As a child in the 1970s or maybe early 1980s I read a science fiction novel about a couple of airmen (probably RAF) in World War II who crash their plane on, or parachute to safety and land on, a deserted island in (I think) the Atlantic. They find a crevice in the rocks of the island and follow it down (or is it a sandy cone they are sucked into?) eventually finding an entire albeit small, civilisation deep underground at the foot of an enormous cliff. They use their parachutes to float down to the hidden country and somehow they also manage to get out later. Does anybody know what this might be? I have the feeling that the book itself might have been published earlier than the 1970s. Edit: I think the first name of the author may have been Bruce (?) and was probably British.

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    Not "The Moon Pool", that's 1918: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Moon_Pool Gutenburg: gutenberg.org/ebooks/765 Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 13:11
  • if you liked this book you might like the movie The Mole People with Hugh Beaumont (I think the guy who played Larry Mondello plays one of the Mole People and Ken Osmond, in drag no less, plays their queen. Very creepy.)
    – releseabe
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 16:35

1 Answer 1


Any chance this would be "The Perilous Journey: Into a Strange Lost World" by Bruce Carter (pseudonym of Richard Hough)?

It's a young adult novel that was published 1958, so the timing seems about right, and the author was British. The plot details as summarized on Wikipedia also match (in broad outline -- there's not much detail there).

I haven't read it myself, but it seems a close enough match to bring it to your attention.

  • Yes, that is definitely it - I remember the parachute on the front cover as shown on Amazon.co.uk. Well done and thank you. Commented Jan 11, 2014 at 13:43
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    Usually "Perilous Descent" or "Perilous Descent Into a Strange Lost World". My copy had the former title. "Perilous Journey" doesn't seem to match any title I can find. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Into_a_Strange_Lost_World I remember the plot fairly well even after many years. The pressure was much higher because they were so far down. Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 13:16
  • Thanks! I've been racking my brains since 1983 over this.
    – stevieg
    Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 14:23

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