Lost in Shangri-La: The Epic True Story of a Plane Crash into the Stone Age

Mitchell Zuckoff. Harper, $26.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-198834-9
Zuckoff (Ponzi's Scheme) skillfully narrates the story of a plane crash and rescue mission in an uncharted region of New Guinea near the end of WWII. Of the 24 American soldiers who flew from their base on a sightseeing tour to a remote valley, only three survived the disaster, including one WAC. As the three waited for help, they faced death from untreated injuries and warlike local tribesmen who had never seen white people before and believed them to be dangerous spirits. Even after a company of paratroopers arrived, the survivors still faced a dangerous escape from the valley via "glider snatch." Zuckoff transforms impressive research into a deft narrative that brings the saga of the survivors to life. His access to journal accounts, letters, photos, military records, and interviews with the eyewitnesses allows for an almost hour-by-hour account of the crash and rescue, along with vivid portraits of his main subjects. Zuckoff also delves into the Stone Age culture of the New Guinea tribesmen and the often humorous misapprehensions the Americans and natives have about each other. In our contemporary world of eco-tourism and rain-forest destruction, Zuckoff's book gives a window on a more romantic, and naïve, era. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-00-741095-8
Paperback - 432 pages
Paperback - 545 pages - 978-0-06-206504-9
Ebook - 432 pages - 978-0-06-208714-0
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-0-00-738663-5
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-00-738662-8
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-06-209358-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-207280-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-91726-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-207282-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-5046-5320-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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