Posted by: teachergirl | November 18, 2011

The Lost World

The Lost World
Michael Crichton
Genre: Science Fiction, Techno-Thriller

The Lost World is a sequel to Jurassic Park and was also made into a movie. Apparently the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park were manufactured on a separate island that was abandoned after the failure of the park. The dinosaurs survived. Some ten years after JP, scientist Richard Levine investigates the island and Ian Malcolm and a team of field researchers (along with two stowaway kids) go to rescue him. Throw in a few greedy entrepreneurs and the place gets messy. The dinosaurs attack, and the humans try to escape.  It’s a pretty simple plot, but the execution is smart and suspenseful.

Michael Crichton’s books were some of the first “adult” fiction I read as a teenager; I loved them and often said Crichton was my favorite author. So last Friday night when I was tired of searching Netflix for a movie, I decided to reread The Lost World. It’s funny how quickly the memories of certain scenes come back, and how easy it is to resurrect the same images I had originally created in my head when I read the book some fourteen years ago. There’s something very familiar and comforting in that. I suppose this is why I like rereading books so much; it’s like visiting with an old friend.

I had forgotten how much detail Crichton used, especially in the discussions of the various evolutionary and extinction theories. I admit I skimmed over most of them this time around as I wasn’t really looking for something that made me think too hard.

Out of curiosity, I looked up the AR level of The Lost World and was shocked to see that it’s only a 5. That’s really low considering the sophisticated vocabulary and background knowledge necessary to understand the text (which is just simply basic junior high and high school science).  However, the plot itself is not difficult to follow. Sometimes I have serious doubts about the accuracy of the AR leveling system, but that’s another topic altogether.

I recommend The Lost World to anyone who enjoys a good thriller with a little science on the side.

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