Lost in Shangri-la by Mitchell Zuckoff

May 20, 2013

Shangri-la conjures up images of a utopian kingdom where no one suffers or ages—a la the classic movie.  But the book Lost in Shangri-la is grounded in reality, relaying the harrowing rescue of a band of soldiers during World War II.  A flight of men and women stationed in New Guinea was lost, not in battle, but during a joy-ride on a lovely Sunday afternoon.  They were going to fly over a newly discovered lush valley that time had forgotten, and were excited for this diversion in what was becoming a dull stint in this no-action jungle island. But they were thwarted by the sad mistakes of the crew and a looming mountain.  Author Mitchelll Zuckoff gives a narrative rich in detail—from the lives of each flight member and  rescuer  to the cultural history of  this island paradise, along with the natives  who became part of their lives.  This, coupled with photos of the event – which considering the time is remarkable – makes this a read that comes alive with drama.  Lost in Shangri-la is a must for those who love true adventure, World War II history or just a great story.

Reviewed by Library Staff