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Lost Horizon by James Hilton
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Lost Horizon (original 1933; edition 1988)

by James Hilton

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2,524662,399 (3.9)171
Member:belgrade18
Title:Lost Horizon
Authors:James Hilton
Info:Pocket (1988), Mass Market Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:China, Tibet, fiction, 20th century

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Lost Horizon by James Hilton (1933)

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English (62)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (66)
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
Interesting classic tale. This was the first paperback printed (in mass market form) I believe. ( )
  Bruce_Deming | Feb 5, 2016 |
Don't we all long to return to Shangri-La? Along with Burnett's _The Secret Garden_, this book frames many of my childhood memories of days spent reading and trying to escape reality. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
This one made me think, and it made me mad. Dad loves Hilton, but I'm not convinced yet. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
When evacuating from Baskul four people are kidnapped and flown into the mountains in Tibet. They end up in a monastery called Shangri La. At first they are anxious to leave, but when the secrets start being revealed you see a difference in each of them. This was a nice adventure story. I liked Conway the best. He seemed to take the whole affair in stride, most of the time. Mallinson was annoying. ( )
  i.should.b.reading | Jan 15, 2016 |
Dispensing first with the trivia, this 1933 novel was the first mass-market paperback ever published (1939) and coined the name "Shangri-la". It also happens to be a pretty good old-fashioned adventure story. Stories that begin with an unknown pilot taking a passenger plane hostage tend to play a little differently in today's era, but I noted it was curiously lacking a suspenseful edge. The same went for mystery and tension throughout the novel, which had me gearing up to rate this as a flaw until the novel's theme was revealed: all things in moderation. I love a novel that demonstrates what it conveys. It's a good message too, so I'm embarassed I didn't appreciate this more to begin with.

Shangri-la is presented as a utopia of sorts, and while we do get a general outline of its workings I think there's not enough details that it could be recreated. This was probably a wise move on the author's part, since when he does get close to defining any of its conventions their flaws stand out. How to resolve jealousy in Shangri-la over the same woman? "It would be good manners on the part of the other man to let him have her, and also on the part of the woman to be equally agreeable. You would be surprised, Conway, how the application of a little courtesy all round helps to smooth out these problems." I'm not as sure that the woman in that scenario would feel courtesy had been fully extended "all around" while she's being exchanged as an object.

It's an old-fashioned notion now to suggest any valley on Earth can remain hidden and undiscovered, etc., but it's romantic enough to indulge in as you might read Jules Verne or H.G. Wells. It also serves as an artifact of that dark time between wars during the Great Depression, when there seemed so little to look forward to in the world's future that Shangri-la would have been everyone's ideal escape. Perhaps for many of us it still is. ( )
1 vote Cecrow | Jan 4, 2016 |
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Cigars had burned low, and we were beginning to sample the disillusionment that usually afflicts old school friends who have met again as men and found themselves with less in common than they had believed they had.
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During that third week of May the situation in Baskul had become much worse and, on the 20th, Air Force machines arrived by arrangement from Peshawar to evacuate the white residents.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060594527, Paperback)

While attempting to escape a civil war, four people are kidnapped and transported to the Tibetan mountains. After their plane crashes, they are found by a mysterious Chinese man. He leads them to a monastery hidden in "the valley of the blue moon" -- a land of mystery and matchless beauty where life is lived in tranquil wonder, beyond the grasp of a doomed world.

It is here, in Shangri-La, where destinies will be discovered and the meaning of paradise will be unveiled.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:33 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Two Englishmen, a woman missionary, and an American fleeing the consequences of shady financial deals are traveling companions. They stumble upon a land of mystery and matchless beauty, where life is lived in tranquil wonder, beyond the grasp of a doomed world. And a great secret is kept hidden.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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