Everyone knows the name of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle because of Sherlock Holmes… and that annoyed him to no end. Heck, it’s part of the reason he bumped off Holmes in the first place. He felt his historical novels were far more important, but they were far less popular. I mean, did you know he wrote history books? Didn’t think so.
Eventually, he made his peace with this and branched out into other genres over time, which brings us to his 1912 novel: The Lost World.
There’s a certain charm to be found in reading science fiction or speculative fiction from another era. But while The Lost World is generally classified as science fiction, that doesn’t really feel like the right label to me. There is no advanced technology involved, either by the protagonists or the unexplored region of the world they find themselves in.
When I reviewed Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, I referred to the appeal of the book as “nostalgia for a future that never was.” But in this case, the feeling is more like “nostalgia for a version of the world that never was.”
Stories like this see the earth differently than we do, in ways that might seem ridiculous now, but seemed plausible then. This applies more to Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth, however, which I’ll be discussing next time…
Read the full review at: Noah Chinn Reviews: The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle