure, forms a big part of Doyle's larger-than-life characters. Looking for ways to downplay some of this stridency, as Prichard admirably does with the narration, brings some necessary subtlety to a melodrama that itself can seem like something of a fossil.
Professor Challenger vows to prove his tale at a zoological meeting, and a party is formed to find the truth. Edward Malone joins adventurer Lord John Roxton, and staid professor Summerlee on the mission. They journey to the depths of the Amazon, well provisioned and armed to the teeth. But how little they are prepared for what they find there....
Today, Arthur Conan Doyle is best known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, but he was also the author of many other science fiction and mystery novels, and The Lost World was one of his best. This original tale of the "living dinosaurs" was the inspiration for many of its kind, including Jurassic Park.
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I just finished this book and enjoyed it very very much. Often there is a section or sections of a book that slow down to a dullness that this one never did. Given the intriguing story line and the great differences between each of the main 4 characters (that the author very well defined), I often found myself in my driveway not wanting to turn off the car (I listen on commutes between home and work). In addition, it was extremely well read by the speakers. Outstanding.
We listened to this book on an extended car trip. Everyone in the car ages 5,8,11,13,16,18 & 44 desired to continue through each burned CD. The story was everything you would expect from A C Doyle with intensely rich vocabulary being the highlight. The narrator did a fine job bringing the book alive without being a distraction.
Why did Sir Arthur spend so much time writing about some detective when he could do things like the Lost World, Sir Nigel and the White Company. Although this story has been made into movies (by people who, I don't believe, read the story), don't let that be your guide. Join the expedition to discover a lost world of dinosaurs with interesting fun companions all set in motion by "true love" that stays home to encourage form a safe distance.
Of the three different full-length recordings I've listened to of this great story, Michael Pritchard's is by far the best: the other two versions were marred by the characterizations and over-emotive narrative voice.
The language is beautiful. The descriptions fantastic. Sir Conan Doyle builds a facinating and alluring narrative. You will await each moment of this wonderful performance with hungry anticipation. The. reader is amazing and his performance should be an exemplar for all audiobook productions.
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