The Lost World
"HARROWING THRILLS . . . FAST-PACED AND ENGAGING." --People It is now six years since the secret disaster at Jurassic Park, six years since the extraordinary dream of science and imagination came to a crashing end--the dinosaurs destroyed, the park dismantled, the island indefinitely closed to the public. There are rumors that something has survived. . . . "ACTION-PACKED." --New York Daily News "FAST AND GRIPPING." --The Washington Post Book World "A VERY SCARY READ." --Entertainment Weekly "AN EDGE-OF-THE-SEAT TALE." --St. Petersburg Times
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Introduction: "Extinction at the K-T Boundary"
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This novel is a sequel to Crichton's "Jurassic Park" (1990). In that book, business entrepreneur John Hammond finds a way to genetically clone dinosaurs and plans to open a theme park with them as the main attraction. When a group of scientists (Ian Malcolm included) come to test the park for flaws, things go horribly awry. In the end, many people die (including Hammond), and the park is abandoned.
What is Malcolm's proposed change to the current theory of extinction?
Prologue: "Life at the Edge of Chaos"
It is established in the book 'Jurassic Park' that Ian Malcolm is a "rock star" mathematician, mostly known for being an expert in something called chaos theory. The fact that he is now lecturing about dinosaurs and extinction illustrates how his near-death experience has influenced his career trajectory. (This annotation contains an image)
How are Malcolm and Sarah an unlikely pair?
The readers know (and Malcolm knows) exactly how this is possible, but it is clear that Levine (and most other characters in the novel) have no idea of John Hammond's genetic experiments on dinosaurs. This is an example of dramatic irony. (This annotation contains a video)
What is another name for the"techno-myths" Malcolm describes here?
Consider why Malcolm wants to discourage Levine from investigating this matter further. Malcolm might not be able to say anything (likely because he signed a nondisclosure agreement), but Levine could expose the truth.
What does this description emphasize about this setting?
Here is an estimation of what a Troodon looked like. (This annotation contains an image)
Traditionally, what do flies symbolize?
Malcolm's character appears to be more toned down than in the previous book, and Levine now stands out as being outlandish. How is Levine's character being developed? (This annotation contains a video)
What is the source of the tension between Guitierrez and Levine?
The negligence of the InGen corporation (which created Jurassic Park off the coast of Costa Rica) continues to put people in danger by not revealing the existence of these "aberrant forms" (that the reader knows to be dinosaurs). Is this a commentary on big corporations in general? (This annotation contains an image)
Based on this description, how would you describe Dodgson?
What is suspect about the pilot's conversation? What is Baselton looking for?
What does James assume he is being employed to do for Dodgson?
It is amusing to think of pompous know-it-all Levine teaching junior high students. (This annotation contains an image)
What is Malcolm likely basing his opinion of the specimen on?
Can you identify various examples of figurative language in the highlighted section? (This annotation contains a video)
What does this detail reveal about the island?
What could the mussaur's skittishness and the foul odor foreshadow? (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Kelly feel awkward around Arby.
Every iteration of the Jurassic series (books and films) includes children as protagonists. Why do you think this is? (This annotation contains an image)
What is the significance of the snow leopard's behavior?
Many paleontologists now agree that it is very likely that many kinds of dinosaurs did have feathers. (This annotation contains an image)
Why are Arby and Kelly visiting Dr. Thorne?
Who knew that being a scientist could be such a secretive gambit?
What doesn't Thorne like about the way academia is changing?
This book takes place in the mid-1990s. This is what cellphones looked like then! (This annotation contains an image)
What does Levine's broken transmission add to this scene?
Levine's home is very impersonal. The only element that gives any insight into who he really is are the books on his coffee table. What do these titles say about his character? (This annotation contains an image)
What is Levine searching for?
Michael Crichton has been called one of the originators of the modern techno thriller genre. "Techno thriller is a type of fiction with a plot reliant upon the heavy use of modern technology, and focused on the dangers of that technology falling into the wrong hands. The narrative is often global in scope and can share elements with military thrillers." These books are also usually heavy in detail. Remember this when characters (usually Malcolm or Levine) take a break from the action of the plot to describe scientific theories and practices at great length.
What did the Victorians base their assumptions about dinosaurs on?
Again, Malcolm has inside information that he is not sharing. Isla Nublar, the site of Jurassic Park, is located off the coast of Costa Rica. It makes sense that a 'site B' would be in the same vicinity. (This annotation contains an image)
What information can you infer about Site B from this file?
James is spying for Dodgson. What is at stake here?
What is Eddie's concern about rushing out so soon?
These vehicles have been reinforced to withstand great impact. There are several clues here pointing to the exact nature of what the trailer has been built to study, but it would be too far-fetched for Kelly to even consider at the time.
Why does Kelly ask about Sarah Harding?
The motif of unpredictable animal behavior (or misunderstood animal behavior) will recur throughout the novel. (This annotation contains a video)
Why do you think Sarah decides to go to Costa Rica?
Malcolm and Thorne do not know that Levine's apartment were also bugged.
What is the flaw in Dodgson's plans of using dinosaurs for animal experimentation?
InGen has managed to keep a tight lid on their doings on Isla Sorna due mainly because of its remoteness. The locals have no idea that they were even on the island.
On first glance, what does Thorne notice about the island's appearance?
How does Eddie differ from Thorne and Malcolm? What does he add to the expedition?
How would you characterize Eddie's attitude now that they are on the island?
Compys played a significant role in the previous book. In the end, it was compys that finished off Dodgson's spy Dennis Nedry, as well as the owner of Jurassic Park, John Hammond. (This annotation contains an image)
In comparison to Thorne, how is Malcolm's attitude/behavior?
A few years ago many people were up in arms when a story circulated on the Internet claiming that the triceratops did not exist. Read this brief article that sheds light on the issue. Why do you think so many people were upset about this. (This annotation contains a link)
What is Thorne's estimation of the buildings?
How does Arby and Kelly being on the island contribute to the conflict in the novel? Watch the video below to learn more about conflict. (This annotation contains a video)
How are the kids able to disappear like this with no one at school wondering where they are?
Arby and Kelly have a "moment" here. What could this foreshadow? If you need to review the literary element, foreshadowing, watch the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
Why doesn't Arby react to the presence of a Tyrannosaurus Rex outside of the trailer?
There can be a strange beauty in abandoned places, especially if there is an air of mystery or romance about the place. Does this abandoned office have either? (This annotation contains an image)
Malcolm's summation of events from "Jurassic Park" is an example of _________.
How realistic is the portrayal of these young teenagers? Is it believable that they would be so insightful and have computer skills on par with the likes of Dr. Thorne? (This annotation contains an image)
What animal's blood factors are listed here?
Remember, the specimen that Levine sent Malcolm was tagged. Also remember that the scientist who examined the specimen stated that the animal lived under constant stress, which makes sense if they were living in the wild with other dinosaurs (some of which are ferocious predators).
What is one possible explanation for this lack of computer security?
How would you describe the pacing of the novel? As you continue to read, consider what sections of the books move at a faster pace than others. (This annotation contains a video)
What is impressive about the laboratory?
It is going to be pretty difficult for Thorne and Malcolm to be angry with the kids for stowing away, now that they have saved their lives.
How does Malcolm diffuse the tension in this situation?
It has been said that the true nature of a person is revealed in dire circumstances. What do we learn about Thorne through the way he handles this situation?
What does Thorne observe about the Tyrannosaurs?
What do you think Levine is doing in the trees (in addition to moving the cameras)?
What is Levine's response to being "rescued"?
Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain, most likely due to a viral infection. It is rarely a life-threatening condition, but symptoms include flu-like symptoms, such as a fever or severe headache. It can also cause confused thinking, seizures, or problems with senses or movement. (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Dodgson so irritated?
Isla Sorna is not a real location. It, and the other islands that make of the "five deaths" in this novel, is a work of fiction. (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Malcolm so sarcastic with Levine?
A high hide allows for researchers to observe wildlife from a safe distance. Hunters also use hides to stalk their prey. (This annotation contains an image)
Naming this theory after a character in Alice in Wonderland is an example of a(n) ___________.
The Apatosaurus could grow to be up to 90 feet long. (This annotation contains an image)
Why might Sarah think these Americans will help her?
Do you think that Sarah has anything to fear from Dodgson? We know that he is unscrupulous, but is he dangerous?
This conversation between Dodgson and King is a
King does not trust Dodgson, mainly because he is not entirely sure of what he is capable of. His smile might be charming, but it could be hiding something sinister. (This annotation contains an image)
What information is Dodgson fishing for?
How is Dodgson an antagonist? Can you identify any other antagonists in the story? (This annotation contains a video)
What does this detail reveal about about Levine?
Velociraptors became pretty famous because of the Jurassic Park franchise. They have become such a part of popular culture that they are in a popular meme - the Philosoraptor. (This annotation contains an image)
What device is used here to emphasize the terror of Sarah's situation?
At this point, Sarah is the only one of the main characters who still does not know about the existence of dinosaurs on this island.
What is Dodgson's main objective on the island?
There is a similar expression that states "the devil is in the details." Is it significant that Levine says the former?
What is another term for sarcasm, as exhibited here by Malcolm?
This lesson in evolution serves not only as exposition, but also gives the reader a break from the tension and danger the characters face by slowing down the pace.
What is the implication here about complex human behavior?
The parasaurolophus had a long cranial crest that amplified its sounds, and could have been used as a weapon as well. (This annotation contains an image)
What does the presence of the stegosaurus confirm for Sarah?
We know from Sarah's description, the predator dinosaurs she is following are velociraptors. Is it wise for her to follow these dinosaurs without knowing anything about them?
Why does Eddie interrupt Ian?
Using fossilized remnants of their crest and computer software, scientists have recreated what the parasaurolophus could have sounded like. (This annotation contains a video)
Levine's discovery of new scavenger behavior is a callback to Sarah's work with what animal?
Here is a picture of a clutch of fossilized dinosaur eggs. (This annotation contains an image)
What detail about the compys indicates that Levine's wound could be more serious?
Kelly was not expecting Sarah to be so normal. She had put Dr. Harding on a pedestal, thinking only of her accolades and accomplishments, and did not expect her to act just like a regular person. it is said that you should never meet your heroes because they are sure to disappoint; but this does not appear to be the case with Dr. Harding. (This annotation contains an image)
What is the gist of Sarah's advice to Kelly?
These are all major features of the tyrannosaurus, but nothing is said about its other famous feature -- tiny arms that are disproportionate to the rest of its body. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on their behavior, how would you describe the tyrannosaurs as parents?
To achieve the terrifying roar of the T-Rex in the films, the sound designers combined several different animal sounds, "'The key element of the T. rex roar is not a full-grown elephant but a baby elephant ...So once again, a small animal making a small sound slowed down a little bit has more interest to us than what a big animal might do." (This annotation contains a video)
What is the "something red" that the tyrannosaur is tearing at?
The film version of 'Jurassic Park' made the idea of the T-Rex's vision being based on movement popular. Read this brief article that debunks this theory. (This annotation contains a link)
What is the key element that helps Sarah identify the carnivore's nesting site?
Why do you think Eddie hesitates in shooting the injured baby tyrannosaur? What might be the consequences if he does not shoot it?
What is the basis of the Gambler's Ruin theory?
What is the effect on the reader of the constantly shifting points of view in the narrative? (This annotation contains a video)
What is the danger of bringing the baby tyrannosaur back with them?
Once again, Arby solves a problem that a room full of Ph.D.s could not solve! While some might find fault with this, it also makes sense that as a young student he thinks differently than these established scientists, and could see the opportunity for solution that they could not. He "MacGyvered" it. (This annotation contains an image)
What literary device does Thorne use to describe Malcolm and Sarah?
There is something very cat-like about the way the raptors stalk their prey with such agility and cunning. (This annotation contains an image)
What is the tone of King's proposal to toast Dodgson once he is on the boat?
This smell cue has been used frequently. What does it foreshadow for King?
The compys are comparable to chickens in all of the following ways EXCEPT
Do any other scavenger animals come to mind when you think about the way that the compys behave with their quarry? (This annotation contains an image)
What has Malcolm observed about the dinosaurs on the island?
Feeding the carnivores ground-up sheep is obviously a problem, but Malcolm and Sarah do not divulge why at this point. This adds to the tension of the situation. Pay attention for the explanation later on.
Sarah's statement supports which theme of the novel?
This is another iconic detail from the first "Jurassic Park" movie. In the movie, the tyrannosaurus is first introduced by the vibration of its movement as shown by rippling water. (This annotation contains a video)
What exactly is Sarah doing that "works with lions..sometimes"?
It is sometimes difficult to separate the film franchise and the books. Steven Spielberg optioned the first book for a movie before it was even published. This book (the second and final book in the series) was written after the immense success of the film. (This annotation contains an image)
What aspects of the setting contribute to the atmosphere of danger?
The highlighted section is an example of __________.
Any one in Malcolm's circumstances would be afraid, but he is also reliving the trauma he endured when he was attacked by a tyrannosaurus at Jurassic Park.
What keeps going even after the car stops?
This is one detail that cannot be blamed on a lack of testing. Even when making thorough plans, one cannot prepare for EVERY eventuality. (This annotation contains an image)
What is the tone of Sarah's retort?
One of the major themes of this novel is the importance of ethics in scientific discovery and experimentation. Read this article on whether it is possible to create a Jurassic Park in real life, and consider whether it is ethical to do so. (This annotation contains a link)
The interaction between Levine and Arby with the night vision glasses is
Even though he is considered a protagonist, how is Levine also an unlikable character? Are you rooting for him?
Why does Sarah encourage Malcolm to theorize here?
Some scientists say that we are currently entering another mass extinction phase (as described in this article from Popular Science). What do you think Malcolm would say to that? (This annotation contains a link)
What is Kelly's reaction to Arby falling off the hide?
In order to help the reader picture just how these dinosaurs look and behave, the author frequently compares them to other animals (in this case, a dog). Sometimes they are even described as acting with human characteristics, which is personification, or anthropomorphism.
Despite Thorne's dressing down of his attitude, Levine shows no feelings of
This is an oddly serene image in contrast with the action of the scene. It highlights the hope of escape and safety that the river represents to Kelly and Sarah.
What is Levine surprised about in regard to the raptor nest?
In what ways is Sarah the true hero (action hero!) of this novel?
Why shouldn't they expect these animals to act in accordance with their understanding of dinosaur behavior?
Just as the serene river represented escape and safety, once again, the violent atmosphere here is juxtaposed with calm and beautiful imagery that leads to safety.
What is the overall effect of this auditory imagery?
Does it seem as if the dinosaurs (mainly the predators) act above and beyond what you would expect when it comes to chasing and killing? These dinosaurs do not give up on attacking these (tiny) humans, almost with a true vengeance. (This annotation contains an image)
In true fashion, Malcolm diffuses the tension by using ________.
This is not the first time that Sarah's gender is brought up in relation to her behavior and actions. What do you make of this? Is Crichton exposing the ludicrous nature of expected gender performance, or is he calling out Sarah for not acting like a woman is supposed to act? (This annotation contains an image)
What do the items in this convenience stand reveal?
Silence can be a sign that something bad is about to happen. The saying "the calm before the storm" is not just an adage.
Why is Levine's worry about the unlocked door a little funny?
Unlike other animals that can change color (such as an octopus), chameleons change their colors through the way light refracts on their skin. Read this brief article for more information (and video). (This annotation contains a link)
Levine's tirade against Sarah is all based on his need to feel what?
For not being a "real" scientist (in Levine's estimation at least), Sarah sure seems to have a lot of knowledge about animals that saved their lives. (This annotation contains an image)
Despite all of the evidence showing otherwise, what does Levine continue to believe about the island?
They have Dodgson to blame for this fiasco. The dinosaurs were after the eggs that he stole. On a positive note, the baby dinosaurs survived and were reunited with their parents. So...good for them. Bad for the humans.
Why are Thorne and Levine tense about the radio silence from Sarah?
Dodgson is alive! How does this complicate things for Sarah and her crew? (That's right. Sarah is obviously their leader now.)
In addition to being anxious, what other emotion could a flicking tail indicate in an animal?
Which icon would you choose? Are there any that you could rule out immediately?
All of these roadblocks and dangerous setbacks the characters encounter seemingly prove which theory described earlier in the book?
What has Sarah just done? Does it change the way that you think about her as a character?
What does it mean that the pilot is not powering down the helicopter?
One reason why Kelly would feel better if Sarah were there is because she treats her more like an adult. Sarah would be direct in addressing Kelly's worries instead of ignoring her.
Of all of the characters that have died on the island, which one is the most unfortunate?
At this point, how could things really get any worse? (This annotation contains an image)
In the end, what helped Kelly figure out how to get out of the store safely?
How is Dodgson still alive?! Or, more specifically, why has the tyrannosaur let Dodgson live (for now)?
Levine's inability to face the facts about his theory highlights his
How has his recent experience on the island colored Thorne's views of scientific theory? Has he always been this jaded?