Greg Bear’s sequel to Conan Doyle’s The Lost World is a tour de force of old-style adventure writing, featuring real-life characters and beasts from legend.
A vast range of giant reptiles thought to have been extinct since the Mesozoic age have in fact survived in isolation for seventy million years on the hidden plateau of El Grande, Venezuela. The most frightening and biggest is the carnivorous venator. Also impressive are the crested centrosaur, the man-sized winged struthio, the spiked ankylosaur, the tame titan aepyornis.
Professor Challenger found their lost world – ‘the rotting tropical regions of Hell… ’ and others followed him there. Creatures of legend were brought north to ‘the land of the free’, where they became circus exhibits, some treated more brutally than others. All, of course, caged.
Fifty years and two world wars later, many of the beasts have died; Venezuela is in the grip of a dictator; public interest has waned. Lothar Gluck’s Dinosaur Circus is the last of its kind: a deal is struck by Lothar with Hollywood and National Geographic to finance one last expedition to the plateau of El Grande. Not to replenish the dwindling number of scaled monsters, but to return the prehistoric beasts of Gluck’s circus to Venezuela and freedom!
Nobody has ever attempted to transport such a menagerie of multi-ton dinosaurs before, across an ocean, up rivers, across chasms, over mountains, through jungles… it’s the adventure of a lifetime, and survival is unlikely.
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Remember Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, in which an expedition led by Professor George Edward Challenger discovered an Amazonian plateau where dinosaurs still roamed? In Dinosaur Summer, Greg Bear assumes that Challenger's expedition really took place, and that for nearly 50 years dinosaurs have been relatively commonplace in zoos and circuses throughout the world. But the beasts are not easily kept in captivity, and slowly but surely their numbers are dwindling. Now there is only one dinosaur circus left, and it's shutting down. The dinosaur trainer wants to return his animals to the wild, so an expedition is organised to return the dinos to their nearly inaccessible plateau. Accompanying the group (which includes special effects master Ray Harryhausen) is 15-year-old Peter Belzoni, the son of the National Geographic photographer covering the story. The boy is about to have the adventure of a lifetime.Review:
‘If you love dinosaurs, Dinosaur Summer is your cup of Jurassic tea. Tea? Hell, it’s a banquet’
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Book Description Voyager, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0006483674