The Lost World

By: Michael Crichton

Rating: 79%

Brief Summary: The poor novel continuation of the classic Jurassic Park (just like the situation with the movies).

Jurassic Park was no doubt worthy of a continuation, unfortunately The Lost World will not hold the same interest as the first novel did. While the story is not totally flat--it had its moments--it just can not worthy of the name Jurassic Park.

Before I begin a basic plot analysis, it is worth mentioning that the this story should not be compared with the movie in any way. Other than some same characters and very basic storylines, the movie takes it's own direction--unlike in the film Jurassic Park where at least they tried a little bit to follow the novel.

The story begins with a new character, Dr. Thorne, and the familiar Dr. Malcolm--the only significant holdover from the original novel--who stumbles across evidence that there is another island full of cloned dinosaurs. While the original island--Isla Nublar--was an amusement park of sorts, the island in The Lost World--Isla Sorna--is where the production once took place. It is now thought to be abandoned. We find the primary company of InGen had filed for bankruptcy about eight years earlier. Thorne convinces Malcolm to go to the island to look for one of their colleagues, Dr. Levine. Malcolm calls his girlfriend, Sarah Harding--an expert in animals, and asks her to travel with them. They finally reach the island only to find that two children--students of one of the doctors-- have smuggled themselves inside the luggage. These children are Kelly and Arby. So now, there are six people on the island--the sixth being Eddie Carr, a manservant. Well to make a long story short, after arriving at the island, the suspense stops. They then being to explore the dinosaur ecosystem for about the next 150 pages before anything significant happens. Since the island has long been abandoned, the wildlife has started to merge together. This topic, of course, requires several pages of inspection. Then, as Malcolm once said, "this is where the screaming begins...". Some die, some live and some escape. As usual, three bad guys do follow them to the island, and predictably--they make nice snacks for the dinosaurs. Do not worry, that was not a spoiler. Once you meet these men, you realize they are possibly the least intelligent antagonists Crichton has written.

Granted, the story does begin rather interesting, that is, until they get to the island and find Dr. Levine. After this point, it is a drag just to get to through. This is not just because the action becomes minimal, but there are no feelings of any kind of suspense. When the ending does get interesting, the action does not stop, and I assume one can read through these last several chapters rather quickly. Additionally, this novel has a weak cast of characters. Just bad when you compare them to the first story. There is just not one who was worth talking about. Even Malcolm, who was great in the first story becomes another boring clone of the others. His wit is mostly missing here. The newly introduced, Dr. Levine-- perhaps the most talkative of the group--grows tiresome very fast. The two children from this story are even less enthralling than the two from Jurassic Park.

It seems, based on the quality of the plot and characters, Michael Crichton was pressured into writing this novel because of the success of the movie Jurassic Park. There is nothing else in the The Lost World that is memorable enough to mention. With that being said, this story should not not be hated too much, because it just was not that bad. It did have its fun moments, but sadly, this novel will always be compared to the great success of its predecessor--and will always fail in the comparison. On its own--and with lesser expectations, I suppose, it may hold up. And perhaps expectations must be lowered in order to enjoy this story.

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