Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Lost Horizon” as Want to Read:
Lost Horizon
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Lost Horizon

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  8,621 ratings  ·  722 reviews

While attempting to escape a civil war, four people are kidnapped and transported to the Tibetan mountains. After their plane crashes, they are found by a mysterious Chinese man. He leads them to a monastery hidden in "the valley of the blue moon" -- a land of mystery and matchless beauty where life is lived in tranquil wonder, beyond the grasp of a doomed world.

It is her

Published (first published 1933)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Lost Horizon, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Lost Horizon

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Henry Avila
Skyjacked! Unheard of, in the early 1930's, but it did happen to four passengers, in Afghanistan, during a civil conflict there. A "mad" Asian pilot, with a gun, flying east, into the tallest mountains in the world. The aircraft goes above, around and hopefully, not through them. A spectacular view, for those with the guts, to look. Beautiful, the Himalayas and frightening. Tibet, an almost unknown land, with few visitors, who return back home, to report their findings, the apparent destination....more
K.D. Absolutely
Mar 08, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books
I hummed Lara’s Theme while reading most of Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago a couple of years back. Similarly, the first two lines of this Burt Bacharach-composition was inside my ears while reading this book.
♪♫♪Have you ever dreamed of a place
Far away from it all
Where the air you breathe is soft and clean
And children play in fields of green
And the sound of guns
Doesn't pound in your ears (anymore)

♪♫♪Have you ever dreamed of a place
Far away from it all
Where the winter winds will never blow
In 1931, four people, including Glory Conway, escape the political unrest in Baskul, China by boarding a plane, bound for Peshawar. The plane, however, much to their dismay, has been hijacked and eventually crash lands deep in the far reaches of the Tibetan Himalayas. Seeking shelter, the group soon finds themselves in the valley of the blue moon, guests at a lamasery, called Shangri-La.

Reading this is like stepping slowly into a hot, fragrant bath while strains of your own audio preferences del...more
Feb 16, 2008 Tiffany rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Explorers/adventurers of any kind, anyone who wants to hear a damn good story
Shelves: must-read-again
The last time I loved a book as much as I loved this one was when I read Dune. Even though Dune is considered one of the masterworks of science fiction, I'm not really a sci-fi kind of girl, per se, I just love places that are so well-imagined by the author that you can't believe they're not real SOMEWHERE. Lost Horizon presents Shangri-La as such a place.

More personally, though, I read this book at the precise right moment in my life. Conway, the main character, has a sort of dispassionate det...more
Will Byrnes
This is a fun read. They did a pretty good job with the film. Given that Hilton was a major screenwriter that makes sense. It is very Victorian in its feel, a sort of Kipling-esque yarn, in which depression era westerners find themselves in a version of paradise. The place is rather communistic, with elements of free love that no doubt raised some eyebrows when it was published. On the other hand, the place is run by a Belgian cleric. On the other hand, their motto is all things in moderation, e...more
Aug 27, 2013 Amanda rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one. Run the other way!
Recommended to Amanda by: Trey Brewer
For the life of me, I have no idea why anyone dearly loves this book. The narrative is plodding, the characters boring and unsympathetic, and the ending--don't get me started on the ending. This was a book club selection that I was actually excited about since its setting is the mystical Shangri-La. I thought it would be an Indiana Jones-esque action and adventure in an exotic Asian setting. What I got instead was Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Boring Tibetans. There's no action; all they...more
Mar 21, 2009 Chad rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Chris Walters, Harry Haladjian
The plane that launched a thousand derivatives...

Before there was the ABC juggernaut that is LOST, there was James Hilton's afternoon read Lost Horizon. This fantastical tale, billed as the first paperback, introduced four characters, and a world audience, to Shangri-La, a time capsule of knowledge and wisdom hidden in the crevasses of the Himalayas.

The conceit: a plane crashes and the motley crew of survivors (two British officials, and American, and a missionary) are left to fend for themselv...more
A beautiful story set deep with in the Himalayans, sits a mysterious place known only to a few as Shangri-La.

Four people are kidnapped in a plane and land in the unknown regions of Tibet. There they embark on a physical and spiritual journey to a Utopian society of Lamas living deep within the beautiful mountains of the east. Here they are learning about transcending their lives to something wonderous and more meaningful.

Our story opens when our lead character, Conway, is found in a hospital by...more
A British group leaves India in the 1930s by plane, the plane goes down, and thereafter they find themselves in the fabled Shangri-La. In this valley of warmth and beauty in the midst of the Himalayan mountains, they find a people with astounding longevity leading lives of simplicity and wisdom and peace. They eventually find their way out of Shangri-La and back home, but Conway (the main character), consumed by regret for the peace that he left behind, returns in the end.

For me, the power of t...more
What a beautiful and wondrous book! I was completely captivated by the mysteries of Shangri-la. Our hero Conway's adventure was an awe-inspiring tale of a monastery hidden deep in a Tibetan mountain range, where the lamas lead extraordinary existences. Theirs are privileged lives steeped in wisdom and secrecy. Their isolation and longevity allows them a unique position in the world and very few outsiders are privy to their secrets. Hilton's use of the high lama's telepathy is certainly prophetic...more
Mohamed Ateaa
مقريتش الرواية الاصلية
بس اعتقد ان د احمد ملخص منها كتير اوي زيادة عن الحد

بس رغم كده الفصول الاخيرة في الكتاب ممتعة
خصوصا مقابلة البطل لللاما
النهاية شبه مبتورة
اعتقد ان تفاصيل النهايات دوما بتحيي الرواية
حتى لو كان الحجم هيزيد شوية
بس انا بستمتع في طريقته في الانتقاء و الترجمة و الاختزال اكتر بكتير من الروايات المترجمة نفسها
ادامه الله

محمد عطية
فبراير 2013
This was part of a book recommendation swap between myself and my brother-in-law. I recommended Ender's Game and he recommended Lost Horizon. I wasn't sure at first if either of us anticipated our tastes in literature very well, but I at least read Lost Horizon with interest.

There is no doubt that it is well written. Hilton is able to tap into the deeper philosophies of life in a non-intrusive yet succinct way that avoids most of the heaviness that accompany philosophical reads. In other words,...more
Arah-Leah Hay
Lost Horizon gives birth to the Legendary utopia of Shangri-La. This was an incredible philosophical journey into the crisp Himalayan mountains. Deep and Thought Provoking this story is great for any one interested in religion and spirituality, or just books in general that really make you stop and think! A True Escapist Read into Paradise!
K.M. Weiland
There's a moment in Frank Capra's adaptation of this story, in which Ronald Colman, playing the lead character, looks back at the paradise he is leaving. The expression is his face is cinematic genius and, frankly, is better, by itself, than this entire book. That said, the book is much better than the movie.

Lean storytelling lends itself to a lack of depth in the plot and the development of the supporting characters. But, all in all, this is a splendid story, brilliant in its juxtaposition of i...more
Thomas Holbrook
There are reasons books become classics. They speak with a voice that is ageless, have a plot that reflects the human experience and/or connects with a deep part of the psyche. Reading a classic work of literature for the first time is akin to discovering an unknown family member - someone who: expresses a familiarity of experience that is rooted in genetics, needs no explanation or translation to be understood and is a friend upon meeting. When this classic was offered by one of my dealers, th...more
Samantha Glasser
After seeing Frank Capra's film version of this book, I had to read James Hilton's novel. The book and the film are very similar, so my love for the film has transferred to the original work. Lost Horizon is the story of four people, an American, a young British soldier, a middle-aged British man, and a female missionary, who have the misfortune of being kidnapped on an airplane. They are crashed near a mysterious and dismal mountain somewhere in Tibet, and all seems to be lost to them, includin...more
I first read this book in my early teens and was entranced by it. It's odd to read it again now. It's very much a novel of its time. Shangri-la is the emotional healing place for the horrors of WW1 - but we can't stay in the dreamland, we have to return to normal life, even if we spend the rest of our lives longing to return to the dreamland.

Hilton used the clumsy device of having the story retold by someone who had heard the tale from Conway, the main character - we're supposed to believe that...more
Luke Buchanan
This is an enrapturing story, that entertains with it's action and intrigue but also makes one pause to consider whether we would live in a sheltered paradise or try to get back to the world. The book has inspiring descriptions of Tibet and clearly depicts the different characters and their actions, to the point where we feel like we know the people. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the monks and their peaceful, methodical ways. This book helped me reflect on the craziness of our every...more
Love this book. I read it as a kid in my Reader's Digest Condensed Books for Young Readers series (I still have it) and was always attracted by the illustrations. I needed some more escape reading this fall as the presidential election was going on and this fit the bill. A wonderful story about what society could be and individual choice within that society.
Oct 11, 2007 Jorja rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fiction lovers
Shelves: favorites
This is one of my favorite books of all time...I first read it when I was a teenager, but I reread it every few years. In fact, I'm about due for another reading of it. It's the classic story of Shangri-La--a must read for people who love great fiction that's referenced often in daily life. There was a movie of it, but I've never seen it.
Tricia Long
I found "Lost Horizon" on a list of fantasy novels that, apart from Tolkien and Lewis, everyone who is interested in the genre should read. The one thing everyone remembers from this novel is Shangri-La, but what should really be remembered is the meditation on the post-WWI state of young men. The reason the protagonist, Conway, is open to the moderate unhurried ways of Shangri-La is because the War burned all the passion out of him. If you read this as a Lost generation book, it's just as rewar...more
I've known of this book was so long as the work that gave us the mysterious Shangri La. Reading this was an utter delight. Hilton is a terrific writer, his descriptions are vivid and his characters are so well developed and fleshed out. Conway, in particular, has become of my my favorite fictional characters now. And Shangri La itself, what a marvelous concept, a quiet serene utopia to espace the loud turbulent world. I loved the way Hilton compares perspectives of the place from the view points...more
Erik Graff
Nov 11, 2008 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: utopians
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: literature
I've long been intrigued and appalled at the depravity of elites, wondering at how many persons can cause so much pain and suffering to others in their pursuit of political and economic power. Some of it, of course, can simply be explained as consequent upon the systems they work within. I myself, when a university administrator, played the institution's games, seeking promotion within it. But the influence of an American university on people's lives seemed hardly capable of being malign except...more
Will Thomas
Occasionally an author creates a character or a scenario that transcends the author's writing. When my whole family fell in love with Andrew Lloyd Weber's "The Phantom of the Opera", we went to Barnes and Noble and bought a copy of the novel. Apiece. Yes, there are three copies of Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera in our house. And it is one of the most poorly written, poorly plotted pieces of garbage I've ever waded through. But Leroux created a character which has a life of his own. The...more
Wow - what a book! I can't believe I never had to read this in school. This was one of those few great books that has exceptional writing, good characters, and a timeless story. Although it was published in 1933, aside from some British historical references, it is a very current, thought-provoking story. I'm looking forward to discussing this at our book group. This is the story of Conway - who, along with three others, is "hijacked" to Shangri-La. Shangri-La is a place of moderation; but is it...more
I absolutely loved it! I had seen the movie based on that novel, but this was even better. It's really well written, and I completely submerged myself in the story, and its mystic. There is something about Shangri'La that is dreamy, but also threatening. Like the characters, you can't figure out if it's heaven, or a golden jail. The ethics of the place can raise eyebrows, but the beauty of its peace and atmosphere want to make you part of it.

I didn't know this book was the first paperback. I bo...more
Very close to the movie with only a few alterations in character. Pretty much a late Empire character sketch...reminded me of Boethius and Roman Christians after the fall of Rome...withdrawal from the world.

I think there was something unwholesome about Shangri-La. Instead of staying and fighting for a better world the monks and Conway decide to runaway from it to supposedly save the best of it for after the end of the coming dark age...and they imprison anyone who wants to leave (Conway's change...more
Lost Horizon (1933) would have had a better life as a short story. At 250 pages, the plot drags, the surprises fall too far apart, and the suspense gets lost in a haze of philosophical What Ifs? Except for Conway, all the characters are one dimensional, making it hard to care about them. Poor Miss Brinklow quickly falls into her study of Tibetan and is hardly heard from again, the American's great revelation doesn't come as a great surprise, and Mallinson's nasty attitude to everything made it h...more
Loyola University Chicago Libraries
Cudahy Main Stacks: PR 6015 .I53 .L6 1934.

I haven't read a lot of fiction from the 1930s, but I have seen a lot of films from that era, which share stylistic similarities with Lost Horizon. While the language and action are straight-forward, much is left to the imagination, and the reader must draw his own conclusions at the close of the story.

This book is a story within a story within a story, and the layers of narration add to the mystery surrounding Shangri-La, a Tibetan lamasery that may or...more
Two British military men, an American tycoon and a missionary have caught a plane out of India to flee from the impending revolution, but their escape suddenly becomes more complicated when they realize that their plane has been hijacked and they have been kidnapped. At first, they suppose that it is a plot perpetrated by ordinary rogues interested in ransom money, but it soon becomes clear that something much more mysterious is happening. When the plane crashes high in the Tibetan mountains, th...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Page number ISBN 9781840243536 2 10 May 15, 2014 12:40PM  
Would I enjoy it? 10 24 Sep 23, 2013 04:15AM  
Flawed freedom or blissful imprisonment? 14 56 Apr 26, 2013 12:43AM  
What's The Name o...: MAN IN A LARGE LIBRARY [s] 4 51 Feb 27, 2013 04:48AM  
What happened to Mallinson? 2 47 Jul 25, 2011 08:16PM  
  • Green Mansions
  • Beau Geste
  • Balada da Praia dos Cães
  • My Son's Story
  • إلى الشمال
  • Portrait of Jennie
  • خلف جدار النوم
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  • Silverlock
  • Buying a Fishing Rod for My Grandfather
  • Victory
  • The Electronic Revolution
  • The Three Hostages (Richard Hannay #4)
  • God's Grace
  • The Blood of Others
  • Little Indiscretions
  • Twice-Told Tales
  • The Circus of Dr. Lao
James Hilton (1900–1954) was a bestselling English novelist and Academy Award–winning screenwriter. After attending Cambridge University, Hilton worked as a journalist until the success of his novels Lost Horizon (1933) and Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1934) launched his career as a celebrated author. Hilton’s writing is known for its depiction of English life between the two world wars, its celebration of...more
More about James Hilton...
Good-Bye, Mr. Chips Random Harvest Good Bye Mr. Chips & Other Stories Nothing So Strange Goodbye, Mr. Chips: To You, Mr. Chips

Share This Book

“People make mistakes in life through believing too much, but they have a damned dull time if they believe too little.” 1815 likes
“if we have not found the heaven within,we have not found the heaven without” 26 likes
More quotes…