The Lost World (Crichton novel)
First edition cover
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
|LC Class||PS3553.R48 L67 1995b|
The Lost World is a techno thriller novel written by Michael Crichton and published in 1995 by Knopf. A paperback edition (ISBN 0-345-40288-X) 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 film of the same name.
Like Arthur Conan Doyle's novel of the same name, Crichton's novel concerns an expedition to an isolated Central American location where dinosaurs roam—though in this case, the dinosaurs were recreated by genetic engineering, rather than surviving from antiquity.
Six years after the disaster at Jurassic Park, Mathematician Ian Malcolm—who is revealed to have survived the events of the previous novel via a retcon—teams up with paleontologist Richard Levine to search for a "Lost World" of dinosaurs following rumors of strange creatures washing up on the shores of Costa Rica. They eventually learn of Site-B on Isla Sorna, the "production facility" where InGen, the company that owned the original park, hatched and grew the dinosaurs for Isla Nublar (the Jurassic Park site). Afraid that the Costa Rican government will find the island and destroy the dinosaurs, Levine hastily embarks on an expedition to the island without Malcolm. Soon after arriving on island, Levine and his guide are attacked by a dinosaur, and the guide is killed. Malcolm eventually learns that Levine has gone missing on the island, and he plans a rescue, with a team consisting of Jack "Doc" Thorne, an engineer and retired university professor, Eddie Carr, Thorne's assistant, and two stowaway children, R.B. "Arby" Benton and Kelly Curtis. Thorne also tries to persuade Dr. Sarah Harding, an animal behaviorist and former lover of Malcolm, to leave her own expedition in the African Savannah to assist them in the search. Though she is initially dismissive, she eventually decides to meet up with them on the island.
The group soon makes it to the island and begins the search for Levine. They are well equipped with an RV that's a fully functional mobile lab, an electric Ford Explorer, a motorcycle, and a cache of lethal and non-lethal weapons, primarily air rifles loaded with deadly venom of Conus Purpurascens. They find an abandoned complex of InGen buildings, consisting of a large laboratory, a worker village, a general store, and a power station that is still generating electricity for the island's computer and video systems. They eventually find Levine. Though injured and fatigued, he is focused entirely on his research, overjoyed at the trove of information he can glean from this "Lost World."
Simultaneously, another group—geneticists Lewis Dodgson, Howard King and "celebrity" biologist, George Baselton— learns of Levine's expedition and go to Isla Sorna with plans to steal dinosaur eggs for Biosyn, the rival company of InGen. On the way to the island, Sarah encounters Dodgson and his party. Dodgson at first dismisses Sarah until she reveals she is trying to make her way to Isla Sorna. He then offers to take her, but just before they reach the island, Dodgson throws Harding off the boat and leaves her for dead; she is then rescued by Malcolm's group.
Initially, Levine and Malcolm's expedition goes well, with many observations of the dinosaurs' behavior being made from the "High-Hide", an enclosed blind that is set above the ground on scaffolding. They soon learn that Dodgson's group has made it to the island. They go to confront them, but before they can reach them, Dodgson's group is attacked by a pair of Tyrannosaurs as they try to steal eggs from the animals' nest. Baselton is eaten when he incorrectly asserts that the Tyrannosaur visual acuity is based on movement alone, and attempts to remain still while being attacked. Though Dodgson and King get away, they accidentally drive off of the road and are separated.
While inspecting the Tyrannosaurus nesting site, Malcolm finds that one of the infants had been injured and has a broken leg. He instructs Eddie to kill it because it has no chance of surviving in the wild. Unbeknownst to the group, Eddie refuses to kill it, and brings it back to the RV to set and cast the broken leg. Once they find out the animal has been brought back to the camp, they begrudgingly assist in setting the leg. Soon after, the parent Tyrannosaurs come looking for the infant, and attack the RV, pushing it partially over a cliff and severely injuring Malcolm in the process.
Once night falls, the nocturnal Velociraptors come out of the jungle and attack the group. During the attacks, Eddie and Howard King are killed, and Arby, who climbs into a special animal proof cage, is dragged to the Velociraptor nesting site. The group follows and fights off the dinosaurs, killing several, to eventually rescue the boy. As the night drags on, the group takes refuge from the velociraptors in the general store in the worker village while trying to formulate a plan and get to the site where the helicopter is set to meet them in the morning. Throughout this time, Malcolm is high on morphine and talks at length about evolution and animal behavior on Isla Sorna as compared to Isla Nublar.
As morning is drawing near, Sarah decides to ride the motorcycle out to the electric Explorer as it is the only functional vehicle left on the island that can carry them all to the helicopter. At the vehicle, she is confronted by Dodgson as they are attacked by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. They both attempt to hide under the vehicle, but Sarah pushes Dodgson out. He is picked up by the dinosaur and carried off to the nest where he is fed to the infants.
Though she speeds through the jungle in the Explorer, Sarah just misses the helicopter and it leaves without them. During a final attack of the Velociraptors on the general store, Kelly discovers there is a boat docked in a boat house, and they escape through a tunnel underneath the floorboards.
As they are sailing away from the island, Ian reveals that he discovered that InGen fed dinosaurs sheep infected with prion disease, which causes the life spans of dinosaurs to be shorter than normal. He suspects that the disease will lead to the eventual extinction of the dinosaurs on Isla Sorna.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park is a 1997 science fiction film and sequel to Jurassic Park. Both films were directed by Steven Spielberg. After the success of the first film, fans and critics alike pressured Michael Crichton for a sequel novel. Having never done one before, Crichton originally declined, but when Spielberg joined in urging him, a sequel novel was announced. As soon as the novel was published, a film was in pre-production, with a target release date of mid-1997. The film was a commercial success, breaking many box-office records when released. It has a number of plot differences from the novel and incorporates scenes from the original novel. The film received mixed reviews.
Dinosaurs featured in the novel
(In order of appearance)