The Lost World – Arthur Conan Doyle – Eclectic Reader Challenge – Action Adventure

Since I discovered that classics are free on the kindle, I have been reading more of them. I’m not sure I would have ever got round to buying this – there would always have been something more pressing to spend my money on- but when I was looking for my next kindle buy, it jumped out at me. I’ve read quite a few of the Sherlock Holmes stories and I was curious to know whether Conan Doyle could do anything else.

When I started to read this, I had just finished the Eclectic Reader Challenge and I didn’t really know if I was going to do it twice as someone suggested. However, I realised that it would fit with the category Action Adventure so this is now the second blog I have written in my second round of reviews.

I really enjoyed this book. Certainly, Conan Doyle proves here that he is capable of writing in more than one style as this is really nothing like the Sherlock stories. The main character Edward Malone is a news reporter who, at the start of the story, proposes marriage only to be turned down by the object of his affections and told that she could only love a man who has had a great adventure. So, obediently, Malone finds himself an adventure to go on – off to the amazing lost world of the dinosaurs. (Interestingly, by the time he returns, she has married some one else – a clerk, no less. At the end of the novel, Malone is planning another adventure – presumably so he doesn’t get hurt again by one of those fickle women.)

The characters are all very well-drawn. Professor Challenger is superbly arrogant and annoying in his condescension. His intellectual rival, who is initially sceptical of the dinosaurs, Professor Summerlee is equally argumentative and arrogant and the pair have some superb arguments. The descriptions also give a wonderful sense of place and the platea

u is made to feel creepy and otherworldly before any of the dinosaurs are even s

ighted. In fact, it is a good third into the book before they even arrive at the plateau. Not that this was a problem for me – the events beforehand were all important  – but I could imagine it trying the patience of someone more used to modern literature.

lost worldIt has to be mentioned that some of the attitudes in this book are a little hard to stomach now. For example, it is taken as a given that the white men are superior, being further along the scale of evolution than any of the native characters. The one black character is loyal to the point of stupidity and talked about as if he were a pet rather than a human being. There is also a sense of imperialism, with the discussion of what to call the lakes and forests they discover as well as the assumption that the land was now theirs. This book is a hundred years old and in these attitudes it really shows. However, the sense of adventure and the action in this book are just as appealing as they ever were.

Eclectic Reader Challenge 2013 – Action Adventure – The Zombie Room – R D Donald

51zwoI7vcmL._AA160_This is a genre I am not really familiar with, I must admit and I didn’t really know what to pick when I decided to do The Eclectic Reader Challenge. The Zombie Room sounded interesting – it was about human trafficking and I expected it to be a traumatic read. I expected it to be difficult. That would have made it more interesting.

There was certainly a lot of action. The events never really stopped happening. However, somehow this didn’t make it into a page turner. There was no tension and I didn’t feel compelled to read this at all. In fact, if I hadn’t been reading it as part of this challenge. I doubt I would have made it to the end.

There are traumatic events in this book. But they are described in such a flat way that I did not feel effected by them at all. That was the main problem. I felt no connection to the characters, to the events. In short, I did not care. And it seemed that most of the characters did not care either. Nothing seemed to really effect them either.

Ultimately, I think this was the problem for me. I write psychological stories and I like to read them as well. This story was the very antithesis of a psychological story. There was no knowing the inside of the character’s heads. They didn’t seem to have emotions or even points of view.

It may be that this is typical of the genre. After all, action adventure does suggest events rather than anything else. If so, I’m not sure that I will want to read any further into it.