The Lost World (Crichton novel)

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The Lost World
First edition cover
Author Michael Crichton
Cover artist Chip Kidd
Country United States
Language English
Genre Science fiction
Horror fiction
Publisher Knopf
Publication date
September 1995
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 430 pp.
ISBN 0-679-41946-2
OCLC 32924490
813/.54 20
LC Class PS3553.R48 L67 1995b
Preceded by Jurassic Park

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.[1][2][3]

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.

Plot summary[edit]

Six years after the disaster at Jurassic Park, mathematician Ian Malcolm, who survived the events of the previous novel, teams up with paleontologist Richard Levine to search for a "Lost World" of dinosaurs following rumors of strange animal corpses 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 the island, Levine and his guide, Diego, are attacked by a Carnotaurus, and Diego 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, who were working as Levine's research assistants as part of a school project. 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 a pair of conjoined RV trailers that serve as 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 geothermal 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 arrive at the island, Dodgson throws Harding off the boat and leaves her for dead; she manages to reach the island and is 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 Tyrannosaurus rex as they try to steal eggs from the animals' nest. Baselton is eaten when he incorrectly asserts that the T. rex 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 the road and are separated when their Jeep crashes. When King regains consciousness, he attempts to return to the boat without Dodgson, but encounters a herd of Pachycephalosaurus blocking the road. Narrowly escaping an attack by the aggressive herbivores, King is forced to abandon the Jeep and continue on foot. Meanwhile, Dodgson is swarmed by a pack of Procompsognathus and takes shelter in a disused equipment shed, where he quickly loses consciousness due to the dinosaurs' narcotic venom.

While inspecting the rex 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 trailers to set and cast the broken leg. Once they find out the animal has been brought back to the camp, Malcolm and Harding begrudgingly agree to set the leg while the rest of the group returns to the High Hide. As night approaches, the nocturnal Velociraptors emerge from the jungle to hunt, and the High Hide group witness them stalk and kill King.

As Malcolm and Sarah finish setting the baby rex's leg, the parent rexes come looking for their infant and attack the trailers, pushing one of them over a cliff and severely injuring Malcolm in the process. As Thorne races back to camp to rescue them, the Explorer's electric motor shorts out as it drives through a large puddle. Finding the Biosyn team's abandoned Jeep nearby, he commandeers it and manages to rescue Malcolm and Harding just before the accordion connector conjoining the trailers fails and the drivable trailer plummets off the cliff.

As the raptors continue their hunt, they discover and attack the High Hide. Eddie is killed, and Arby, who climbs into a special animal-proof cage, is dragged to the raptor 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 raptors in the general store in the worker village while trying to formulate a plan to reach the landing site where the helicopter is set to meet them in the morning. When Thorne ventures out into the village to look for fuel for the Jeep, he encounters a pair of carnotaurs, which are able to change their skin color like chameleons. Harding and Levine manage to save Thorne by disrupting the dinosaurs' camouflage with flashlights, causing them to flee. 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 draws near, a group of Maiasaura enter the village searching for eggs the Biosyn team stole from them the previous day. Upon hearing the cries of their newly hatched babies inside the Jeep, the dinosaurs destroy the vehicle to set them free. Thorne eventually remembers that Eddie had installed circuit breakers on the Explorer at the last minute, meaning that its electric motor might still be functional. Harding decides to ride the motorcycle out to retrieve it, as it is the only vehicle left on the island that can carry them all to the helicopter. Unbeknownst to them, Dodgson, having awakened and recovered from the compys' venom, overhears their plan on a discarded radio. When Harding reaches the Explorer, she encounters the Pachycephalosaur herd, and is forced to hide under the vehicle when they attack, only for them to flee in panic shortly after. As she turns the Explorer's circuit breakers back on, she is confronted by Dodgson as they are attacked by a T. rex. Dodgson attempts to crawl under the vehicle, but Harding pushes him back 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, Harding just misses the helicopter, and it leaves without them. During a final attack by the raptors on the general store, Kelly tries to reactivate the still-functional security systems and discovers there is a boat docked in a boat house. Noticing computer cables running into the floor, the group finds a maintenance hatch and escape through an underground crawlspace.

As they are sailing away from the island, Malcolm reveals that he discovered that during the years Site B was active, InGen fed the young carnivorous dinosaurs sheep extract infected with prions, which causes a disease that shortens the dinosaurs' life spans. Though the scientists managed to contain the disease for a time, it began to spread once again after they abandoned the island. Malcolm suspects that the disease will lead to the eventual extinction of the dinosaurs on Isla Sorna.

Film adaptation[edit]

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 first novel that were not previously filmed. The film received mixed reviews, but was a box office success.[citation needed]

Dinosaurs featured in the novel[edit]

(In order of appearance)


  1. ^ Crichton, Michael (1997). Michael Crichton's Jurassic World. Knopf. ISBN 978-0375401077. 
  2. ^ "Michael Crichton's Jurassic world (information)". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2015-01-28. 
  3. ^ "Michael Crichton's Jurassic World: Jurassic Park, The Lost World". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2015-01-28. 

External links[edit]