The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle
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As with so many great stories, The Lost World begins with one man's hope to impress his crush by doing something very, very daring and very, very stupid.
Edward Malone takes it upon himself to interview the physically-abusive press-hating Professor Challenger regarding his recent trip to South America. Already marred in controversy, Challenger wastes no time in defenestrating Malone, but warms to him quickly after Malone refuses to rat him out to a passing policeman.
What unfolds leads Malone to volunteer his participation (and his own safety) on Challenger's follow-up expedition, in which he must verify or discredit Challenger's claims of finding living dinosaurs in the Amazon.