The Lost World is a techno thriller novel written by Michael Crichton and published in 1995 by Knopf. A paperback edition followed in 1996. It is a sequel to his earlier novel Jurassic Park. In 1997, both novels were re-published as a single book titled Michael Crichton’s Jurassic World, unrelated to the 2015 film of the same name.
One fact about this sequel to Jurassic Park stands out above all: it follows a book that, with spinoffs, including the movie, proved to be the most profitable literary venture ever. So where does the author of a near billion-dollar novel sit? Squarely on the shoulders of his own past work–and Arthur Conan Doyle’s. Crichton has borrowed from Conan Doyle before–Rising Sun was Holmes and Watson in Japan–but never so brazenly. The title itself here, the same as that of Conan Doyle’s yarn about an equatorial plateau rife with dinos, acknowledges the debt. More enervating are Crichton’s self-borrowings: the plot line of this novel reads like an outtake from JP. Instead of bringing his dinos to a city, for instance, Crichton keeps them in the Costa Rican jungle, on an offshore island that was the secret breeding ground for the beasts. Only chaos theoretician Ian Malcolm, among the earlier principals, returns to explore this Lost World, six years after the events of JP; but once again, there’s a dynamic paleontologist, a pretty female scientist and two cute kids, boy and girl–the latter even saves the day through clever hacking, just as in JP. Despite stiff prose and brittle characters, Chrichton can still conjure unparalleled dino terror, although the wonder is gone and the attacks are predictable, the pacing perfunctory. But his heart now seems to be not so much in the storytelling as in pedagogy: from start to finish, the novel aims to illustrate Crichton’s ideas about extinction–basically, that it occurs because of behavioral rather than environmental changes–and reads like a scientific fable, with pages of theory balancing the hectic action.
I would rate this book 3/5 and would recommend this book to those who love adventure and Speculative fiction.