This year, I have decided to give my summer reading an unofficial theme. I have declared 2016 to be my “Summer of Adventure” and have filled my to-read list with all the classic adventure stories I always meant to read but never got around to. First up, Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World.
ABOUT THE BOOK: When Professor Challenger claims to have discovered a lost world where dinosaurs and other prehistoric life still exist, he is met with scorn and derision until a small group of men are sent to verify the Professor’s story. The group, which includes Challenger’s fellow scientist, Professor Summerlee, hunter and adventurer, Lord John Roxton, and journalist, Ed Malone, (who narrates the tale), succeed in discovering the lost world but become trapped there. Will they be able to survive this strange and dangerous world and how will they ever get home to tell the world about the wonders they have seen?
MY THOUGHTS: In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I am not typically someone who reads action and adventure stories. In fact, the only reason I gave myself this “Summer of Adventure” theme was to broaden my literary horizons and force myself out of my comfort zone. So I was (pleasantly) surprised at just how much I enjoyed this book. Arthur Conan Doyle’s storytelling was engrossing and exciting and a lot of fun to read.
The characters were great. Lord John is everything you want in an adventurer, and the constant scientific bickering between Summerlee and Challenger – even when running for their lives from carnivorous dinosaurs – is hilarious. But the best part of the book is the narration, which skillfully sets tone and lets the reader experience all the excitement, suspense and wonder of The Lost World. Although Conan Doyle is rightfully famous for his Sherlock Holmes books and stories, The Lost World really shows off his consummate skill as a storyteller.
I thoroughly loved getting lost in The Lost World and would recommend it to anyone looking to add some prehistoric adventure to their summer reading list.