The Lost World by Michael Crichton

Date of Publication: 1995, Alfred A. Knopf

Number of Pages: 393

Synopsis: It is now six years since the secret disaster at Jurassic Park, six years since that extraordinary dream of science and imagination came to a crashing end – the dinosaurs destroyed, the park dismantled, the island indefinitely closed to the public. There are rumors that something has survived. ~Blurb from inside over

This book is the triumphant return of Ian Malcolm, who was rumored to be dead after his ill-fated trip to Jurassic Park. He hears stories about dead dinosaurs washing up on the Costa Rican beaches, and is determined to find the cause. He is joined by his nemesis and colleague, the brilliant paleontologist Richard Levine, Levine’s two eager students, his one-time girlfriend and animal behaviorist Sarah Harding, and two equipment experts, Doc Thorne and Eddie Carr. Their expedition to Isla Sorna, InGen’s secret factory island, is almost an accident in itself. The group must do battle with behaviorally-challenged dinosaurs and survive long enough to get off the island. In the meantime, Malcolm and Levine study the strange behavior of the dinosaurs and attempt to unlock one of the world’s greatest mysteries: what happened to the dinosaurs?

Review: I loved this book even more than its prequel, Jurassic Park. The movie disappointed me tremendously, as the plot and the characters are so completely different, it’s a stretch to give the movie the same name. Many things in particular bugged me, but most of all was the relationship between Malcolm and Sarah Harding as it was portrayed in the movie. In the book, they are no longer lovers, but friends. Malcolm respects Sarah’s knowledge about animal behavior, and her expertise saves their lives many times. When the adult T-Rexes attack the trailers (one of the only things in the book that also happens in the movie), Malcolm falls and re-injures his bad leg, which he originally injured in Jurassic Park. Sarah slings him onto her back, being injured herself, and climbs her way to the top of the trailer and gets them both out, before the trailer falls off the cliff. It’s an incredibly exciting moment in the book, and it’s obvious how much respect Crichton has for this character. Throughout the book, she remains the center of calm and is able to make quick decisions. In the movie, however, it is Malcolm who saves Sarah, his impulsive girlfriend who blindly runs off to the island on her own. It’s disappointing to see the traditional gender roles being forced upon these characters.

As for the book as a whole, it is probably the most interesting I have ever read. It’s not often that I come away from a work a fiction having learned something new about the world. This book, like Jurassic Park, contains many scientific details, but this time they are in the form of fascinating theories about evolution and animal behavior. The pace is frenetic, and the characters are both funny and intelligent. It also has a very satisfying ending, especially for those who have read Jurassic Park. No dinosaurs run amok in an American city in the book; instead the story is suave and smart. I recommend it to anyone who did not enjoy the movie…you will love this book!

Rating: 10/10

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