Lost in Shangri-LaMitchell Zuckoff

Lost in Shangri-La

4 star

Total 3,099 Ratings

Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff Book Summary

A New York Times bestseller and the winner of the Winship/PEN New England Award, Lost in Shangri-La is “a truly incredible adventure” (New York Times Book Review) about three brave survivors of a WWII plane crash in the jungle.
On May 13, 1945, twenty-four American servicemen and WACs boarded a transport plane for a sightseeing trip over “Shangri-La,” a beautiful and mysterious valley deep within the jungle-covered mountains of Dutch New Guinea. Unlike the peaceful Tibetan monks of James Hilton’s bestselling novel Lost Horizon, this Shangri-La was home to spear-carrying tribesmen, warriors rumored to be cannibals.
But the pleasure tour became an unforgettable battle for survival when the plane crashed. Miraculously, three passengers pulled through. Margaret Hastings, barefoot and burned, had no choice but to wear her dead best friend’s shoes. John McCollom, grieving the death of his twin brother also aboard the plane, masked his grief with stoicism. Kenneth Decker, too, was severely burned and suffered a gaping head wound.
Emotionally devastated, badly injured, and vulnerable to the hidden dangers of the jungle, the trio faced certain death unless they left the crash site. Caught between man-eating headhunters and enemy Japanese, the wounded passengers endured a harrowing hike down the mountainside—a journey into the unknown that would lead them straight into a primitive tribe of superstitious natives who had never before seen a white man—or woman.
Drawn from interviews, declassified U.S. Army documents, personal photos and mementos, a survivor’s diary, a rescuer’s journal, and original film footage, Lost in Shangri-La recounts this incredible true-life adventure for the first time. Mitchell Zuckoff reveals how the determined trio—dehydrated, sick, and in pain—traversed the dense jungle to find help; how a brave band of paratroopers risked their own lives to save the survivors; and how a cowboy colonel attempted a previously untested rescue mission to get them out.

By trekking into the New Guinea jungle, visiting remote villages, and rediscovering the crash site, Zuckoff also captures the contemporary natives’ remembrances of the long-ago day when strange creatures fell from the sky. A riveting work of narrative nonfiction that vividly brings to life an odyssey at times terrifying, enlightening, and comic, Lost in Shangri-La is a thrill ride from beginning to end.
This ebook also includes an excerpt from Mitchell Zuckoff’s New York Times bestseller Frozen in Time.
About the Author:

Mitchell Zuckoff is a professor of journalism at Boston University. He is the author of Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II, Robert Altman: An Oral Biography, Ponzi's Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend, Judgment Ridge: The True Story of the Dartmouth Murders, with Dick Lehr, Choosing Naia: A Family's Journey, and 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi. He was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting, and the winner of numerous national awards as a reporter for The Boston Globe. He lives outside Boston.

Lost in Shangri-La (Mitchell Zuckoff) Book Reviews

Lost in Shangri-LaCouldn't put it down. Non-fiction at its best..Score: 5/5

Lost in Shangri-laAbsolutely fantastic, could not stop reading the book, hated to see it end. I will never forget the book, the survivors, or the rescuers..Score: 5/5

Great read.Well worth the read. Well written and a great story. Highly suggested..Score: 5/5

Amazing Book!!This book reads like a thriller but has the added benefit of being a bit of history..Score: 5/5

Lost in Shangri-LaI enjoyed reading this book although "true historical" books are not usually my choice of reading material. I thought it was a bit tiresome to read at times with too much military information, but since it was a true story, I can see the importance of including it in the story. Anyone interested in true military stories would really enjoy this book..Score: 4/5

The best of humanities strengths and weaknessesFascinating account of a little known story of survival and acceptance between very disparate people. Raw humanity throughout!.Score: 5/5

Great NonfictionThis was such an enjoyable book. I really enjoyed the heart and commitment of all the characters. However, found it sad that our civilization did nothing for those natives of the area..Score: 5/5

Lost in shangri laBEST DARN BOOK I EVER READ ! My momma YOUS to read this to me after I was done working on May farm!.Score: 5/5

Good ReadVery well written book and super interesting story..Score: 5/5

Great bookI'm not a person who likes to read very much, but from the beginning to the end I felt as if I were right there with them. I couldn't stop reading this book, I'd stay up hours at a time so interested!.Score: 5/5

Good bookA good read and well researched..Score: 4/5

Loved itEspecially loved that no creative liberties were taken and was completely and utterly true of fact from beginning to end. As with all good books, I didn't want it to end..Score: 5/5

The Real True GritA fascinating story of survival under the harshest of circumstances, discovery and rescue. It was really hard to put down. I highly recommend it to history buffs especially those interested in the war in the Pacific. The only (minor) downside is the authors habit of repeating peoples names & nicknames over & over & over again. It is just plain annoying..Score: 4/5

Interesting topicNeat story. I had no idea of this happening. It's amazing to think this group of natives lived here unnoticed up until this point, which isn't really all that long ago..Score: 5/5

Lost in Shangri-LaWell documented true story, engaging, fast read..Score: 5/5

A New Fan of Mitchell ZuckoffZuckoff sends you on a journey through Shangri-La in such a way that you feel as though you experienced the two-month ordeal with the survivors and rescuers. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading tales of adventure..Score: 5/5

Fascinating thrilling true story of crash, culture, rescueExcellent.Score: 4/5

Riveting Piece of HistoryLoved reading about these heroes. Nothing like being dumped in a jungle complete with primative natives..Score: 5/5

WOW!This is one of the most fascinating and gripping books I have read in a long, long time. So much nonfiction is dry and yawn inspiring. But this one, I couldn't put down. What a great story..Score: 5/5

ExceptionalEqual to "unbroken" in every aspect of human endeavor. Would make an excellent motion picture..Score: 5/5

I Love HistoryLots of good anecdotes. I really enjoyed the parts where what the Army folks understood about the Dani was compared to the Dani's recollections. Very interesting..Score: 5/5

Good bookHad to read it with big breaks in between..Score: 3/5

Lots of extra informationWorth reading.Score: 4/5

WonderfulThis book was very well written with dialogue take from actual journals kept by one of the survivors and by the leader of a rescue mission. It was hard to set the book down with the end of each chapter leading the reader to read one more chapter before setting the book down for the night! Wonderful story set near the end of the Pacific Theater of WWII..Score: 5/5

Lost in shangralaOutstanding first book I've read in a long time due to eye issues but I'm so happy I read this one.Score: 5/5

Lost in Shangri-laAmazing story of courage, persistence and success. Well written..Score: 5/5

Good read of survivalNice rainy day, cozy up with this book of survival. As many events are simply unplanned, this started out as a simple ride to uncharted territory. It turned out to be a test of survival, a woman shows her total ability to adapt to the situation and the men who survived with her. Many hero's in this story, the best comes through - as it always does. We don't hear much about everyday hero's today, but it is in each of us, when we volunteer, help strangers, just be nice when it isn't called for. So this story is about all us, in a way. A good read, thoughtful..Score: 5/5

An Anthropologist's DreamExcellent writing and reporting on a WW 2 phenomenon - the crash of a U.S. plane in the unknown jungles of Dutch New Guinea. Stone age people Encountered modern humans. Exciting observations about the unintended intersection of these two civilizations. Loved every page!.Score: 5/5

Loved itGreat book.Score: 5/5

Well doneI'm pleased to find a new author. This book brought the historical events and characters out of obscurity, and made them vividly memorable. Well done..Score: 4/5

Love it so far!It has great detail and the amount of heartbreaking facts in in it about WW2 makes you feel like your in the story yourself!.Score: 5/5

Excellent ReadVery compelling read. A true story of courage and fortitude in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds..Score: 5/5

Great Read!One of those historical leaning novels that keep you reading chapter after chapter. I can only imagine what Margaret was like and having spent some time in Owego and nearby Newark Valley I can picture the life she led before the war. I highly recommend this book! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸.Score: 5/5

Lost in ShangrilaSorry, I haven't even read it yet, but I will when I finish. All I wanted to say was if you even remotely liked this book, you MUST read Unbroken. It's number one for a reason....Score: 5/5

Lost jigging dugI don't have to be able too see you at all and the first half and half a million century in my life I have no idea what I'm talking bout me I love the it would be have a lot to do be in the my mom is so much better if I was had in mind that is not an easy way to potion to for me or not.Score: 4/5

Lost in Shangri-LaTrue story, well researched, reads like a piece of good fiction. Clearly justifies that generation’s title “The Greatest”..Score: 5/5

Great!Kept me entertained. Enjoyed the part about the natives..Score: 5/5

Hate itI just hate all books in general.Score: 5/5

Worth a readOverall, the story was great, but, like others have said, there was way too side story going on with little relevance to the overall story. But, hey, it's a free book so I can't complain..Score: 4/5

OutstandingThis book was an outstanding read!!! As a history buff, I had never heard of this episode in history and it was written in such detail that I never doubted it's accuracy. Well done!!!!.Score: 5/5

Excellent!Best book I've read in a while. Loved the way this historical event told and photos shared. The fact the plane crashed the very day my husband was born made it even more interesting..Score: 4/5

Lost In Shangri-laThe book was well set up with the characters. Then the account begins. It was fascinating. Even more so was the attention to detail and the notes/bibliography, etc. It was fascinating..Score: 5/5

Excellent readI really enjoyed this book. I recall knowing about the crash and natives from when I was a child. Most likely from National Geographic. Great survival story, and a testament to the true strength of humans. Read it!.Score: 5/5

Amazing Book!I read the title and I thought 420! Then I noticed it was in WWII so I thought 69! Then I noticed my friends an idiot, I thought of 1337!.Score: 5/5

Fascinating readAn excellent tale of adventures almost too incredible to be true. One of the best books I've read in a long time, it kept me interested and engaged from start to finish..Score: 5/5

Page turnerThis book was so well-written and it was simply enthralling..Score: 5/5

Lost in Shangri-LaGreat book, easy to read and a true story of WWII..Score: 4/5

A gem of true story!This book was at its best when providing the human interest angle. It bogged down when the author described all the (certainly seemed like "all") strategy and tactics pursued and executed by the military. Still, it is a very well done story of a rescue that was not common knowledge today. I definitely recommend this book ..Score: 3/5

War adventure meets Gilligan's IslandA meticulously researched survival story, told with respect for the human experience of everyone involved. In 1945 an American plane crashed with 30 people aboard, who had signed up for a sightseeing visit to an uncharted part of New Guinea known then as the Hidden Valley or Shangri-La. The author honors previous tellings of the rescue, going so far as to track down and interview the natives who witnessed the crash 60 years later, to learn their impressions of the "Sky Spirits" who arrived in their valley and set up camp in a sweet potato patch 100 miles from the nearest airstrip. The history, technology, and emotional experience are beautifully balanced; I'm grateful the complete story was captured while those who lived it could still tell the tale..Score: 4/5

Lost in Shangri laEnjoyed this true account, what brave folks, loved the photos.Score: 5/5

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Lost in Shangri-laAn excellent, well written and factual book that places the reader in with the survivors and the rescuers, to share the sacrifices of both. Not losing the reader in pedantic details but resplendent with interesting facts the reader is placed well into the trials, tribulations, thoughts and feelings of the participants. Real life heroes emerge from this book showing what the human spirit can endure. A must read !!! BLI.Score: 5/5

Best non fiction ever!Loved this. Couldn't put it down. Written in such a descriptive way that I felt as if I were there. Thank you for making this available..Score: 5/5

Good readGreat story, well researched and very informative. I had never heard this story before so was quite entertained.Score: 4/5

GoodThis book was great and inspiring!🤘🏿.Score: 4/5

Great bookGreat story.Score: 5/5

Incredible story, terribly written.I was so interested to find out what happened to this group, however I had to suffer through this terribly written book to figure it out. The author wastes half of the book describing irrelevant information in unnecessary detail which really takes away from the readers ability to enjoy the story. It was really interesting to hear about the survive and rescue of the crew, however the book should have been half this length and twice as interesting..Score: 1/5

ExcellentTrue stories often fail to thrill like their fictional counterparts but with Shangri-la all that can be forgotten. A superb recounting of an event in late WW2 that I never knew about. It's likely already a movie but again, I've somehow missed it. If not, it'd make a great one with little need for artistic licence. Clint Eastwood directing, boo yah!.Score: 5/5

Lost in Shangri-LaReally interesting read, glad the three made it, it was touch and go for a while..Score: 4/5

Lost in Shangra-LaGood mix of intrigue, suspense and historical facts. It kept my interest all the way through..Score: 4/5

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