35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
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.