Scottish-born author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 - 1930) was a major innovator in the field of crime fiction. His other works include science-fiction stories, historical novels, plays and romances, poetry, and non-fiction.
Please note: This is a vintage recording. The audio quality may not be up to modern day standards.
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By Andy on 02-05-18
A brilliant adventure but of its time be warned
It's ACD at his pompous best, letting off some steam about those sceptic scientists who refused to believe in his beloved spiritualists. In reality, it was ghosts that were poo pooed but here it's dinosaurs. The reader is wonderfully old-fashioned and a pleasure to listen to. It should be said though that this story was written during the zenith of British colonialism and the attitudes of the ruling class at that time looms over a modern reader like a (love the pronunciation) pateradactil. Here we have a bunch of posh English schoolboys running off on a caper, enslaving "red men" and "great, black brutes with the intellect and power of a horse" ( I paraphrase only slightly) and committing a kind of mini race-cleansing murderous spree against a lesser breed of human. In case anyone was confused, CD helpfully likens the behaviour of the British superior race to the enslavement of the Jews. I found myself listening with a regretful smile on the tube, allowing the author his racist undertones acknowledging that times have changed and, really, what else can we do? But then again I'm not Asian, black or Jewish so it's less likely to offend me. I'd treat it as a funny, boys-own adventure book written by an overgrown, arrogant but very talented Victorian public schoolboy and see it for that.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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By Andrea on 23-03-10
Fun book, but characters are muddled
This is a fun book to listen to, but it was difficult at times to understand which character was supposed to be speaking. The narrator would sometimes stay in one character's voice throughout several lines of dialogue between several characters and it would take me a minute to realize that it wasn't just one character that was speaking. This made listening a little confusing. The book is fun though and it was mostly an enjoyable listen.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Rick on 10-06-17
Warm and Wild British Adventure
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a prolific writer of much more than Sherlock Holmes mysteries, was a friend of the explorer Percival Fawcett (see “The Lost City of Z”). Fawcett vanished on a South American expedition in 1925, having told Doyle of seeing “monstrous tracks of unknown origin” in Bolivia. Thus, the inspiration was probably set for a grand account of great adventure in a post-Victorian world.
It’s the first time I’ve ever heard the “p” pronounced in “pterodactyl.” But unlike Fawcett’s unspeakable miseries in multiple explorations of the Amazon Basin, this is a gentlemen’s yarn, ably narrated by John Richmond (1912-1992) in the most authentic of British intonations.
It would be the first of Doyle’s five stories featuring Professor Challenger, a pompous, abrasive, but unarguably brilliant scholar.
Fawcett had written in his memoirs that “monsters from the dawn of man’s existence might still roam these heights unchallenged, imprisoned and protected by unscalable cliffs.” Which is exactly as Professor Challenger finds them, and the many surprises that follow.
Not unlike a Sherlock Holmes enigma, there is an engaging story and character development among an ensemble cast, and the eventual moment when everything comes together and makes perfect sense, no matter how many dinosaurs and apes have been involved along the way. It is a kind of story constructed with great care and no small degree of cleverness, and makes for a highly enjoyable listen. Incidentally, the advisory about this being a “vintage recording” presents no problems at all.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful