The Lost World, by Michael Crichton: a Novel Review


Four years have passed since Ian was able to escape Isla Nublar with near critical injuries…so critical in fact that he was reported as dead and a memorial service was even held in his honor.  His fellow escapees Alan, Ellie, Tim and Lex have all gone their separate ways.  Ian has taken up a teaching position and has recently, albeit reluctantly, teamed up with paleontologist Richard Levine.

Their goal is to search for The Lost World, a concept hatched in both biology and chaos theory, where all the presumed extinct animals are actually just hiding in plain sight.  This concept of The Lost World being true was prompted by the fact that several strange animal corpses have been washing up on the shores of Costa Rica.

After two years of searching and funding a large amount of very advanced equipment Levine mysteriously disappears.  His young students, R.B. and Kelly, as well as one of his collegues Doc Thorne are extremely concerned about what has happened to him.  After contacting Ian, he and Doc decide that they need to figure out just where Richard has gotten to.

When all signs point to the fact that he has made a rash decision to visit Site B…a second island off the coast of Costa Rica near Isla Nublar…without any other assistance than a local guide.  As the adults make their way to the island, contacting Dr. Sarah Harding, an animal behaviorist colleague to meet them there the children are left to worry about their beloved teacher.

As the group arrives on the island with Harding to meet them the next day things seem to go from bad to worse when they discover the site where Levine seems to have been attacked.  After they get back to their camp the unexpected appearance of R.B. and Kelly, a group of strangers attacking the dinosaurs, and an incredibly stormy night…things are about to get really rough on Isla Sorna.

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction, Techno-Thriller, Horror

-Author: Michael Crichton

-Number of Pages: 393

-Main Characters: Ian Malcolm, Richard Levine, Jack “Doc” Thorne, Eddie Carr, R. B. “Arby” Benton, Kelly Curtis, Dr. Sarah Harding, Lewis Dodgson, Howard King, George Baselton

-Where to Read: support local booksellers (many can order items that may not be in stock) or look for it at your local library!

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

I was not expecting this book to be just as good as the first.  Afterall the second film isn’t anywhere near as good as the first.  But I was pleasantly surprised.

Crichton manages to keep the same voice as the first book.  No condescension when talking about the technology, obscure language of animal behavior and chaos theory, the genetic diversity of the dinosaurs and genetic project that was going on with InGen….all of it comes together smoothly and without irritation to the reader.

Ian is even more of his insane and crazy self, though I do wish he hadn’t gotten hurt in this one too.  The other characters are well developed and the adults are often times excellent role models for the kids. 

The dinosaurs as always are not seen as evil or good. They are merely animals and I love that Crichton shows the family structures of different groups.  The research for dinosaurs has changed over the years and its fascinating that in these two books he embraced the new information that was coming out on their family structures.

The details are robust and the setting is beautifully described.  Both of these books make me want to visit Costa Rica….it sounds stunning.

Overall, the writing is solid. The plot is believable but just outside of the realm of what I think is possible which is perfect for a science-fiction novel.  The characters are robust.  Its just a really great book.  And one I will read again!


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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