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THE LOST WORLD by Arthur Conan Doyle (Academy Chicago Publishers: $4.95)

April 01, 1990|CHARLES SOLOMON

This fantastic tale of a remote enclave of prehistoric animals, hidden in the jungles of Brazil, set the pattern for countless stories and movies about civilized men blundering into an unknown wilderness. The doughty explorers, ravening monsters, noble savages and murderous troglodytes that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle introduced have become such stock figures in fantasy literature that it's difficult to imagine how exciting they must have seemed when the book first appeared in 1912. Although parts of the story seem hopelessly dated (the narrator joins the Brazilian expedition to appease his fiancee's desire to bask in the reflected glory of an explorer), "The Lost World" remains a ripping good yarn.

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