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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless
Rightly or wrongly I often feel that the English language was put to its best use both in writing and in speech up until the mid 20th century. Authors of the Victorian age through to the 1950's seem to have been able to write in a genuinely captivating manner without having to resort to cheap crudities and streams of foul language.

There is a time and a place...
Published on 16 Jun 2006 by Amazon Customer

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Liked the Bathtubs from Akron
How convenient that Shangri-la has so much gold that it can afford bringing in extravagant outside goods like the bathtubs from Ohio. Apart from that obvious weakness in the plot, though, this is still a pleasant book, and the reason Hilton gives us for Shangri-la's existence -- a refuge for civilization during the next war -- is a haunting one considering the book's...
Published on 5 Jun 1998


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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless, 16 Jun 2006
By 
This review is from: Lost Horizon: The Classic Tale Of Shangri-La (Paperback)
Rightly or wrongly I often feel that the English language was put to its best use both in writing and in speech up until the mid 20th century. Authors of the Victorian age through to the 1950's seem to have been able to write in a genuinely captivating manner without having to resort to cheap crudities and streams of foul language.

There is a time and a place for crudity and bad language but the strength of writers like James Hilton was that they could hold your attention without having to resort to them.

Lost Horizon is a prime example. The story quickly gets underway and the adventure starts immediately. The characters are strong with Conway and Barnard coming across as likeable, Miss Brinklow as a somewhat shrewish and repressed spinster and Mallinson as a frankly unlikeable neurotic.

The inhabitants of the Lamasery are as inscrutable as the people from that part of the world are reputed to be and the air of mystery remains throughout the book.

I saw the film many years ago and only recently decided to read the book. I found it impossible to put it down. Lost Horizon is perfectly paced, eminently readable and one of the most enjoyable books that I have picked up in a long time. While it is set in the 1930's and the use of language is reflected, I hope that should anyone ever attempt a remake of the film, that they'll make it a period piece and not attempt to bring it into the modern world. That would be a mistake.

In the meantime, watch the Ronald Coleman film and read the book. You won't regret either.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fill in the Unstated with Your Imagination!, 1 April 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
In the depths of the worldwide economic depression as the war drumbeats began in Germany, James Hilton wrote a quirky, imaginative book about the potential to escape the harsh reality. In so doing, he caused each reader since then to wonder what the right balance of tranquility and challenge really is. Like the best books about possible utopias, Lost Horizon leaves much to the reader's imagination. Undoubtedly, you will conjure up solutions to the riddles left open by the author that will be especially pleasing to you.
Although the book is clearly set in the 30's with a British perspective, many of the themes struck me as universal. As the book opens, there's an intriguing prologue that sets just the right tone for the story. You are to read a manuscript about the experiences of one Hugh "Glory" Conway, H.M. consul. The manuscript opens with airplane hijacking that seemed all too realistic. Quickly, the hijacking turns into a surprising adventure as the passengers unexpectedly arrive in a little known part of Tibet and are escorted to Shangri-La, a lamasery sitting atop a hidden valley of peace and tranquility. While there, they await an opportunity to arrange passage with the bearers who are bringing a shipment that is expected in 60 days. Conway, however, learns the secrets of Shangri-La and finds himself faced with an extraordinary set of choices.
To me, Shangri-La is a metaphor for the mental tranquility that many spiritual practices can bring. For anyone who has enjoyed these practices, you will know that it can be tempting to withdraw totally into them. To do so can be delicious, especially for the frazzled soul. At the same time, we are made of flesh, blood and boil with emotions that seek their venting through action. How can the two instincts be reconciled? You are left to come to your own conclusions, and that's one of the great beauties of this fine book.
The book has several weaknesses that will bother most readers. Except for Conway, the character development is minimal. The book is too conveniently filled with people in Tibet who speak perfect English. Morality is held a little bit too much in suspense for the book to be as spiritual as it had the potential to be. There's a heavy overlay of British Empire perspective that will seem remote to current readers as well.
The ideal reader for this book is someone who enjoyed Butler's Erewhon or H.G. Wells's The Time Machine.
I was left thinking that we each need our own personal Shangri-La today more than ever. May you find a way to carry it with you!
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It changed and shaped my life!, 24 May 1998
By A Customer
When I was a teenager, I went to see the movie Lost Horizon seven times. During my 73 years, I read the book many times. After I retired, I made four trips to that part of the world, and spent many months each time searching for that wonderful Shangri-La dream. If you have never read Hilton's classic, and you are a person with an optimistic spiritual outlook, then The Lost Horizon is a must for you. If you read it and want to believe it, then you should visit Burma and the temples of the ancient city of Pagon, and then spend time in the three kingdoms of the Himalayas: Nepal, Ladakh and Bhutan, in that order. You will be moved to tell others, or write about your spiritual experience. I was so moved, and wrote Evolution To Sainthood. May your days be filled with the magic of life! Sirrom (Edward Morris)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "And, most precious of all, you will have Time...", 7 Dec 2009
This review is from: Lost Horizon: The Classic Tale Of Shangri-La (Paperback)
The story of "Lost Horizon" is well-known: four Westerners are whisked away via a stolen plane to the mountains of Tibet, where they are trapped in the mysterious lamasery of Shangri-La. One of the party, Conway, gradually falls under the enchantment of this beautiful place where time seems to stand still.

The story is a pleasure to read - well-wrtten and thought-provoking. Although over 70 years old, the theme has relevance for today - perhaps even more so in the digital age than when it was first written. There is something prophetic about it. The nature of time and of human wisdom and learning is explored in Conway's conversations with the High Lama.

I can recommend "Lost Horizon" to anyone who yearns for a simpler and slower pace of life, where humanity is not enslaved to time. The 1937 film, while changing some of the characters, stays true to the theme at the heart of the story and is also well-worth seeing when you have time on your hands.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!, 3 Aug 2006
By 
Philip Parttom (Luxembourg, Europe) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lost Horizon: The Classic Tale Of Shangri-La (Paperback)
Lost Horizon, the story about the utopia of complete happiness, long life and peace.

The book tells the story of Robert Conway who finds after being "kidnapped" in the mountains of Tibet an escape of the modern busy and exhausting life. Shangri-La the little village in which he intends to stay until he can get back into civilisation seems to be completely isolated from the outside world. The village and it's lamasery hold many secrets which turn out to be more and more astonishing.

I couldn't stop reading, the book is just amazing. It's easily the best and most well written story I've every read. Even though it was written in the 30s, it is still modern. Timeless.

I recommend it everybody, you won't regret buying/reading it!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost Horizon, 2 Nov 2003
This review is from: Lost Horizon: The Classic Tale Of Shangri-La (Paperback)
This book is a real must read book.
It makes you think about your life and if all the hassles and stresses are really worthwhile - and what it would be like without them.
I'm now off to find my own place - July 2004 I'm going to live in Spain in the middle of nowhere - all thanks to this book!!
Read it!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good escapism, 13 April 1999
By A Customer
This is a nice fable. It could have been better if the characterisation of the High Lama had been deeper. I also feel that the ending was somewhat rushed.
It's still a nice work to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical tale., 2 Mar 2004
This review is from: Lost Horizon: The Classic Tale Of Shangri-La (Paperback)
I must agree with my fellow reviewer "ginambarlow". This is a must read. If you need to escape, or get taken away, for a while, head to Shangri-La.
This is a very cleverly written story, which asks more questions than it answers. It has the best up-in-the-air ending of any book I've read.
Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invigorating, 8 May 1999
By A Customer
Lost Horizon is a great novel. Hilton's grasp of imagery and diction really make this novel a fun one to read. Since reading this book, I read Shangri-La, a sequel to Lost Horizon by Eleanor Cooney. I must admit that I did not like that one at all-- and felt that Hilton's story was desecrated. In any case, I advise anyone with patience (the beginning of the book is not a cathcer) to read this book. A lot of philoshophy in this one...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lost Horizon, 20 Mar 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: LOST HORIZON (Hardcover)
I am happy to tell you why I purchased the book "Lost Horizon" I was watching a programme on TV one evening about a lady called Sue Jonhson,she is an actress on British TV.
She travelled to China and Tibet looking for Shangri-la.
She had been given the book "Lost Horizon" by a member of her family,when she was a child,she was facsinated by the story.

It is a figure of all our imaginations to find the impossible to find perfection in our lives,to find SHANGRI-LA

She had a lot of sadness and problems throughout her life,and decided to travel to China and Tibet to see if she could actually find her SHANGRI-LA.her peace of mind body and soul,she was in her sixties and didnt want to die without searching for the perfect peace.

She experienced life with the the Tibetan Monks and the poor people of China,before travelling by donkey high up in the Tibetan mountains to watch the sun shine on the top of a sacred mountain,which she did,and as the peak of the mountain shone throught the clouds,she reached her SHANGRI-LA.

I too have a troubled time of late and like everyone I would like to find peace of mind body and soul.

If you would Like to find the same read "LOST HORIZON.
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Lost Horizon: The Classic Tale Of Shangri-La
Lost Horizon: The Classic Tale Of Shangri-La by James Hilton (Paperback - 1 Mar 2005)
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