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Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II [Kindle Edition]

Mitchell Zuckoff
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Print List Price: CDN$ 19.99
Kindle Price: CDN$ 11.99 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
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“A truly incredible adventure.” (New York Times Book Review)

“[A] gripplingly cinematic account. . . . A remarkable cast of characters. . . . A.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“This is an absorbing adventure right out of the Saturday-morning serials. . . . Lost in Shangri-La deserves a spot on the shelf of Greatest Generation nonfiction. It puts the reader smack into the jungle. ” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

“Zuckoff transforms impressive research into a deft narrative that brings the saga of the survivors to life.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Zuckoff delivers a remarkable survival story. . . . In this well-crafted book, Zuckoff turns the long-forgotten episode into an unusually exciting narrative. . . . Polished, fast-paced and immensely readable—ready for the big screen.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“[An] engaging story. . . . This excellent book will be enjoyed by anyone who loves true adventure stories.” (Library Journal (starred review))

“A riveting tale in the hands of a good storyteller. . . . LOST IN SHANGRI-LA is the most thrilling book, fiction or nonfiction, that I have read since I can’t remember when.” (Seattle Times)

“Mitchell Zuckoff has uncovered, and vividly reconstructed, such an astonishing tale. . . . Zuckoff skillfully builds narrative tension and deft character portraits. . . . . He has pulled off a remarkable feat — and held the reader firmly in the grip.” (David Grann, Washington Post)

Product Description

“A lost world, man-eating tribesmen, lush andimpenetrable jungles, stranded American fliers (one of them a dame withgreat gams, for heaven's sake), a startling rescue mission. . . . This is atrue story made in heaven for a writer as talented as Mitchell Zuckoff. Whew—what an utterly compelling and deeplysatisfying read!" —Simon Winchester, author of Atlantic
Award-winning former Boston Globe reporter Mitchell Zuckoffunleashes the exhilarating, untold story of an extraordinary World War IIrescue mission, where a plane crash in the South Pacific plunged a trio of U.S.military personnel into a land that time forgot. Fans of Hampton Sides’ Ghost Soldiers, Marcus Luttrell’s Lone Survivor, and David Grann’s The Lost Cityof Z will be captivated by Zuckoff’s masterfullyrecounted, all-true story of danger, daring, determination, and discovery injungle-clad New Guinea during the final days of WWII.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 16564 KB
  • Print Length: 405 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (April 26 2011)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004HD61L8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,807 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True WWII Survival Story May 2 2011
By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Reason for Reading: I love true war stories but I also love true survival stories, so this doubly appealed to me.

A sight-seeing plane carrying 24 enlisted passengers across the jungle of modern day New Guinea (who were stationed nearby) crashed and burned leaving a total of three survivors in a remote valley inhabited by tribes who mostly had not seen white men before and still lived in the stone age. This books gives the complete story of these people, enlisted and native. Prior to the fateful plane trip we meet the individuals who will be on board and learn their story, how and why they came to be aboard and some who just barely missed being passengers. We learn of life at the base of Hollandia where they were stationed, paratroopers on standby, enlisted soldiers waiting for deployment to somewhere else (where the action is) and a group of WACS fulfilling their enlisted duties.

We go through terrifying details of how the crash was probably caused though no blame has ever been laid by officials and the gory aftermath of the scene. Of the three survivors, only one is unharmed, the other two have serious burns and other injuries and thus starts their survival story where they eventually meet up with the natives of the land. Mostly a war-like people, but little do the survivors know that they are fulfilling a legend of the natives.

The main focus of the book though, is in the rescue of these people, as others are sent down to tend to their medical needs and set up a base of operations. The valley is surrounded by mountains too high and cross winds too dangerous. It is too narrow for an airstrip landing. The outside terrain is rough, dangerous, inhabited by known cannibalistic tribes and the island is also inhabited by hidden Japanese units.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Respect Paid May 15 2011
By Jeffrey Swystun TOP 50 REVIEWER
From the time I read the book's jacket through to its conclusion, I kept thinking about the number of still untold stories from all sides of World War Two. The author deserves kudos for researching this rescue of three survivors of a horrific plane crash in the jungles of New Guinea. Comparisons to James Hilton's Lost Horizon adds some interesting flavor but the book's charm is in the respect paid to the bravery of the survivors and rescuers, the environment and indigenous peoples, and the loss of twenty-one lives. The stoicism shown by Margaret Hastings, John McCollom, and Kenneth Decker is amazing. It is no surprise that at the time they were made celebrities by the military and media. It is good that their story has been rekindled and the supporting characters given prominence (Alexander Caan, a rogue, deserves his own biography). One complaint is the marketing of the book does not match its content especially the depiction of local tribes - it does not honor the spirit of actual events.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
"He delivers and rescues,
And He works signs and wonders
In heaven and on earth," -- Daniel 6:27 (NKJV)

My dad loved to tell me stories about flying on sightseeing trips all over northern Europe in U.S. Air Corps bombers after Germany surrendered in World War II. His eyes would light up as he described what it was like to sit in the different seats and to imagine what it would have been like during a bombing mission. His stories brought the war to life the terror of war for me in a way that movies and books don't achieve.

I was impressed, then, to find that Mitchell Zuckoff used the same storytelling style that my dad did to tell the story of this sightseeing flight over New Guinea that went oh so wrong. He starts by taking the time to introduce the people with care in a way that makes them into individuals you feel you know and understand. Next, he gets inside the psychology of a situation to explain what kind of thoughts might have been or had been going on in each person's mind. Finally, he does research in the present to tear away the cobwebs of misapprehensions and misunderstandings so that the reader can also see the situation in objective, rather than subjective, ways. I especially appreciated that Mr. Zuckoff did not duck the responsibility to make observations about what was done correctly . . . and what was not . . . by the people he writes about.

If that weren't enough, Mr. Zuckoff takes the story one step further and provides true suspense about what will happen to those involved. I found that he did it so well that I found myself trying to "solve" the mystery of what was coming next . . . as though I were reading a mystery novel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating from start to finish Aug. 26 2011
Citizens of the world were desperately searching for a Shangri-la in the final phases of the second world war. Funny they would find it on a high mountain plateau in the middle of New Guinea. American troops were stationed on the island, some of them women, all of the them waiting to provide support for their fighting forces directly to the north in a pitched battle with the Japanese. As fortune would have, some of these troops were Women Army Corps or WACs. As a great distance separates the south from the north of the island with a huge mountain range in the middle, pilots were searching for a through-route rather than having to fly all the way around the mountains. Such a passage was discovered by a pilot, Major Myron Grimes, who notified his superior, Colonel Ray Elsmore. They had discovered a heavily populated valley approximately one mile above sea level, forty miles long and ten miles wide. It's inhabitants were naked except for penis gourds for the end and g-string made of twigs for the women. They lived in thatched houses with perimeter walls and watchtowers. Because the pilots could find no place to land, they could endow the native people below with any characteristics they wished. War was hell and the world's population were seeking an escape and so they named it after the earthly paradise imagined by Jack Hilton in his novel, 'Lost Horizon.' Plane tours of the valley were provided to armed forces personal on the island after which they received a certificate authenticating their membership in the Shangri-la Society. As a morale booster for his female troops on the north side of the island, Colonel Peter Prossen decided to provide his WACs with a fly-over tour of this fantastical Shangri-la on May 13, 1945. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Real Life Adventure
“Lost In Shangri-La” is the entrancing story of a joy ride gone bad and the seven week jungle ordeal of the three survivors and their rescuers. Read more
Published 1 month ago by James Gallen
4.0 out of 5 stars I think this would be a great movie but not the best of
I found this a very long story, but they sure went through a very hard time. I think this would be a great movie but not the best of reads
Published 2 months ago by Marjorie Hallyburton
5.0 out of 5 stars Most interesting, headhunters, beautiful woman, crash landing...
Most of Lost In Shangri-La is well-written, and all of the tale is a well-researched, and meticulously foot-noted, historical, non-fiction narrative. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Chris Gregory
4.0 out of 5 stars Story of survival and stamina!
Towards the end of May 1945, twenty-four American servicemen and WACs boarded a transport plane for a sightseeing trip over the area they called Shangri-La. Read more
Published 9 months ago by BevW
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent and exciting adventure. Well worth reading.
Published 11 months ago by Jette Henriksen
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story!!
Absolutely loved this story, especially being non-fiction. Very well researched and written.
Published 12 months ago by Brenda J. Piche
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book enjoyed it from beginning to the end love ...
Very good book enjoyed it from beginning to the end love this author i'm reading another of is books right now and love it as much has this one.
Published 12 months ago by Lorraine Cyr
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting reading
I got this book because it was free, but what a pleasure to read. it has the flow of the story using helpful historical information.
Published 13 months ago by pinky
1.0 out of 5 stars very disappointed
did not care for this book. it seems they used silly mundane material just to fill pages, such as the background of reporters covering the crash for example. Read more
Published 14 months ago by hush
4.0 out of 5 stars In May 1945, an innocent sightseeing flight containing 24 ...
In May 1945, an innocent sightseeing flight containing 24 servicemen and women crashed in an area of jungle called, euphemistically, Shangri-La. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Kastenbourg
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