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Lost Horizon (Hardback) Hardcover – May 4, 2010
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However, there is also something hauntingly timeless about this story. It occurs to me that the hidden civilization of Shangri-La is based on the mythical kingdom of Shambhala, where immortal masters live that look after the evolution and welfare of mankind. The great mountain of Karacul that looms over the valley also seems symbolic of Mt. Meru- the axis of the cosmos- and where the gods are reputed to dwell. It is certainly no coincidence that most of the people that find Shangri-La are the world weary- and the journey comes close to killing them. That would seem to be a metaphor for spiritual enlightenment. For this is what the lucky and the worthy find in Shangri-La, all the time in the world, or rather out of the world, for contemplation, preservation of all the worthy attainments of the human race, and the pursuit of wisdom. Sounds pretty close to heaven to me....
An interesting side note is the fact that _Lost Horizon_ was the first paperback title ever published by Pocket Books in 1939. This particular edition bears the same classic cover art as the original.
The novel is elegantly and simply written and possesses tremendous atmosphere. Although enjoyable as a purely "fun" read, it is also thought provoking, and the thoughts it provokes linger long after the book is laid aside. I can not imagine any one not being moved by the book, both emotionally and intellectually, regardless of their background or interests. If such a person exists, I do not think I would care to meet them.
Although James Hilton wrote a number of worthy novels, Lost Horizon is the novel for which he is best remembered, a great popular success when first published and a genuine masterpiece of 20th Century literature.
When Conway and his companions flee the warring land they come from, (in a way) they find themselves hijacked, whisked away to paradise: Shangri-La, a place where the air is clean and the living is natural and spiritual and, "moderate." Where people live naturally long lives, hundreds of years, in peace, in love, at one with nature. Hilton's book wisely illustrates that some can never be happy in paradise, they must go on and on searching, but too incredulous to ever actually find anything. In Shangri-La the people, the good, natural people await the destruction of the "outside world," which will surely occur at it's own hand sooner or later as long as people rule themselves with war, lack of moderation, hatred, and a lack of regard for the spiritual nature of humanity. Then the people of Shangri-La will spread the paradise to the far reaches of earth. No doubt, James Hilton has read not only the Bible, but many other spiritual books, because I find myself thinking of Buddism, Judaism, Christianity (as opposed to Christendom), Hinduism, and other Eastern religions and forms of spirituality and well as Western religion and forms of spirituality. What an inspiring view.
The "outside" world will eventually destroy itself if humanity continues on the road of "unintelligent leadership," war, hatred, discrimination, excess, selfishness, lack of moderation, lack of respect and care for nature, lack of conservation, lack of respect for self, and lack of respect and care for other human beings and all our fellow animals. The question is: Will there be a "Shangri-La" there to save us? Do we really want to take that chance?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is a very old copy of this classic. I am thrilled with such quality, better than current products. It was a surprise, a happy surprise.Published 15 days ago by E. Heyer
Fantastic story--so much better than the film. The lost city of nearly eternal life does stretch the mind about our possibilities. Read morePublished 16 days ago by T.Mike
This was a great story. It was first published in 1933. So, the lanugage is a bit dated. However, it is very well conceived and well written. I highly recommend it.Published 17 days ago by J. C. Lawrence
Beautifully written, easy to follow plot line, but I came away feeling that the original movie was more charming, since it did (spoiler alert! Read morePublished 18 days ago by Michael Contris Jr.
I thoroughly loved this book. I remember seeing the movie version in black and white. Today I got the chance to read the book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Onlygameintown
To completely enjoy this book, you must understand the time during which it was written. Prior to WWII, the world was a different place. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
Very good book. Gripped my attention from the beginning to the end. Void of foul language which is always good with an excellent yarn.Published 2 months ago by CACACA