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BOOK REVIEW: "Lost Horizon" by James Hilton

BOOK REVIEW: "Lost Horizon" by James Hilton

Being familiar with the screen adaptations, I decided to grab this novel from the FMI's classic fiction section for my weekly commute.

Written in 1933, "Lost Horizon" ended up being the biggest selling paperback of the 20th Century, with sales totalling several million copies.

The story is centred around four diverse characters whose flight is hijacked, and they crash-land in a remote area of Tibet. They make their way to the lamasery of Shangri-La.

As the novel progresses the four characters are fleshed out, and their motivations become clear as to why they wish to stay in Shangri-La, or leave at their first opportunity.

In the meantime the protagonist wins the trust of the High Lama, and is drawn into the magic and charm of this remote community.

The story is on one level a dramatic thriller, but it definitely steps into the realm of the themes of Haggard's classic novel "She" - with themes of mortality and Tibetan mysticism emerging as the story advances.

No spoilers in this review, and no surprises for anyone who has seen either of the film adaptations (1937 & 1973 respectively).

Considered a classic, and rightly so, it's a fast-paced easy read for people who wish to be transported to another world, and to give in to their imagination for a while.

Rating: 4/5 (Good characterisations, fast plot, probably lost some of it's mystery as Tibet has now opened up to the world, whereas in 1933 it was a mysterious, closed land, so would have evoked a stronger response from its contemporary readers)

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