Anne Slater'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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Jun 14, 12

Read in June, 2012

This is a thoughtfully (if ploddingly) set up story of a bunch of aviators and WACs who went for a joy ride over a desolate part of New Guinea, and crashed, killing ~22 of the people on board. That three survived is a miracle, especially the two who were seriously injured (one seemed to be totally UN injured). The larger miracle is that they were brought out, given the completely mountain-locked nature of the terrain. And that's what makes the story.

There were a couple of chapter-long sidebar sections which I would like to have seen much shorter, They was balanced by a careful portrayal of the heroism of the Filippino medics who were the first US Army men dropped in to assist, who were listed in reports as "2 Filipino soldiers", and further exposition of the role of Filipino soldiers in WW2 in general.

A further feather in the author's cap is his description of the native people of that part of New Guinea, their culture (extensively and fascinatingly described, especially tying in their religious beliefs and the potential harm a previous bad encounter with another westerner could have played in this situation), and their role in the life of the Americans in their midst

the general tenor of the prose approaches sensationalism rather than history and adventure. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading it. It would make a great movie!
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Joe (new) - rated it 3 stars

Joe Bolin Good observation about the plodding nature of the storytelling, Anne.


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