Review of "Lost Worlds"

Lost Worlds: what have we lost, & where did it go?, by Michael Bywater. ISBN 1-86207-798-3.

What a magnificently ridiculous book. Bywater has assembled, in dictionary form, approximately 200 little meditations on things that have been, or are commonly thought to have been, lost in one sense or another. Which sounds, frankly, about as entertaining as a shopping list. (Though I expect some shopping lists are very entertaining indeed). What that description leaves out is Bywater's writing, by turns demented and lyrical, and his excellent nose for absurdity. And the footnotes, all 328 of them. Entirely delightful.