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Lost Horizon: A Novel Paperback – April 3, 2012
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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From the Back Cover
Originally published in 1933, Lost Horizon gained unrivaled popularity from coast to coast, particularly after Frank Capra's spellbinding 1937 film introduced audiences nationwide to its stunning tale of revolution, utopia, emotion, and adventure set in a hidden mountaintop escape known only as Shangri-La.
When an uprising in Baskul forces a small group of English and American residents to flee, their plane crash-lands in the far western reaches of the Tibetan Himalayas. There, the bewildered party finds themselves stranded outside the protective borders of the British Empire, and discovers access to a place beyond the bounds of the imagination—a legendary paradise, the mystic monastery Shangri-La.
New P.S. Edition featuring an essay by Kenneth C. Davis, author of Don't Know Much About® History and Two-Bit Culture: The Paperbacking of America.
About the Author
James Hilton was the author of more than twenty novels, including the bestselling Good-bye, Mr. Chips. He was also a screenwriter, with credits including such classic films as Mrs. Miniver, which won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay in 1942, and Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent. Born in England in the year 1900, Hilton emigrated to the United States in the late 1930s. He died in 1954.
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NOTE: I also got the audio version of this book and it is HORRIBLE. One person described it as just a reading, not an acting out. There was no inflection or change of voice among characters. It is virtually "unlistenable."
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.
Hilton was a minister's son who was born in 1900 and died of cancer at the age of 54. He was a literary wunderkind who published his first novel at the age of twenty and went on to write a series of best-sellers, to win an Oscar for his screenplay "Mrs. Miniver" and to appear as a host on American television. He describes Hugh Conway (the protagonist of LOST HORIZON) as a Renaissance Man, but he had some claim to that title himself.
Conway (to my thinking) is an appealing man, but all of the characters in this book are cardboard stereotypes and I think that was deliberate. I suspect that the author didn't want the characters (and their relationships) to get in the way of the story of Shangri-la itself and its importance in the future of the human race. Although Hilton was a prolific (some say TOO prolific) writer, this book has the feel of one into which the author has poured his soul.
I think Hugh Conway WAS James Hilton - a sensitive, intelligent man who was famous and successful but who was never totally comfortable in his role. He was also a man of compassion and he had the typical well-bred Englishman's sense of responsibility toward the lower orders. In the midst of his own prosperity and fame, he saw the rise of Fascism and the Japanese invasion of China as tragedies - not just for the people directly affected - for all decent humans. Hugh Conway CARED, which is why this book continues to be as relevant as it was 80 years ago. It is a reminder of the brevity of life and the self-destructive stupidity of violence, bigotry, and cruelty.
Central to the story is the existence of a mysterious valley in the Himalayas that is largely unknown to mankind. Here in the 21st century, feeling that we live in a world so small, seemingly completely known and mapped by satellite, this may seem not only quaint but difficult to use as a main theme for a story. Nevertheless, I found it very easy to slip right into the narrative and suspend disbelief.
The story line is refreshingly linear and easy to follow. One thing I liked about the book that I did not quite get out of the movie was the way in some of the characters and their thought processes are described. In particular, the inner mind and personality of Hugh Conway is much better revealed than it could be in any film version. It also gives the more thoughtful reader a few things to contemplate regarding the nature of life and time.
So many questions that don't necessarily get answered but allows the reader to start exploring these ideas. The last part of the novel is surprising. Glad that I read this one.
Most recent customer reviews
We need a Valley of the Blue Moon and a monastery like Shangri La to preserve all...Read more