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Friday, May 27, 2011

Lost in Shangri-La

by Mitchell Zuckoff
audiobook: 8.5 hours
narrated by the author


About the Book

Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War IIThe subtitle of this book is "A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II" and that really say it all.  It's the story of a plane crash in the remote and inaccessible mountains of New Guinea that left only 3 survivors, and the amazingly risky plan to rescue them.  Check out this video for a bit about the story and to see what the survivors (and the local people) looked like.



My Thoughts

I'm a fan of WWII stories, probably because of my grandpa's involvement in the war, so books set in that time and place - especially non-fiction books - always capture my attention.  But I have to admit that I'd never heard of this plane crash or the rescue before this book.  It's always great to discover new stories like this!

The author begins by introducing the people who found themselves on the fateful plane that day. I got to know a bit about their families, what life was like on base, and something of their personalities.  He then goes on to explain the discovery of the hidden valley of Shangri-La and the lives of the native population.  When the plane crash happened I felt so sad for the families of the people who died, families I'd just learned about a short time before.  

In addition to the people on the plane I also learned about the rescue crew, the reporters, and several other important players.  Knowing about their backgrounds and their families added a lot to the story for me.

The book is not all that long and it moves quickly.  It was over before I knew it and although the story comes to a definite conclusion I was left wanting more. Not to say that the book left out anything important, more that I was enjoying the experience of listening and could have continued for many more hours.  

Oh, and the book is narrated by the author - he does a very good job with it.


Recommend?

You'd like this book if you are a fan of WWII stories, tales of survival and/or rescue, of if you are looking for a little known bit of history.  I quite enjoyed it.

7 comments:

Kay said...

I really want to read this one and listening to it might be the best way. My Dad was an Army private in WWII and saw action in the Philippines and New Guinea. He never talked about it, but this book would at least give me a glimpse into that world.

Alyce said...

This looks like the perfect book for me! I love true stories of survival and WWII. Sounds great!

Anna said...

I've heard so many good things about this book that I must read it at some point. I'll get your review linked on War Through the Generations soon.

Helen's Book Blog said...

I recently got this one on my iPad so I hope to read it this summer

Ryan G said...

Loved this book. I'm glad you enjoyed it as much. I thought the author did a wonderful job of capturing the feel of the events and the people involved.

christa @ mental foodie said...

I enjoyed this book! Here's my review: http://mentalfoodie.blogspot.com/2011/05/book-review-lost-in-shangri-la-true.html

Heather J. said...

Kay - I think you'd really like this book, especially with that connection to your dad's experiences.

Alyce - Oh yes, this is the kind of book we both love.

Anna - Thanks! Hope you get a chance to read it too.

Helen - It's not very long so when you do get to it I'm sure you'll breeze right through.

Ryan - I agree - he had a knack for including the details that kept me interested in the story.

christa - Thanks for the link - I'll check it out shortly.

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