LibriVox (zipped mp3s)
Length: 8 hr, 22 min
Reader: Mark F. Smith
The book: Not to be confused with the Michael Crichton novel of the same name, Conan Doyle's The Lost World is an unbelievable adventure, in both senses of "unbelievable". Like Watson in Conan Doyle's more famous Sherlock Holmes series, the narrator, Edward Malone, is a tag-along to the real main character of the book, the conceited and quarrelsome Professor Challenger. Malone, a newspaper reporter, accompanies Challenger on an expedition to a plateau in the jungles of South America, where dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts are rumored to live.
Although the premise for the book can now be seen as impossible, Challenger's assertion of living dinosaurs is met with extreme skepticism by his colleagues in the novel, effectively removing the reader's ability to criticize it. The story proceeds at a gallop, with new adventures happening every chapter. This book is fast and fun, making it a great light read for the summertime.
The reader: You probably know by now that Mark F. Smith is one of LibriVox's best readers. He's done a wide range of books, and I can't think of any of them that is bad. Smith's dialog puts the listener into the story and his narration carries a bit of sarcasm at the right places, to help the listener see the wittiness in Conan Doyle's writing. The recording, as always with Smith, is beautifully done.