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Goodbye Mr Chips Paperback – October 5, 2013
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A gem for all time. --The Observer
From the Publisher
Full of enthusiasm, young English schoolmaster Mr. Chipping came to teach at Brookfield in 1870. It was a time when dignity and a generosity of spirit still existed, and the dedicated new schoolmaster expressed these beliefs to his rowdy students. Nicknamed Mr. Chips, this gentle and caring man helped shape the lives of generation after generation of boys. He became a legend at Brookfield, as enduring as the institution itself. And sad but grateful faces told the story when the time came for the students at Brookfield to bid their final goodbye to Mr. Chips.
There is not another book, with the possible exception of Dickens's A Christmas Carol, that has quite the same hold on readers' affections. James Hilton wrote Goodbye, Mr. Chips in loving memory of his schoolmaster father and in tribute to his profession. Over the years it has won an enduring place in world literature and made untold millions of people smile--with a catch in the throat.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
One thing that I've never thought "fit" in this story was how the pilot knocked out the original pilot and then threw him off the plane. Would this be how someone from a place like Shangri la would actually act? It seemed so violent to me, especially considering the battle that was going on on the ground at the time which almost certainly would have meant the death of the original pilot.
If you want to escape to a beautiful place for a while, at least in your mind, this is still a worthwhile read. I like to think that it's true about this being loosely based on the actual people of Hunza in Pakistan. How wonderful to think that there actually is or at least was, a place close to being this idyllic.
We follow their adventure, slowly earning about each personality and how each personal experience formed the characters he/she are today.
During the adventure we find different from the movie that they were a “Random Harvest” instead of purposely pilfered as the movie version would have us believe. There are other differences in learning about a lamasery named Shangri-La and its various mysteries.
I will not go through the details as you will want to discover for yourself.
Howe the book is more about human nature than the magic in the moonlight.
I had do slow down as here were references to German words (concepts) and Swiss Alps that I had to research to see why they were mentioned.
I have a hard copy of the book. However I had to try the Kindle version with wisper-sync. The narrator made each character sound different. However the script that the narrator read was slightly different than the printed wording.