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These lively, varied and thought-provoking science-fiction stories (from the era of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells) are linked by their imposing central character, the pugnaciously adventurous and outrageous Professor Challenger. The Lost World (forebear of Jurassic Park) vividly depicts a perilous region in which the explorers confront creatures from the prehistoric era. 'Th These lively, varied and thought-provoking science-fiction stories (from the era of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells) are linked by their imposing central character, the pugnaciously adventurous and outrageous Professor Challenger. The Lost World (forebear of Jurassic Park) vividly depicts a perilous region in which the explorers confront creatures from the prehistoric era. 'The Poison Belt' presents an eerie doomsday scenario, while ‘The Disintegration Machine’ satirically comments on scientific cynicism. In ‘When the World Screamed’, the planet responds violently to an experimental incursion. The strangest item is 'The Land of Mist', which seeks to reconcile science with spiritualism. This memorable collection provides imaginative entertainment, entrancing escapism and bold provocation.


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These lively, varied and thought-provoking science-fiction stories (from the era of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells) are linked by their imposing central character, the pugnaciously adventurous and outrageous Professor Challenger. The Lost World (forebear of Jurassic Park) vividly depicts a perilous region in which the explorers confront creatures from the prehistoric era. 'Th These lively, varied and thought-provoking science-fiction stories (from the era of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells) are linked by their imposing central character, the pugnaciously adventurous and outrageous Professor Challenger. The Lost World (forebear of Jurassic Park) vividly depicts a perilous region in which the explorers confront creatures from the prehistoric era. 'The Poison Belt' presents an eerie doomsday scenario, while ‘The Disintegration Machine’ satirically comments on scientific cynicism. In ‘When the World Screamed’, the planet responds violently to an experimental incursion. The strangest item is 'The Land of Mist', which seeks to reconcile science with spiritualism. This memorable collection provides imaginative entertainment, entrancing escapism and bold provocation.

30 review for The Lost World & Other Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Graham

    Filmed many times – although I have yet to see a version that is perfectly true to the novel (with the BBC’s Christmas edition being particularly unfaithful in its addition of a female member of the exploration party, not to mention Peter Falk) – The Lost World is a classic piece of writing that is in many respects even more entertaining than the famous Sherlock Holmes stories that Doyle was so celebrated for. Once again, Doyle deals with the extravagent subject matter in his usual detailed way, Filmed many times – although I have yet to see a version that is perfectly true to the novel (with the BBC’s Christmas edition being particularly unfaithful in its addition of a female member of the exploration party, not to mention Peter Falk) – The Lost World is a classic piece of writing that is in many respects even more entertaining than the famous Sherlock Holmes stories that Doyle was so celebrated for. Once again, Doyle deals with the extravagent subject matter in his usual detailed way, with a meticulous attention to the workings out of his plot. Scientific subjects are discussed in a way which keeps them intellectual but which makes them easy to read for the layman, whilst there are some wonderful characterisations also present – meet Professor Challenger, almost the opposite in character of Holmes, but no less appealing. The trip to the plateau is exciting and filled with danger as in all the best ‘expedition’ novels, whilst the interactions with dinosaurs and ape-men are bloody and very exciting. Never a moment flags, there are lots of twists and surprises, and at the end of the day this is an enduring classic, perhaps the best thing that Doyle ever wrote. Also present here are four ‘sequels’ featuring various characters, mainly Professor Challenger: The Poison Belt, Doyle’s first follow-up to The Lost World, is so simplistic in its plot that it can’t hold a candle to its predecessor. Nevertheless, the author makes a good effort with characterisation and the detail of depth to make this a thrilling read. The story picks up three years after the dinosaur adventure, where the four characters are meeting up. Professor Challenger discovers that the Earth is about to hit a poison belt which will cover the planet’s surface in deadly ether. A supply of oxygen is arranged, then the tragedy strikes. It sounds straightforward and it is, but few end-of-the-world stories go into this much scientific and philosophical detail. Indeed, there is little to nothing in the way of action, instead, lengthy philosophical debates about the nature of mankind and eerie descriptions as the disaster plays out. It’s pretty grim in places, and very suspenseful, with the reader never quite sure what will happen next. I thoroughly recommend it. Out of all the Professor Challenger stories, The Land of Mist is the most unwieldy of the bunch and, it has to be said, it is often a frankly boring piece of writing, bogged down in too much theory and not enough action. This was written shortly after Doyle lost many of his loved ones in the war and became a somewhat credulous campaigner for the Spiritualist movement. As such the story reads as a political tract in which Doyle’s love and respect for Spiritualism comes to the fore and the author argues in favour of the movement throughout. For fans of the writer, the most unforgivable part is the end, in which Challenger becomes a willing believer of the cause; throughout the story he is totally out of character and unlike the Challenger we know and love from the other tales. Saying that, the film does have some interesting interludes along the way. The supernatural moments tend to be interesting and there’s a great haunted house segment in which big-game hunter Lord Roxton, Malone and a priest enter a house inside which is a black spirit. The exorcism that follows is spooky beyond belief. Then there’s a sequence of social deprivation, involving the abuse of two young children, which seems to have come straight from a Dickens novel. These tidbits stop the story being totally worthless but only dedicated fans of the author’s psychology or those interested in the Spiritualist movement will find anything of interest here. The Disintegration Machine is a nice, short science fiction story with a neat twist at the end. Matter transportation machines are nothing new but Doyle has plenty of fun with his premise, rooting it in reality before delivering an ending that is as inevitable as it is ruthless. When the World Screamed is an excellent little science fiction yarn that bears an obvious influence from a classic Jules Verne story (the characters drill into the Earth’s core), but stands alone as an effective piece with a chilling climax. The idea of a living planet is handled well here – better than anywhere else I’ve seen it done – and the cataclysmic conclusion is definitely the greatest part of the story. Well-handled and never going over the top, despite the outrageous subject matter.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kostas

    When we talk about the classics Arthur Conan Doyle is definitely one of the most enduring writers that still remains, even today, quite famous through his mystery stories, and through his most famed detective, Sherlock Holmes. In this collection however, published by Wordsworth Editions, we see another, more special character: Professor Challenger; with Doyle taking us through his science fiction adventures and to some stories that left, also, their mark in time from ‘The Lost World’ (which later When we talk about the classics Arthur Conan Doyle is definitely one of the most enduring writers that still remains, even today, quite famous through his mystery stories, and through his most famed detective, Sherlock Holmes. In this collection however, published by Wordsworth Editions, we see another, more special character: Professor Challenger; with Doyle taking us through his science fiction adventures and to some stories that left, also, their mark in time from ‘The Lost World’ (which later inspired Michael Crichton’s ‘Jurassic Park’), to ‘The Poison Belt’, ‘The Land of Mist’, as well as two more short stories. The Lost World The first story of this collection follows Malone, a young journalist who is looking for a new adventure, as he wants to impress his girlfriend. But, when rumours start circulating about Professor Challenger’s adventures, it will be put in his hands the mission to try and get an interview from him - something that, until now, no other has succeeded. However, this interview will prove something much more than he had expected as, when he will find himself against the strange, and cantankerous, Professor Challenger, it will be revealed to him something completely unbelievable. A discovery that will put him, and two other courageous “volunteers”, on a big adventure in the heart of the Amazon’s jungle; in a search of a lost world. It’s a pretty good and enjoyable story, starting this collection with a strong note, with Doyle taking us into a, really, wild adventure in the heart of the Amazon and managing, through his usual style, to bring a story with lots of mystery, good humour and some wild imagination. It's a story that manages to keep your interest from the beginning till the end but what, I believe, makes this story so special - apart from the return of the dinosaurs, is Doyle’s incredibly clever writing and managing, through the characters, to bring a very entertaining, and wild adventure. Doyle’s writing certainly shows its age but, even though there were some things that felt a bit “out of place” that somehow didn’t really fit with the story, it still remains a very enjoyable adventure. 8/10 The Poison Belt The second story continues three years from where ‘The Lost World’ left off with Malone having now started his own life as a journalist. But all that will change when, after an announcement from Professor Challenger in the local newspaper, he receives a - mysterious - telegram to seek, along with his ex-friends/adventurers, Professor Challenger and ask for explanations. However, what Professor Challenger will reveal to them is something that they had never expected and, when the effects of the poison belt start to affect Earth itself, they will be faced this time against not with the jaws of the dinosaurs, but with a disease that threatens to bring the end of the world. This story is quite smaller and faster, compared to ‘The Lost World’, and thus avoiding the, somewhat, hard beginning that it had. But, nevertheless, this faster pace is also and its biggest disadvantage as Doyle here fails to bring that powerfulness that the characters had in the previous story; as also not giving much development to the plot itself, but only in his ideas. On the other hand however, Doyle manages to save, somewhat, the story in the very end through an incredible atmosphere that he brings - as he takes us through an empty, and dead, London at the end of the world; as well bringing and an, entirely, unexpected finale. I can’t say that it reaches the success that the ‘The Lost World’ had, but I can’t say that it doesn’t worth a look either. 6.5/10 The Land of Mist The third and largest story of this collection is much different in style from what Doyle showed in the previous two. The story continues a few decades later from where ‘The Poison Belt’ left off and it follows, again, Malone, having now become a big journalist; but also following Enid, Professor Challenger’s daughter, as he help her to find, too, her way in journalism. As they finish their last job though, they will find themselves this time in a much different case that will lead them to a Spiritualistic Church and will bring them against a medium who believes that he can talk with the dead. However, what they will discover is something that they hadn’t expected and it will lead to an adventure in search of the true facts of the events, but also for the existence of the afterlife. This is a supernatural/mystery centered story and, compared to the previous two stories, it is a vastly different story focusing a lot in the search of the afterlife and the spirit world with Doyle showing his influence of these after the loss of his family in WW1. It is certainly a unique story but nevertheless, because of its quite enormous size (almost double in size of ‘The Lost World’), it is also and very tiring as the plot, literally, gets losing it focus many times over so many characters that have only a small role to play; and without really managing to hold your interest even through his ideas. If it was a short story, I believe, it could have come out, perhaps, much stronger and more interesting. In this present case however, unless you want to read it for the experience, it is best to avoid this story since Professor Challenger has only a small role here. 4.5/10 The Disintegration Machine The next one is a short story that follows Malone and Professor Challenger as they take a case to investigate a scientist and his discovery of a, strange, machine that is rumoured that it can disintegrate objects and then return them back as they were before. It is, I would say, the definition of what stories Doyle that should had followed in Professor Challenger’s adventures as, in this story, we see him, again, back to his classic, unusual, style that so much distinguished him in ‘The Lost World’. It’s fast, enjoyable and, above all, entertaining. 9/10 When the World Screamed The last story of this collection follows Jones, an artesian engineer, as he’s been called by Professor Challenger to help him in his experiment to drill in the center of the Earth. Only, despite his eccentric ways, Professor Challenger hasn’t calculated an important factor: that the Earth has also its own, unusual, ways of life and when he will try to drill something unexpected will happen. It is, also, an enjoyable short story and, along with ‘The Disintegration Machine’, it proves one of the best adventures of Professor Challenger after ‘The Lost World’ as it brings back this unusual, but very enjoyable, style and shows a reinvigorated Doyle even though it was one of the last stories he released. 8/10 Overall, it is a collection that has its good and its bad but I believe that, if you want to see a different side of Doyle’s through a character that, also, stood out from his, unusual adventures, it is worth a look.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Silvana

    Whoa, five stories in one book. The Lost World is surely the best story of them all. Professor George Edward Challenger, the main character besides the narrator, is probably literature's most egoistical, megalomaniac, boisterous, conceited, passionate, pompous character I've ever read about, yet also very brilliant. Taking an eager young journalist, a world-famous explorer and a fellow academician who does not believe in his statement regarding a "lost world" hidden in South America, he embarked Whoa, five stories in one book. The Lost World is surely the best story of them all. Professor George Edward Challenger, the main character besides the narrator, is probably literature's most egoistical, megalomaniac, boisterous, conceited, passionate, pompous character I've ever read about, yet also very brilliant. Taking an eager young journalist, a world-famous explorer and a fellow academician who does not believe in his statement regarding a "lost world" hidden in South America, he embarked on a journey that would put him as one of the greatest scientists in his time. In the said Lost World, dinosaurs are still alive (but no T-Rex in there, so don't expect much Jurassic Park-like actions), as well as the ape-men which are said to be the "missing link" (according to one of the characters, they should stay missing because of their dangerous behavior, haha...). Overall, The Lost World is an easy-to-read tale of wonders, adventure, heroism, almost perfectly executed by Doyle. The other stories: Poison Belt = the earth has been driven into a poisonous ether belt, instantly killing its whole population starting from the Southern sphere to the North, except Challenger and his friends, who realized the danger before it's too late. The Land of Mist = different with other "scientific" issues in this book, the Land of Mist tells about psychic phenomenon, poltergeist, soul mediums, etc. I don't really like it. Perhaps it's just not too adventurous, hence boring. The Disintegration Machine = the shortest story in the book. Tells about a Latvian scientist who invites Challenger to see his invention: a machine that could disintegrate any matter into unseen atoms and reverse the process. Challenger does not like this machine, because the Latvian scientist plans to sell it to the highest bidder. Imagine what the machine can do to countries in war. In a blink of an eye, one mother ship with its crew vanished into thin air. The ending is nice, by the way. When the World Screamed = ecological disturbance caused by men's exploits (such as mining) will make the earth "scream". What does this mean? Just read the story. A bit preposterous (not too mention disturbing), methinks. The conclusion is, if you like science-fiction genre, you might want to check out this book. It'll give you description on the early development of the genre. Doyle CAN write sci-fi, not only about the famous Sherlock Holmes and his cases.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Trupti Dorge

    First line: Mr. Hungerton, her father, really was the most tactless person upon earth,—a fluffy, feathery, untidy cockatoo of a man, perfectly good-natured, but absolutely centered upon his own silly self. If anything could have driven me from Gladys, it would have been the thought of such a father-in-law. I am convinced that he really believed in his heart that I came round to the Chestnuts three days a week for the pleasure of his company, and very especially to hear his views upon bimetallism, First line: Mr. Hungerton, her father, really was the most tactless person upon earth,—a fluffy, feathery, untidy cockatoo of a man, perfectly good-natured, but absolutely centered upon his own silly self. If anything could have driven me from Gladys, it would have been the thought of such a father-in-law. I am convinced that he really believed in his heart that I came round to the Chestnuts three days a week for the pleasure of his company, and very especially to hear his views upon bimetallism, a subject upon which he was by way of being an authority. The Lost World is narrated by Edward Malone, a reporter from Daily Gazette. When he expresses his love to Gladys, she refuses to accept him because she wants a man who is a hero, who has made a name for himself. “There are heroisms all round us waiting to be done. It’s for men to do them, and for women to reserve their love as a reward for such men… That’s what I should like - to be envied for my man.” The first edition cover When he gets a chance to go on an expedition with the arrogant and difficult scientist, Professor Challenger, he jumps at it thinking it would be a great way to impress Gladys and win her heart. Challenger has been on this expedition before and he has claimed that he has seen life that is already extinct. But no one believes him. The entire scientific community as well as the press is skeptical. So a committee is formed which would take the same expedition and validate Professor Challenger’s claims. The expedition consists of Mr. Malone, Challenger, Professor Summerlee and John Roxton. The plateau is located in an isolated place somewhere in the Amazon jungle. After traveling for days through the inaccessible valleys and forest, they reach the plateau. What they find there is The Lost World. They see animals like the dinosaurs that are extinct centuries before, they find an entire colony of ape-men and a small Indian tribe on the plateau too. It’s basically an entirely different world; a world which no one knows exists. I’ll spare you the details in case you haven’t read the book. The first half of the book is pretty slow. But after they reach the plateau the story gets really exciting and adventurous. The narration is really funny at places especially when describing Challenger or the fights between Challenger and Summerlee. Here’s an example: If Lord John’s behavior at this time was strange, that of Challenger was more so. I may say that he seemed to possess an extraordinary fascination for the Indian women, and that he always carried a large spreading palm branch with which he beat them off as if they were flies, when their attentions became too pressing. To see him walking like a comic opera Sultan, with this badge of authority in his hand, his black beard bristling in front of him, his toes pointing at each step, and a train of wide-eyed Indian girls behind him, clad in their slender drapery of bark cloth, is one of the most grotesque of all the pictures which I will carry back with me. It’s probably not the best example but it will certainly give you an idea. I felt the end was a little rushed but overall this was a satisfying book. The plateau mentioned in the book is said to be located in South America where Brazil, Venezuela, and Guyana meet. The first explorers climbed the plateau in 1884 with the help of the Royal Geographical Society of London. Their story was the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World. (I read this on some site, I don’t know if it’s the truth). But the plateau very much exists. This post was originally published at http://violetcrush.wordpress.com/2009...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Catrine

    Personally I think I'll always like Doyle's Sherlock Holmes books more than the stories in this book. I didn't particularly like any of them, due to an overwhelming amount of description and the fact that the ending was painfully obvious for some of them. They all, possibly with one or two exceptions, felt too long. Still The Lost World had its moments, and The Disintegration Machine was neatly executed. Personally I think I'll always like Doyle's Sherlock Holmes books more than the stories in this book. I didn't particularly like any of them, due to an overwhelming amount of description and the fact that the ending was painfully obvious for some of them. They all, possibly with one or two exceptions, felt too long. Still The Lost World had its moments, and The Disintegration Machine was neatly executed.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mizumi

    I must confess I bought this book initially because I went 'Lost World = dinosaurs = little fangirl in me screaming'. Yes, I can be very shallow. However, after reading Sherlock Holmes, I discovered a) I really enjoy Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's writing and b) this book is also by him. The choice of what to read next was very easily made. Since these are five stories in one volume, I'll comment on each story, because I feel like it. 'The Lost World' was probably my favourite, as it was also the most i I must confess I bought this book initially because I went 'Lost World = dinosaurs = little fangirl in me screaming'. Yes, I can be very shallow. However, after reading Sherlock Holmes, I discovered a) I really enjoy Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's writing and b) this book is also by him. The choice of what to read next was very easily made. Since these are five stories in one volume, I'll comment on each story, because I feel like it. 'The Lost World' was probably my favourite, as it was also the most imaginative, setting up this plateau and with it, a whole new, small-scaled world of its own, set within the world as we know it. I love that. I also loved the fact it was set up like letters written on the spot. It's told in the past tense, but you still don't know what will happen in the future, as the letter ends and Malone has no idea at that point either what's going to happen, unlike the other stories that have foreshadowing. (On a completely random note, I was highly amused by Malone's sketches of the plateau, with some kind of weird stick figure and the note 'here we saw great elk'.) Overall, the story kind of reminded me of 'Journey to the Center of the Earth', but I found it more satisfying, as we got to see much more of the eventual new world. I did find the whole notion of 'us humans are superior/us western, civilized humans are superior' quite irksome though, and how the only woman with lines in the whole book turned out to be such a, well, bitch. Okay, it was pretty clear in the beginning that Gladys didn't really seem to like Malone as much as he liked her, but still. Bitch. 'The Poison Belt' I read late at night just before going to bed, which is not such a good idea. It was all very eerie and sad, especially that one old lady who survived and was all 'but what will happen to my shares and my income'. Poor thing. And then (view spoiler)[suddenly the whole world awakened, and I was both relieved (because that's not a nice world to live in) and a bit disappointed. Surely that could have been a very interesting story to pursue - just how many other people had survived by their own means? How will they rebuild the world? But no, none of that. And they just left that old lady too! She must have been scared to death when everyone woke up again and she has to worry a GREAT DEAL about her shares, since so many trains had crashed. Enough deaths without the whole world dying, in the end. But overall, I thought it was an interesting 'the end of the world as we know it' scenario, with the poison being in the air. Hardly any escape whatsoever. Though I must confess, I went all 'but did Roxton and Malone go back to the plateau as promised or not?'. I want to knoooow. (hide spoiler)] 'Land of Mist' was the odd one out here, focusing on spiritualism and departing from the first person viewpoint. Instead, we get some kind of bird eye's view of different characters (with a nice dash of dry remarks too, with the letters from people who, regardless of their intelligence of the subject, had not yet learnt how to spell. HEY THERE INTERNET). So that was an interesting change. It was a bit over the top to me in the end, though, but I thought it was very thought-provoking at some points. I loved this viewpoint that it doesn't matter whose religion is the 'right one', as long as you live as a good person, and that even organized churches don't always do good. Whoa. Also, where was Enid in 'The Poison Belt'? Considering all the trouble Challenger went through to save his wife, you'd think he'd be concerned about his daughter, too, even if she was away from home. Eh, especially if she was away from home. Anyway, I thought she was a nice addition, though once again, the ending kind of threw me off. 'The Disintegration Machine' was by far the shortest story, but I enjoyed it in a very twisted way. (view spoiler)[You just disintegrated that man, Challenger! Malone wasn't conscious while disintegrated and didn't even know time had passed, so that implies one no longer exists when disintegrated. In other words, you just killed him in a very twisted way. Okay, it was for the greater good, but that solution made me both go 'what a simple solution for a huge problem' and 'wait WHAT did you just do?'. (hide spoiler)] Finally, 'When the world screamed'. I think this was my least favourite, although it was kind of funny to see Malone through someone else's subjective point of view (also, how on Earth do they get from Edward to Ted? Or Ned, or whatever it was Enid called him). This went a little too far with the science, although I'm not sure how the layers of the Earth were perceived at the time of the novel, so maybe that's just my modern mind speaking. The titular event took a while, and though it was a good moment, it's kind of sad it's the title. You're just waiting for the world to eh, scream. Overall, I give the volume four stars, balancing the stories I really liked with the ones I liked to a lesser degree. Also, I suck at doing decent reviews if I'm not being graded for it, but psh, let me keep these things for my own reference.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Didem GUNDOGDU

    great book, apart from Sherlock Holmes, we see the science fiction side of Doyle.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book contains the five stories from the Professor Challenger series. Overall, I am giving this book a rating of 2 stars (which ends up being about the average of my ratings for the individual stories which I describe below). Some stories are certainly better than others. I am glad to have read it but would not be likely to pick it up again anytime soon. However, I will always keep the book itself, because my cat bit into the corner and left little teeth marks! Introduction Chapter - 2 stars This book contains the five stories from the Professor Challenger series. Overall, I am giving this book a rating of 2 stars (which ends up being about the average of my ratings for the individual stories which I describe below). Some stories are certainly better than others. I am glad to have read it but would not be likely to pick it up again anytime soon. However, I will always keep the book itself, because my cat bit into the corner and left little teeth marks! Introduction Chapter - 2 stars This chapter is a bit dry, but still explanatory and a good support chapter to the series. It is primarily about "The Lost World" and connects the literary themes/tropes from that story to a lot of other literature. It brought up some interesting connections and situated the story in its literary context which was mildly interesting. "The Lost World" - 3 stars This was my favorite story of the whole book. The storytelling aspect was really good and it was a very well-written tale. It reminded me in many ways of Verne's "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" and other science fiction books of that era. The characters are well-written and likable. I especially liked the narrator of this story, Edward Malone. The style of this story is very accessible and feels rather modern. It exceeded my expectations in this way, and was MUCH funnier than I had ever anticipated! Professor Challenger is hilarious! What a grand introduction for such a larger-than-life character! The whole blank page in the envelope ordeal once they arrived in Brazil, with him casually strolling in when they open it at the exact minute he appointed was grand! It had me laughing for a while! Similarly, when Roxton tells no one to fire their guns unless absolutely necessary, but definitely had shot at a guy who betrayed them, his response is sort of "well, it was necessary" and just the whole tone of that conversation was so funny! The introduction of the ape-men was weird. The battle with the ape-men was weird. I kept picturing orangutans but...humanistic? That whole plot point just really threw me. There was enough there with the dinosaurs to have excluded this entirely, and yet. And what's more, all those scientists present were just like "yep, let's blow these ape-men away with our guns and end their species to help the little natives!" That was both very 1800s and very out of character for scientists in this book. I had a hard time believing that educated minds like Summerlee and Challenger would have been even remotely okay with extinguishing a heretofore unknown species, perhaps even the "missing link," without first studying them. Even if they were a bit violent. I thought that it was clever and rewarding how they all got diamonds at the end because of Roxton. I was suspicious of him when he was sneaking about and exclaiming about blue clay. I thought he had an ulterior motive, but really he turned out to be quite a good fellow. That was very intelligent writing and enjoyable too, because it led the reader just enough on a red-herring plot to be enticing and yet satisfying in the ending, because I didn't want him to be bad. However, I never felt that the characters were ever in any real danger. Where was the T-Rex? Sure, Malone got chased by a meat-eating dinosaur once and fell in a hole. But otherwise, things seemed fairly safe. The pterodactyl scene is an exception, of course, as that was terribly frightening. But otherwise, the dinosaurs that came up to the caves were fairly easily subdued even though they ate a couple of natives. It all felt rather anti-climactic at the end, though their escape made sense. And, releasing a pterodactyl on London at a huge conference was fantastic and so on brand for Challenger! This was a very innovative story and quite cool. I especially liked how it was written, with a more modern tone and significant humor. I can definitely see where Jurassic Park got its inspiration and ran with it. Though now I feel compelled to rewatch the film version of this which was so freaky with the little komodo dragon in a hat fighting a crocodile dressed up as a dinosaur. Anyway, this was a good read! "The Poison Belt" - 2 stars Initially, I was confused by this story. The science descriptions at the beginning were a little complex, but I eventually got the gist of what was going on. This story was a bit slow and rather unmemorable, though it brought back the familiar cast of characters from "The Lost World." The ending was interesting, though I have to say it felt so stifling in the middle when they were just...waiting. In the locked room. I wasn't entirely sure how it would end and found the solution to be clever, though most certainly creepy and unsettling that they drove through the dead cities. This story took a while to get through, but wasn't wholly unpleasant. "The Land of Mist" - 1 star I resented this story. For numerous reasons. First, let me say what I liked about it, which sadly was insufficient to save this story from a 1 star rating: Enid Challenger. She was awesome. I loved her from the first page she was mentioned and wished that she had been involved in other stories in this collection. The fact that Professor Challenger is so soft for his women was just adorable! And made sense. It was a good piece of character development, especially since he was so gentle with his little wife in "The Poison Belt." Moreover, I LOVE the idea of Enid and Malone getting together and Malone, who was once absolutely tossed to the street by Challenger himself, becoming the man's son-in-law. The line about Malone being an old friend of Challenger and perhaps of the reader too was genuinely so good. Yet. YET. After that initial first chapter of promise and great character dynamics, it all came crashing down. Doyle was a known spiritualist and allowed this piece to becoming a bizarre and unfortunate piece of propaganda for his movement. The best part of this story, Enid and Malone's pairing, was promptly annihilated in the first lines of chapter 2, which was seriously off-putting. And that was just the beginning of my dislike for it. This story's tone is wholly different than every other piece in this collection. The characters seem to have undergone inexplicable changes too, and it feels much more clunky in the writing (like "oh yes, you're a medium too! Goodnight!" just slaps the reader in the face with a "pay attention, because this will be important later!" in a very inelegant way). The slow conversion of Malone made sense and was paced well, but the fact that his mother sort of appeared once and then never was mentioned again seemed like a dropped plot point. Chapter 8 felt a lot like the "Lonesome Ghosts" cartoon with Mickey Mouse. Becuase who brings a shotgun to a haunted house? Only Mickey Mouse and Lord Roxton apparently. Also, why did it become so much of a poltergeist/Ghostbusters story at this point? It's rambling. Plus, okay, so Roxton has done plenty of adventurous things in his life, hunted all the big game, climbed all the mountains, so why in the world did he decide that his next and probably only remaining thrill was to hunt for a ghost? I think Roxton is losing it. He wasn't nearly as cool in this story as he was in the previous two. Why in the world are the controls or guide spirits racial stereotypes? Wee One as a young black girl and Mr. Chang the Chinese man and whatever took over Enid at the end. All of them had stereotypical ways of garbling their English, and it was atrocious. Seriously, Doyle?? The fact that racial stereotypes were the guides/controls in itself would have inclined me to have doubts about the veracity of the mediums. That was never explained and just seemed bizarrely racist. There's also a horrid child abuse chapter thrown in there that was very unnecessary. The children are involved as mediums, but that plot point went absolutely nowhere and they never appeared again. I thought for a minute that maybe the child would be the one to convince Challenger since he has a soft spot for women and children, but no. Nope. They just were written off into oblivion after being abused. Was the point of that chapter to tie up a loose end about Silas? Maybe, but I sincerely feel like this could have been handled much better. Finally, the debate Challenger participates in seems very unusual. It is highly uncharacteristic of him to not have researched thoroughly or been sufficiently prepared before the debate. It's almost as if he was on the losing side to prove a point. Which was frustrating that Doyle would use his main character that way. Altogether, this is not a convincing story. It was weird and seems to refute the movement more than support it. Or at least to poke holes in it without offering sufficient counterexamples to bolster the claims once more. Clearly, it is written by a true believer of the moment as a type of propaganda, and I simply couldn't tolerate it. The characters that I had come to enjoy were thoroughly changed for the worse and used as vehicles to prove a point the author had. I don't like that. "The Disintegration Machine" - 3 stars This was a good example of an interesting and entertaining science fiction short story. Challenger and Malone return for this one, and I liked reading it! It contained a Peak Challenger moment, when he was ranting about people, then confidently did something quite crazy with no second thought and no change in his gruff demeanor. He stopped mass death and did so in a humorous way. I liked this one. "When the World Screamed" - 3 stars What a seriously weird concept, but yet, once I understood where the plot was going, I got behind it. The title is pretty much a dead giveaway, but it is still curious as to what exactly will happen and how things will play out. The description in this story was good. The new narrator (Peerless Jones) was good and I liked how he interacted with Malone and their discussions about how crazy Challenger is. Overall, I liked that this was placed last, because the image of Challenger proudly bowing to the cheering, amazed, and probably shocked crowds in his prime and very self-satisfied was nice. Another good short story!

  9. 4 out of 5

    kenzimone

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Lost World — 4 stars Conan Doyle's The Lost World is a fascinating spin on the age old story that pits man against nature, seen through the lens of the early 20th century. Hidden deep in the Amazon rainforest, far from any known trails or settlements, there sits a large plateau that has eluded the passage of time - a virtual lost world. By the way of four intrepid Englishmen, Conan Doyle takes the reader on a journey into a wilderness populated by ruthless danger in many different and unk The Lost World — 4 stars Conan Doyle's The Lost World is a fascinating spin on the age old story that pits man against nature, seen through the lens of the early 20th century. Hidden deep in the Amazon rainforest, far from any known trails or settlements, there sits a large plateau that has eluded the passage of time - a virtual lost world. By the way of four intrepid Englishmen, Conan Doyle takes the reader on a journey into a wilderness populated by ruthless danger in many different and unknown forms - ancient creatures from the Jurassic period, savage ape men, and cave dwelling Indians. Those who have read Conan Doyle's works of Sherlock Holmes is sure to recognize his grand way with words, the strong and colorful characters, and the sweeping descriptions. Having picked up this book mostly for the sake of the dinosaurs, I quickly found that the four main characters are by far the best thing about the novel; they all stand well on their own, and their distinct personalities play off each other nicely; their interactions and dialogue (especially the verbal spats between Challenger and Summerlee) are a constant source of entertainment. The Lost World is an excellent example of where science fiction meets action adventure, and the fact that it was first published in 1912 makes it doubly enjoyable; if nothing else it is fascinating to compare the experience of The Lost World's early 20th century man against Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park's late 20th century man in their shared experience of fighting ancient beasts. Even if 1912's science means that Allosaurus hop around like toads, hunting things by the way of falling forward and crushing their prey. The Poison Belt — 3 stars After thoroughly enjoying The Lost World, I can't help but find The Poison Belt incredibly odd. As Earth enters a poisonous belt of ether mankind succumbs to the effects of the gas, and only Challenger and his intrepid band of comrades, having taken up shelter in a sealed room with a supply of oxygen tanks, emerge alive. Conan Doyle is by no stretch of the imagination a bad writer. The Poison Belt is very well written, and the characters are the same that we met and loved in The Lost World, but the subject matter leaves much to be desired; if this novel did indeed portray the end of the world I could have seen the point of writing it, but as everything leading up the end is nullified by the very last chapter (Surprise! It wasn't death but catalepsy!), it seems a rather pointless tale to tell. As it is, the whole effort could be described as slightly... lazy. I did, however, enjoy reading more about the four MCs and liked that Conan Doyle fleshed out the character of Challenger's wife (and, in extension, Challenger himself). The Land of Mist — 1 stars The Land of the Mist is pretty much Conan Doyle's ode to Spiritualism, and as such it is all that can be expected (creepy, preachy, weird, and slightly terrifying, in other words). Compared to the first books in the series it is a major letdown; to be honest I couldn't make it past the first two chapters. I don't like skipping novels in an omnibus, but I'm going to have to face facts and realize that if I keep on insisting on finishing The Land of the Mist, I'm going to keep putting it off forever. The Disintegration Machine and When the World Screamed — 3 stars Both of these are very short stories (10 and 23 pages, respectively), but refreshingly reminiscent of The Lost World; here we have Challenger the endearing egomaniac at his very best, once again. When the World Screamed is, in my opinion, an especially fitting way to end this omnibus.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alina

    This is probably not that different from the Jules Verne books, but I did enjoy most of the stories of Challenger, Malone and their friends. It is quite amazing what ideas, though over a century old, can still have some relevance today! The first story, "The Lost World", is probably the most known one and has been used as inspiration for many other stories that followed. While of course the date of the story makes for a rather slow development of the plot (My modern mind is just so used to rapid This is probably not that different from the Jules Verne books, but I did enjoy most of the stories of Challenger, Malone and their friends. It is quite amazing what ideas, though over a century old, can still have some relevance today! The first story, "The Lost World", is probably the most known one and has been used as inspiration for many other stories that followed. While of course the date of the story makes for a rather slow development of the plot (My modern mind is just so used to rapid action), but there is still some excitement in the form of the mystery of the place itself. "The Poison Belt" was probably my favourite of these, because it had a much more human factor to it and I thought that this idea was likely the most probable one. Plus, I has already started to like the characters of the last story and it was nice to see the whole "gang" again. The next one, "The Land of the Mist", I didn't really enjoy that much. I found myself skimming paragraphs the whole time through. Though I do like the paranormal aspect of ghosts and such, I felt that the story was rather boring and it didn't help that we didn't have the "gang" as such any more, but many other characters introduced. Though it was still interesting to read how Doyle tried to scientifically give reason to these phenomena within the story. The two short stories were a nice encore. They had no real time line other than having taken place after "the Lost World". "the Disintegration machine" was rather short, though definitely interesting and I just associated it with a nice story the author might have written for someone as a small Christmas gift or something. Plus, the whole idea of disintegrating something or a person is of course one of the traditional ideas of science fiction. The last story, When the World Screamed" is one of the more absurd stories. The narrator is a completely new person but that was just as well because we did still have the characters of Malone and Challenger. While completely ridiculous, I thought it was a fun idea to have the world be a living entity and without or last hundred years of research, Challenger's explanation might not have sounded as far off as it does now. Overall, if you like Jules Verne and other classic tales along those lines, this is definitely a nice collection of works. Doyle, although his Sherlock Holmes novels are of course brilliant, should definitely get a bit more credit for these other stories as well.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cleo

    I have of course read Sherlock Holmes, and I really loved the Doyle's science fiction stories too. There are, I think, 5 stories in this book, all eerie sci-fi. One deals with a mysterious sheltered land in the Amazon, home to pre-historic creatures, another with a "poison belt" that the earth passes through, and another with Spiritualism. They were all really entertaining, but I think The Poison Belt was the most creepy. The premise is that the earth is passing through an ether cloud that will I have of course read Sherlock Holmes, and I really loved the Doyle's science fiction stories too. There are, I think, 5 stories in this book, all eerie sci-fi. One deals with a mysterious sheltered land in the Amazon, home to pre-historic creatures, another with a "poison belt" that the earth passes through, and another with Spiritualism. They were all really entertaining, but I think The Poison Belt was the most creepy. The premise is that the earth is passing through an ether cloud that will kill everyone on earth (or so they think.) Like Sherlock Holmes, many of the stories are narrated by Malone, a reporter. But the main character is really Professor Challenger. There are many good characters, and as I said, this is a gripping story. The Lost World is also very good, and kind of scary. The book challenges everything we think we "know" about the world; that dinosaurs are extinct, that humans are invincible, etc. etc. I would definitely recommend this to fans of Sherlock Holmes and of science fiction.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Scurra

    Conan Doyle believed that it would be his historical novels that he would be remembered for; he considered them to be the pinnacle of his writing achievement. Instead, he is remembered for a drug-addict detective and (to a lesser extent) a proto-Indiana Jones, and no-one remembers anything else. How he must be snarling - or laughing :) The Professor Challenger stories are essentially Doyle's answer to Jules Verne's tales of fantastical adventures. In a Victorian world that was shrinking by the da Conan Doyle believed that it would be his historical novels that he would be remembered for; he considered them to be the pinnacle of his writing achievement. Instead, he is remembered for a drug-addict detective and (to a lesser extent) a proto-Indiana Jones, and no-one remembers anything else. How he must be snarling - or laughing :) The Professor Challenger stories are essentially Doyle's answer to Jules Verne's tales of fantastical adventures. In a Victorian world that was shrinking by the day (after all, it could be traversed in 80 days!), these were the last huzzah for the unexplored regions, where it was still possible to find the lost tribes, ancient cities or even dinosaurs. Yes, the stories are horribly dated, and yes, the conceits feel old-fashioned nowadays, but as adventure stories they are of a high order and hard to beat.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jules

    3.5 stars. I found it extremely fascinating to read these short stories about Professor Challenger et al. The prose was easy-going, just as I know it from this author, the morale very straight-forward; Arthur Conan Doyle was not, I think, a literary genius. That doesn't mean his story are any less enjoyable, of course. The narrative was at times a bit slow, but of course the imagination of these tales is breath-taking. The author does a wonderful job of packing up science into adventurous, lively 3.5 stars. I found it extremely fascinating to read these short stories about Professor Challenger et al. The prose was easy-going, just as I know it from this author, the morale very straight-forward; Arthur Conan Doyle was not, I think, a literary genius. That doesn't mean his story are any less enjoyable, of course. The narrative was at times a bit slow, but of course the imagination of these tales is breath-taking. The author does a wonderful job of packing up science into adventurous, lively bits and pieces that the reader is eager to bite. That I could read the stories, especially "The Land of Mist", with some newly-acquired literary theories in the back of my head, was just a major plus. Well done, Doyle, well done!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mike Harper

    A good old-fashioned adventure story. And a good first novel for 2016. This must have seemed more plausible when first published, and in 1925 when it was first made into a movie. In those days, too, the heroes' slaughter of prehistoric dinosaurs and ape-like "missing links" and Doyle's description of "negroes," "half breeds," and the like would have seemed less offensive. But the story holds up pretty well for readers who, like me, are willing to suspend their disbelief and imagine a land popula A good old-fashioned adventure story. And a good first novel for 2016. This must have seemed more plausible when first published, and in 1925 when it was first made into a movie. In those days, too, the heroes' slaughter of prehistoric dinosaurs and ape-like "missing links" and Doyle's description of "negroes," "half breeds," and the like would have seemed less offensive. But the story holds up pretty well for readers who, like me, are willing to suspend their disbelief and imagine a land populated by ancient, gigantic slimy things and 20-foot birds with "red eyes and two rows of shark-like teeth."

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chandan

    My single most favorite fiction novel. Ahead of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. Why? Simple, relatable brilliance. The way this book captures the freshness of wonder, the excitement of exploration can only be explained when you turn to see the author's name. As much as I admire the Sherlock Holmes series, it is professor Challenger's eclectic crew that takes the cake as ACD's best work in my opinion. This book makes me turn back into a boy again. It is one of those rare works that fill m My single most favorite fiction novel. Ahead of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. Why? Simple, relatable brilliance. The way this book captures the freshness of wonder, the excitement of exploration can only be explained when you turn to see the author's name. As much as I admire the Sherlock Holmes series, it is professor Challenger's eclectic crew that takes the cake as ACD's best work in my opinion. This book makes me turn back into a boy again. It is one of those rare works that fill me with the kind of curiosity that the world sucks out of us day in and day out.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lee

    A hoot to read. I attempted to put myself in the armchair of a 1912 adolescent reader and just enjoy the adventure. It seemed that R. L. Stevenson, Jack London and Jules Verne looked over my shoulder. This review covers only "Lost World." I will have to seek the other Professor Challenger stories. A hoot to read. I attempted to put myself in the armchair of a 1912 adolescent reader and just enjoy the adventure. It seemed that R. L. Stevenson, Jack London and Jules Verne looked over my shoulder. This review covers only "Lost World." I will have to seek the other Professor Challenger stories.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Graeme Cartmell

    Some of the stories in this book are rather silly, and most of them are quiet racist in places. At least Sherlock Holmes was mostly just sexist.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marco Rivera

    An amazing collection of stories of a genius so different from the one in Baker Street, and yet so similar. The genre of scifi is mastered here by Conan Doyle .

  19. 5 out of 5

    MANOJ P

    'The Lost World' & Other Stories is a collection of five science fiction stories from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the man who gave us the eternal detective Sherlock Holmes. Just like Holmes, here we have Professor Challenger, to be precise, Professor George Edward Challenger, an aggressive, hot-tempered, and dominating person of science. This collection containing three novels and two short stories are his adventures based on scientific facts and fiction with his friends Edward Malone, Professor Sum 'The Lost World' & Other Stories is a collection of five science fiction stories from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the man who gave us the eternal detective Sherlock Holmes. Just like Holmes, here we have Professor Challenger, to be precise, Professor George Edward Challenger, an aggressive, hot-tempered, and dominating person of science. This collection containing three novels and two short stories are his adventures based on scientific facts and fiction with his friends Edward Malone, Professor Summerlee, and Lord John Roxton. The collection includes the following: 1. The Lost World (Novel) 2. The Poison Belt (Novel) 3. The Land of Mist (Novel) 4. The Disintegration Machine (Short Story) 5. When the World Screamed (Short Story) I liked The Lost World the most. We can consider it as the forebear of Jurassic Park. Professor Challenger and friends visit a mysterious prehistoric land where they find the most fantastic spectacle - Dinosaurs well and alive! They go through unexpected dangers caused by nature and humans and escape to the modern world in the end. In 'The Poison Belt', the world stands still for a period when the Earth passes through a poison belt. The story progresses about how Professor Challenger and his companions cope with the deadly situation. 'The Land of Mist' is heavily influenced by Spiritualism more than science. Doyle gives the reader reasons to be a believer in psychic mediums and the afterlife. In 'The Disintegration Machine', the Professor and Malone encounter a lunatic scientist who invents a potentially dangerous machine capable of splitting anything, living or nonliving, into particles and can reunite into the previous state operating some levers. In 'When the World Screamed', the Professor and Malone drill into the Earth until they reach the mantle. The Earth reacts to the human intervention with an ear-splitting scream and covers the spectators with an odorous liquid in the process. As I said earlier, I very much liked 'The Lost World', and then 'The Disintegration Machine'. 'The Land of Mist' is rather dull. The rest of the content is average.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lara Crafford

    First of all I need to preface this review by saying that science fiction is not a genre that I am generally drawn to. I picked this book up solely because I absolutely love Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories and wanted to read something else by him as I know that he preferred his other work. This was, however, not my cup of tea at all. The first story, The Lost World, was entertaining and I think the only reason I only gave it a 3/5 is because it just not my kind of story, not beca First of all I need to preface this review by saying that science fiction is not a genre that I am generally drawn to. I picked this book up solely because I absolutely love Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories and wanted to read something else by him as I know that he preferred his other work. This was, however, not my cup of tea at all. The first story, The Lost World, was entertaining and I think the only reason I only gave it a 3/5 is because it just not my kind of story, not because there was really anything wrong with it. The Lost World is a bit like a Victorian Jurassic Park. In this story, unlike the others, which I will get to, I found the character of Dr. Challenger enigmatic and interesting and his arrogance reminded me a bit of Sherlock Holmes. The other characters, too, were relatively interesting. The second story, The Poison Belt, was also relatively entertaining, but I did find it a bit harder to get through than the first. This is a kind of apocalyptic story which had some fun moments, although I found myself losing interest quite often. This is why I gave it only 2.5/5 stars. The third story was, in my opinion, the one that really didn't work for me. Firstly it didn't seem to fit with the theme of the stories around Dr. Challenger as it focuses on the idea of a spirit realm and psychics, which I would classify more as paranormal fiction, although it is written in the style of science fiction. This is not, however, my main problem with this story. My main issue was with the plot, or the lack thereof. It felt like the whole story was just made up of incidences and the storyline that was present was weak at best. I finished the story (after a struggle) feeling extremely underwhelmed and wondering what the point was. I don't know if I've ever rated anything under 2 stars, but this one got a 1.5/5. The last two shorter stories both got 2/5 stars. They weren't terrible, but they weren't anything special or exciting either and I felt like The Disintegration Machine was very predictable and therefore lost a lot of impact. Throughout all the stories there are problematic elements of racism and sexism, although the time in which this was written should be taken into account. These elements therefore didn't influence my opinion on the stories as much as they would have if they were present in a more recent book. Overall this book was a disappointing read for me. I don't know if this is because of the quality of the stories or simply because this is not the type or genre of stories I would usually enjoy. While some of the premises and concepts in the stories had the potential to be very entertaining and fun I didn't really enjoy most of the time I spent reading this book and considered not finishing it several times while reading The Land of Mist, but then felt like I was too close to finishing it to stop there. If you enjoy light science fiction stories or Jurassic Park you might enjoy this book, although I would recommend skipping The Land of Mist.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Johan Haneveld

    This time I read only the first story - 'The lost world'. I read the other stories some years ago and thought they were well written, full of imagination, even though in The poison belt the protagonists are a bit inactive and onlookers at the event, and I didn't really care for The land of mist. But well, there's a reason these further Challenger tales are less well known, to the point that most people don't realise that professor Challenger is as much a recurring character for Doyle as the mast This time I read only the first story - 'The lost world'. I read the other stories some years ago and thought they were well written, full of imagination, even though in The poison belt the protagonists are a bit inactive and onlookers at the event, and I didn't really care for The land of mist. But well, there's a reason these further Challenger tales are less well known, to the point that most people don't realise that professor Challenger is as much a recurring character for Doyle as the master detective his name is most often connected with. The irascable professor with the chest of an ox, the beard of an Assyrian king and the temper of a wolverine is certainly a character of note - almost as individual and impressive as the master detective. And the other characters as well: the acerbic professor Summerlee, the young and naive Mallone and the great white hunter of John Roxton. But it's the mysterious island in the sky, an uprising of rock, that is the main character in this story. Even though there seem to have been earlier stories with dinosaurs in them, this is surely the first to suppose their continued existence (Jules Verne had sea reptiles, not dinosaurs) and their biology written about along the lines of current research, written in a realistic fashion. So realistic (due to the knowing tone of the story, talking about there being no more white spots on the map, the time for adventure being over, the protagonist accused of making up something that belongs in a novel) that it could be taken for a real journal of an extraordinary journey. The prehistoric life is very vividly brought to life, using Doyles lively style. For a late nineteenth century, early 20th century novelist he is surprisingly readable. His dialogues are also lively and often humorous (surprisingly so: there's a lot to snicker about here, e.g. in the diatribes of Challenger and Summerlee, or the reaction of Challenger to meeting his opposite in a ape-man). His action is well written and the plot is well thought out. This remains a classic of the fantastic genre and must be read by all interested in dinosaurs (did you know Doyle thought Allosaurs jumped like kangaroos?) or in fantastic literature. Doyle really was a remarkable author. Just a note for 21th century readers: his opinions on women and other races are not really that modern, but more in line with those of his age, just like his descriptions of dinosaurs. Luckily both have evolved in between.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Blessy Abraham

    The Professor Challenger stories are among the lesser known works of Arthur Conan Doyle. Though Sherlock Holmes overshadows most of Doyle's work, the Challenger stories are far more exciting in my opinion. At the least, if one wants to understand Doyle's ideologies and positions a little better, these books are the perfect source. . . Obviously the best among these stories is The Lost World, where the protagonists travel to an undiscovered world of dinosaurs and hominid ape men. And because Doyle h The Professor Challenger stories are among the lesser known works of Arthur Conan Doyle. Though Sherlock Holmes overshadows most of Doyle's work, the Challenger stories are far more exciting in my opinion. At the least, if one wants to understand Doyle's ideologies and positions a little better, these books are the perfect source. . . Obviously the best among these stories is The Lost World, where the protagonists travel to an undiscovered world of dinosaurs and hominid ape men. And because Doyle himself was a staunch imperialist who believed in European scientific and mental superiority, one constantly encounters repeated stereotypes of the white male savior as a bringer of civilization and order in the savage lands of Asia, Africa and South America. It would not be wrong to say that The Lost World and The Poison Belt one big imperialist fantasy which was a popular theme in most European literature of that time. . . Of course what is interesting is how Doyle's turn to spiritualism and occultism in the 1920s leads to a curious turnaround in his stories. In the story, The Land of Mist, Professor Challenger who is earlier epitomized as the picture of peak European intellectual abilities is deliberately humbled by the Spiritualist movement. One cannot but help see a purposeful attack on material and commercial advancements of science (as well as ambiguous critique of organized religion) and a retreat towards the happenings in the afterlife. Though the story is itself not very well written, it is very intriguing to see the intellectual shift Doyle's beliefs and how they affected his protagonists in various ways. And also maybe how he used to them to rationalize his many varying political beliefs which bordered at times on being very anti-establishment. If anything remained consistent was probably his imperialist prejudices! #arthurconandoyle #professorchallenger #thelostworld #imperialism #spiritualism #readinglist2019 #readingchallenge2019

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known for his tales about the brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes. It is therefore interesting to note that he himself considered the tales in this book as his best and more worthy of attention. Now having never read a Sherlock Holmes novel -only seen it on television - I cannot be the judge of that. However I can say that I find it amazing that these tales have not gotten more attention. The prose is wonderful, it flows, has beautiful but not overly long descripti Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known for his tales about the brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes. It is therefore interesting to note that he himself considered the tales in this book as his best and more worthy of attention. Now having never read a Sherlock Holmes novel -only seen it on television - I cannot be the judge of that. However I can say that I find it amazing that these tales have not gotten more attention. The prose is wonderful, it flows, has beautiful but not overly long descriptions (which often tends to be the case with literature out of this time period) and the characters are unique, lifelike, likeable and easy to relate to. More remarkable though are the tales themselves. They are truly among the first in the science-fiction genre - blending science with fiction in an effortless way and retaining that hint of credibility that true sf always has . These stories contain a lovely blend of science, the supernatural and logic in well written intelligent prose. The 'poison belt' and 'when the world screamed' could have been contemporary pieces in their criticism on how humanity treats the earth and the natural world. The lost world tells about the discovery of dinosaurs on a remote piece of land - long before the idea came to the cinema - Doyle wrote about it. For everyone who loves science fiction this book is worth the read but even if you don't it is worth checking out.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Apratim Mukherjee

    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is creator of the famous detective 'Sherlock Holmes'.But few people know that he created the character of a hot headed zoologist 'Professor Challenger' as well.This book contains three stories where Professor Edward Challenger is the protagonist. The first story i.e. The Lost World,is a sci-fi but rather than exploring any physical or chemical anamoly,the author has created a world of zoological and botanical anamoly.This story is the high point of this book( and probably t Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is creator of the famous detective 'Sherlock Holmes'.But few people know that he created the character of a hot headed zoologist 'Professor Challenger' as well.This book contains three stories where Professor Edward Challenger is the protagonist. The first story i.e. The Lost World,is a sci-fi but rather than exploring any physical or chemical anamoly,the author has created a world of zoological and botanical anamoly.This story is the high point of this book( and probably the career of Professor Challenger).I would admit,the Lost World is racist and uses words like negro and doesn't humanize indigenous tribes completely.Its a guilty pleasure to be exact. The second story i.e. The Poison Belt,explores the possibility of Earth entering into zone of poisonous gases and then coming out of it.Its a good story but has a few flaws like the whole story is set in a room where a few privileged people see the world die.Its a bit racist and sexist. The third story i.e. The Land of Mist is a diversion from scientific analysis towards spiritualism,ghosts etc.Its a cheap ghost story which was written by the author when he became deeply religious. All in all,it is a book that was relevant twenty years ago,but I would not consider a classic today.Only people who want to explore Arthur Conan Doyle beyond Sherlock Holmes can read this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Carl Barlow

    The eponymous novella is a mannered adventure with less dinosaur than I had led myself to expect, but nevertheless a lot of British fun. The second novella is also enjoyable, with some good end-of-the-world imagery, reminding me a lot of H G Wells' In the Days of the Comet (though without the socialist aspects) - pity it pulled its punches at the end. The third novella is little more than the author expressing his utter admiration of spiritualism and its world-problem-solving abilities - sporadi The eponymous novella is a mannered adventure with less dinosaur than I had led myself to expect, but nevertheless a lot of British fun. The second novella is also enjoyable, with some good end-of-the-world imagery, reminding me a lot of H G Wells' In the Days of the Comet (though without the socialist aspects) - pity it pulled its punches at the end. The third novella is little more than the author expressing his utter admiration of spiritualism and its world-problem-solving abilities - sporadically interesting, but I confess I skimmed some of it. The penultimate short story is a throw-away affair concerning the invention and likely weaponising of a dematerialising device, but -again- readable and fun. The last short almost brings Doyle into Lovecraft country, with a rather silly but also somewhat nightmarish premise on the true nature of Mother Earth - I could have gladly read something much longer on this particular subject. There are one or two racist and sexist remarks (more born out of ignorance than any malice I could see); but if you will allow/ignore these as unfortunate products of their era then there is enjoyment to be had with this collection, especially if you would see some of SF's roots exposed.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kushnuma

    30 July 2019 "When The World Screamed" This final short story features Professor Challenger waking up Mother Earth by digging through the crust. 30 July 2019 "The Disintegration Machine" This was a super short story including Professor Challenger and Edward Malone. They both go to investigate this machine built by a mad scientist and discuss the consequences of others using the machine. 30 July 2019 "The Land of Mist" This one started in third person, which I wasn't expecting and made it sound differen 30 July 2019 "When The World Screamed" This final short story features Professor Challenger waking up Mother Earth by digging through the crust. 30 July 2019 "The Disintegration Machine" This was a super short story including Professor Challenger and Edward Malone. They both go to investigate this machine built by a mad scientist and discuss the consequences of others using the machine. 30 July 2019 "The Land of Mist" This one started in third person, which I wasn't expecting and made it sound differently. The story itself surprised me as I wasn't expecting Spirituality to be portrayed in this way, or for it to be accepted by the main characters. 26 July 2019 "The Poisonous Belt" The apocalypse is here. Everyone is poisoned but the adventurers are prepared with oxygen supplies and manage to not get poisoned. But when they think they are the last people on Earth, they are in for a surprise. 22 July 2019 "The Lost World" It was quite exciting and adventurous. I felt sorry for Malone as he went on this expedition for a girl only to come back and find that she gets married to someone quite ordinary.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    The Lost World itself was great story and and surprisingly funny. the rest of them, uh.... The Poison Belt was underwhelming, and managed to deflate its ending from the very start. The Land of Mist was incredibly weak, being mostly nothing more than a very didactic pamphlet for the spiritualist movement. the chapter in the haunted house was the only truly entertaining part, but in the end falls flat as the climax plays itself out beyond a safely locked door. it was mildly interesting to read about The Lost World itself was great story and and surprisingly funny. the rest of them, uh.... The Poison Belt was underwhelming, and managed to deflate its ending from the very start. The Land of Mist was incredibly weak, being mostly nothing more than a very didactic pamphlet for the spiritualist movement. the chapter in the haunted house was the only truly entertaining part, but in the end falls flat as the climax plays itself out beyond a safely locked door. it was mildly interesting to read about the ins and outs of spiritualism from the point of view of a devotee, but only very mildly. it also fails to realise that the only thing redeeming Challenger is that he's right; without that he's just a pompous bully. the remaining two stories are both very short. maybe i was feeling a bit tired with the whole enterprise by that point, because The Disintegration Machine's satire fell flat, and came across as plain nasty. The Day The World Screamed was entertainingly odd though, even if the writing was somewhat lacking. also, what happened to Malone's share of the diamond money?

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andrey Reshetnikov

    The Lost World and other stories featuring worthy Professor Challenger and his friends along with the romances of H.G. Wells make perhaps the first generation of Anglo-American science fiction. Very interesting it is to plunge into the world of ‘crazy’ ideas of dear old lion. Conan Doyle is again masterful in thinking out the charisma of his key players. The rest seems as the product of Challenger’s persona quite independent of the author’s will. Challenger shows what it really is to think on a l The Lost World and other stories featuring worthy Professor Challenger and his friends along with the romances of H.G. Wells make perhaps the first generation of Anglo-American science fiction. Very interesting it is to plunge into the world of ‘crazy’ ideas of dear old lion. Conan Doyle is again masterful in thinking out the charisma of his key players. The rest seems as the product of Challenger’s persona quite independent of the author’s will. Challenger shows what it really is to think on a large scale. It simply takes your mind off the ground and makes it float in unknown until you see the possibilities of impossible. The world is also a fight for Challenger, with the ignorance of those who don’t understand. And he fights his battles with unlimited energy and force of his personality.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tessa

    I can see how this book was an inspiration of the Jurassic Park series, although the book is completely unique to the movies we all know and love. The author does an excellent job of bringing everything to life with the specific details of characters and events in the story. The story starts with Professor Challenger at a scientific event presenting his findings from his adventure to a lost world of prehistoric creatures. Everyone thinks he’s crazy and has falsified the evidence. So there is a t I can see how this book was an inspiration of the Jurassic Park series, although the book is completely unique to the movies we all know and love. The author does an excellent job of bringing everything to life with the specific details of characters and events in the story. The story starts with Professor Challenger at a scientific event presenting his findings from his adventure to a lost world of prehistoric creatures. Everyone thinks he’s crazy and has falsified the evidence. So there is a team formed to prove or disprove his findings. I recommend this book. It’s an easy read that maintains interest.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dean Eizenberg

    For 'the lost world', 'poison belt', 'disintegration machine' and 'when the world screamed' I would have given 4 - 5 stars each, but I was disappointed in 'The land of mist'. It wasn't bad and was still well written, but it was all about spiritualism, rather then the adventures of lost worlds and natural world survivals which you'd expect from the lost world genre . For 'the lost world', 'poison belt', 'disintegration machine' and 'when the world screamed' I would have given 4 - 5 stars each, but I was disappointed in 'The land of mist'. It wasn't bad and was still well written, but it was all about spiritualism, rather then the adventures of lost worlds and natural world survivals which you'd expect from the lost world genre .

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