The Lost World – Michael Crichton


The Lost World

The Lost World

I would have loved to read Michael Crichton’s novel Jurassic Park first. But I found that book only after reading its sequel, The Lost World. Reading the second book first didn’t affect reading much as Crichton has written the second book in such a way that a newcomer to the Jurassic world is not stranded. Also having watched Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park movie earlier helped enjoying the second book.

In fact Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had written a novel with the same name in 1912. Crichton’s novel focuses on an adventurous expedition to an isolated fictional island, Isla Sorna close to Costa Rica where dinosaurs roam in abundance. In this story, it is genetic engineering that recreates dinosaurs, not ancient dinosaurs remaining unseen like in Sir Doyle’s book.

The Lost World tells us a story about a certain site B, where John Hammond’s team uses as dinosaurs breeding ground in Isla Sorna, away from Isla Nublar where Jurassic Park was built. Site B sad been kept a secret all the while and Hammond’s team had pretended that dinosaurs were being genetically engineered by InGen (the company Hammond built for creating Jurassic Park). But what the team really did was letting the dinosaurs breed free in Isla Sorna.

The Lost World is an exciting read. There are some difficult-to-believe incidents like only bad people getting killed by dinosaurs while good people surviving against all odds; yet the book doesn’t lose its main focus.

Ian Malcom, who was implied dead in the first book, surprisingly returns in the second book. Dr. Sarah Harding seems the protagonist in the story by outsmarting the male characters. It is almost unbelievable for a woman to be that effective in a jungle full of various types of monstrous dinosaurs but with her previous experiences with the lions, hyenas, etc. in African plains have strengthened her. Bringing back Lewis Dodgson also is not a bad idea.

Unfortunately, when making a movie based on the book, the director Steven Spielberg has done away with a lot of interesting people and plots from the book. I don’t know why he did such a deviation from the book while the book itself was exciting enough for a film. Completely leaving out characters like Levine, Arby remains a mystery. Spielberg completely does away with main characters and brings the opening scene from the start of the first book which, in fact, should have gone to the first movie. One might say this is artistic license but I can’t understand the logic behind swapping scenes between the books and films. To enjoy the book, unfortunately, you should completely forget the movie which was based on the book. But the book and Steven Spielberg’s second film, The Lost World: Jurassic Park have more dissimilarities than similarities.

It is said that Michael Crichton never fancied the idea of writing sequel to Jurassic Park but with the persuasion of readers and specially Spielberg, he was forced to write The Lost World. Hence the irregularities like the return of dead Malcom. Though a fiction, the writer has thrown in a lot of science and research in to the book so that one doesn’t feel that reading it feels like reading a cheap thriller.

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