One of the most talked about nonfiction books published in 2011 was Mitchell Zuckoff’s Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II. After first reading about Zuckoff’s book on NPR’s website and then reading Kim’s glowing recommendation of it on her blog Sophisticated Dorkiness I knew it was a great book and certainly worthy of the hype. Therefore I made a mental note to someday read it, should I ever come across it during one of my frequent library trips.
Well, as luck would have it during one of those trips I managed to spot a copy of Zuckoff’s well-received book sitting on the new books shelf, practically daring me to take it home. So, I did. After finishing it early this morning at my neighborhood coffee shop I’m really, really glad I took Kim’s advice and chose to read it. Lost in Shangri-La is a superb book. One might even call it a page-turner. And trust me, I don’t use that word very often to describe a book.
This book has everything: a horrific plane crash high on an uncharted mountain plateau in the wilds of New Guinea, a beautiful and independently minded damsel in distress, dashing young military men, a crack rescue team of Filipino-American paratroopers, exotic and foreboding natives, and last but not least a drunken former Hollywood actor and petty thief turned documentary film maker. Oh and before I forget to mention it, there’s a World War going on, too.
Once I started Zuckoff’s book I could barely put it down. Not only is it a thrilling and amazing tale, Lost in Shangri-La is superbly written, too. It’s one of those few books you can’t wait to get to the end, and when you do get there, you don’t want it to end. I loved this book. I highly recommend it.