Childs maintains a self-deprecating humor and a boundless enthusiasm for his subject that makes this narrative an unexpected page-turner ... Childs has found history deeper than politics, and in rich, evocative prose, he makes it startlingly relevant to readers. A science title with broad and enduring appeal.
...a tale of his journeys into the wild to retrace the steps of the first Americans ... his limited archaeological expertise leads him into pitfalls about what that experience entailed ... He so often repeats his worry that colonizers would have been eaten by the big carnivores that roamed this landscape that one can’t help wondering if he’s projecting his own fears or just stoking the plot for dramatic effect ... Atlas of a Lost World trips over many such matters. Postglacial sea-level rise, even at its most rapid 14,500 years ago, was not so fast that the sea would have seemed as if it were 'closing like a noose' or would even been noticed on the scale of a human lifetime ... Such errors inevitably undermine the book’s scientific credibility. But read Atlas of a Lost World for what it is, not what it isn’t. It’s a clever, smartly written and altogether enthusiastic effort.
The prose here oozes drama ... Childs’s account of his journey is fueled by his misleading vision of a hazardous ice age America teeming with large, ferocious predators. But his own travels are routine, and on the whole experiences any fit traveler can replicate ... His writing style is overly dramatic, smacking of today’s restless television programming, and remarkable only for rare moments of vivid description. Atlas of a Lost World is neither a successful travel book nor, with its promiscuous use of good and bad science, does it represent scientific reality.