Six years have passed since the secret disaster at Jurassic Park. In the years since the extraordinary dream of science and imagination came to a crashing end, the island has been indefinitely closed to the public, its park dismantled, the dinosaurs themselves destroyed.
Or so it was thought.
But something has survived. And when a team led by maverick scientist Ian Malcolm enters the mysterious ‘Site B’ to investigate, they are determined that this, at last, will be the end of the dinosaurs…
Of all the unbelievable things that happen in The Lost World, the most unlikely is Malcolm willingly returning to an island full of dinosaurs.
While Crichton shies away from killing off children, he seems to enjoy describing the deaths of adults in full gory detail. If someone’s death seems too tame – just fading to black – it means they’re still alive, and the actual pain is still to come.
Crichton writes wonderful characters that cover the full spectrum of humanity. Strong, independent women who get the job done under pressure. Antisocial nerds who are so focused on data and research that they don’t recognise danger until it’s too late. Greedy, money-hungry men who are willing to backstab and murder for profit. And, of course, Malcolm – the man who loves to get injured early and spend the rest of the book in a drug delirium mooning over mathematical theorems.
All your life, other people will try to take your accomplishments away from you. Don't you take it away from yourself.
I always remember the original Jurassic Park movie as wonderful, the second as pretty dumb, and the third as terrifying. While there isn’t a third book in this series, The Lost World is definitely more on the terrifying side. A lot of the narrative is consistent with the second movie, with a heavier emphasis on velociraptors – which is what made the third movie so scary. And a lot of what made the second movie pointless (transporting dinosaurs to San Diego?!) isn’t present in the book, thankfully.
Overall, this is a pretty perfect series. I know a lot of my goodwill comes from nostalgia and excellent movies, but these books hold up on their own and are definitely worth the read for both people who haven’t seen the movies (do these people exist?) and those who love them.
"Human beings are so destructive," Malcolm said. "I sometimes think we're a kind of plague, that will scrub the earth clean. We destroy things so well that I sometimes think, maybe that's our function. Maybe every few eons, some animal comes along that kills off the rest of the world, clears the decks, and lets evolution proceed to its next phase."