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leucocephalic look at _LW_



The Louisville Courier-Journal on October 21, 1995, reprinted a
review by Colson Whitehead of Michael Crichton's new novel
_The Lost World_.  Whitehead is TV critic for _The Village Voice_;
the review is reprinted from Newsday.

Some excerpts:

"There are reports of strange new animals washing up on the
shores of Costa Rica, and Dr. Richard Levine, a comparative
zoology specialist and part-time millionaire, is interested.
Apocryphal rumors abound about strange experiments conducted
by the InGen Corporation a few years back, and Levine wants
to mount an expedition to Isla Sorna, off Costa Rica, to
see if the fantastic is true, that dinosaurs still walk
the Earth.  Apparently Levine doesn't get to the movies that
often."

"_The Lost World_ returns [Crichton] to his favorite haunt,
its pages brimming with Crichton's patented ad hoc lectures.
Current dialogues about extinction provide the pedagogic
fuel this time, jumping off from new hypotheses about the
dinosaurs' demise.  Ian Malcolm (the cynical mathematician
from the original book, as well as the only character to
return...) muses that "at the deepest level fault lies not
in blind fate--in some fiery meteor from the skies--but in
our own behavior," thus wedding the big lizard's disappearing
act with our own ruthless consumption of the world's
resources.  There's time enough, in between raptor attacks,
to peruse mini-essays on topics such as cyberspace ("the end
of our species") and the zippy exuberance of certain blood
cells...."

"...Once Levine's adventurers find the dinosaurs and explain
their re-emergence six years after the accident at "the Park,"
_The Lost World_ settles happily into the rote gamesmanship
of peril and escape..."

"...neither [Crichton nor Spielberg] has the knack for
creating living, breathing adult characters, a difficulty
Crichton sidesteps by choosing scientists for protagonists
(everybody knows that scientists are "dispassionate" and
"objective"), and Spielberg overcomes by focusing on
adorable children..."


On the same page the Best Sellers (Hardcover) list has
_The Lost World_ in first place.

George Pesely
Associate Professor of History
Austin Peay State University
Clarksville, Tennessee           peselyg@lynx.apsu.edu