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Archive: Other Books > Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff - 4 stars

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message 1: by Joy D (new)

Joy D | 4617 comments Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff - 4 stars

Non-fiction written as a compelling narrative of the survivors of a plane crash in “Shangri-La” (named after the valley in the James Hilton novel) in Dutch New Guinea near the end of WWII. Faced with limited food and serious injuries, not to mention the perils of the jungle, the survivors must find a way to get rescued or face travel over hundreds of miles of dense forest filled with warring natives and Japanese in hiding. Once they were discovered missing, the U.S. military had to find them, and figure out how to get them back under extremely perilous circumstances.

Zuckoff has done his research, including recently discovered journals, military accounts, a visit to the crash site, and interviews with many participants (and family members). He writes an interesting story, sticking to the facts, giving enough background to set the context without ever straying too far afield. I cared about the people and was interested to find out what happened to them. He also honors those who died. The numerous historical photos were a bonus.

My favorite parts:
• The development of the relationship between the native people, rumored to be hostile, and the survivors and soldiers – their interactions could have gone awry very easily
• The anthropological information about these isolated native people, what their lives were like, how they viewed the outsiders, why they acted as they did – this was all based on research and interviews with the native people involved – I found it fascinating
• The ingenuity and creative thinking employed throughout the rescue attempt

Content includes descriptions of painful injuries, death, and rituals surrounding tribal warfare. Recommended to those with an interest in anthropology, the history of WWII, or stories of survival under extreme conditions.

Link to my review:

message 2: by Ellen (new)

Ellen | 2318 comments I thought this was an amazing story and quite enjoyed this book.

message 3: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments This one has flitted on and off my TBR I have been reading a lot of nonfiction lately because of my summer class, but instead of making me crave more fiction, it actually has been pulling all those nonfiction books off my shelves that I have been meaning to read for years...

message 4: by annapi (new)

annapi | 5159 comments Another one for the TBR...

message 5: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 8427 comments I read this book a few months ago-loved it too!

message 6: by Diane (new)

Diane Zwang | 485 comments I read this quite a few years ago with my book club. We all really enjoyed this book. I also gave it 4 stars.

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