Carol's Reviews > Lost in Shangri-la: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II

Lost in Shangri-la by Mitchell Zuckoff
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Dec 04, 13

bookshelves: lifetime-favorites, non-fiction, adreniline-adventure
Read from February 25 to 28, 2012 — I own a copy

The only regret I have about reading Lost in Shangri-La now is that I can't put it on a library best list until December 2012. It was that good!

You'd think with all the stories written with regards to World War II that all had been told. And then along comes another and you're amazed that you never heard anything about this one. Lost in Shangri-La is such a story.

On Sunday, May 13, 1945, Colonel Peter Prossen planned a special outing for some of his staff, a flight to view a remote valley known as Shangri-La. This remote area of New Guinea had been spotted by Colonel Ray T. Ellsmore. It was a break in the jungle he described as "a riot of dazzling color".Thirty miles long and eight miles wide it revealed lush land and tens of thousands of native peoples living in villages with gardens, irrigation systems, dams and drainage ditches. Unable to land, Ellsmore was nonetheless enthralled with what he had seen and told all who would listen about it. It became the place to fly over thus Colonel Prossen's idea of a gift to his hard working staff. An opportunity not to be missed by the twenty-four servicemen and women who boarded that fateful day. What started out as somewhat of a joy ride turns tragic when the plane crashes leaving all but three dead. The army makes an all out search for the missing plane. When it is learned there are survivors, it becomes a story of a rescue mission that is as awe inspiring as as it is heroic. Three survivors, Corporal Margaret Hastings, Tech Sergeant Kenneth Decker, and Lieutenant John McCollom, see Shrangri-La in a way they never dreamed. Injured and disoriented they must find their way to help. Their journey is quite an adventure.

Though much of the book deals with the survival of the three, Zucker gives due respect to each of the passengers and crew who died in the crash. Then, we too are taken along for a glimpse of a world that time had forgotten as the survivors sidestep Japanese troops and meet the tribes rumored to be headhunters. It is absolutely fascinating.
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Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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Jeanette (Most of My Favorite Authors Are Dead) I finally have a copy of this one. So looking forward to reading it, whenever I can work my way through the backlog. Backlog being a GOOD thing when it comes to books. :-)


Carol I know the feeling Jeanette but if anyone can do it, you can.


Kate A friend of mine said "you must read this", so I bought a copy and then lent it out. Now I need it back, based on your review.


Jeanette (Most of My Favorite Authors Are Dead) Boy, Kate, you're a nice lady, to loan it out before you even had a chance to read it.


message 5: by Trish (new)

Trish Pretty unequivocal review, Carol. Looks like a must read.


Carol I've got a copy if anyone wants it!


message 7: by Trish (new)

Trish Carol wrote: "I've got a copy if anyone wants it!"

Yo! I'm in.


Carol Trish wrote: "Carol wrote: "I've got a copy if anyone wants it!"

Yo! I'm in."


It's yours Trish...


Carol Trish, sent you a message...send me your address so I can get this off to you.


Sarah I couldn't put it down when I started reading it. It is one of the rare books I can say that I'm completely satisfied with reading..still having that high feeling from reading it and it's been 2 years since I read it. -LOL-


Carol Sarah wrote: "I couldn't put it down when I started reading it. It is one of the rare books I can say that I'm completely satisfied with reading..still having that high feeling from reading it and it's been 2 ye..."
Same here.


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