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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
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.