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Lost in Shangri-la

A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II

Zuckoff, Mitchell

Book - 2011
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Lost in Shangri-la
Describes the 1945 odyssey of three plane crash survivors in New Guinea who endured a harrowing journey through the jungle to seek help, their encounter with a primitive tribe who had never seen white people, and their eventual rescue by a band of paratroopers.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0061988340
Branch Call Number: 940.548 Z94L
D767.95 .Z84 2011
Characteristics: xii, 384 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


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Dec 17, 2014
  • mackiecat rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I couldn't put it down! Very well told account of a rescue in WWII on the island of New Guinea.

Oct 30, 2014
  • TeenLibrarianBookReviews rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff
Read by: Anna/Copley Teen Room
Originally posted to the BPL Teen Blog on 8/22/2012.

This is the story of a sight-seeing army plane that was taking several soldiers and Women in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) over a newly discovered vally in Dutch New Guinea in May of 1945 near the end of World War II. This was uncharted territory, and very hard to fly through because of sharp winds, lots of clouds, and very high mountains that appeared out of nowhere like monsters. The plane crashed, essentially in the middle of nowhere, and only three people survived. But life was not easy for them. They were undercover of a dense forest, where no search plane could see them, and two of the survivors were severely wounded, most of their skin burned off and disease setting in. They were forced to hike to a clearing, and to face the natives, whom it was thought at the time, were cannibals. No one in the Army knew how to get them out of their location. Planes couldn’t fly in, and a hike would be roughly 150 miles of dangerous terrain that no one had ever hiked through before. This book chronicles the plight of the three survivors, two men and one woman, along with those who risked their lives to get them out. It is also the story of how the natives came to meet the outside world for the first time. These people didn’t know what a radio was. They didn’t even know what a wheel was. They had their own way of life, and had been living it for thousands of years before a plane crash changed everything for them.

What an experience. I can’t imagine what this must have been like for those who survived the crash and for those natives who believed these white people who fell from the sky were spirits. But though Zuckoff’s book, I was able to get a glimpse of things, to see how they surivived, and to see the amazing rescue effort that almost didn’t happen on many occassions. This was a fantastic read and one I would highly recommend to anyone interested in flying or surviving in the jungle. Once I got into this book, I couldn’t put it down!

Jan 02, 2014
  • InvernessS rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Read this e book & enjoyed the details; it wasn't a page turner like Vanished, but appreciate the dedication & service.

Aug 25, 2013
  • Jessi52 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

As a history buff, this book had me from the beginning. Wonderful, well written story of an actual event in WWII history. Started reading 3 hours ago, I'm over a third thought it. It will be a late night reading.

Jun 08, 2013
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Towards the end of the Second World War the thrill of a sightseeing trip over the jungles of Dutch New Guinea turns into an incredible story of survival. How to rescue the 24 American servicemen and women who crashed in a remote area surrounded by enemy Japanese troops and headhunting native tribes that have never seen a white person. Taken from interviews, army documents, personal photos, diaries, rescuers’ journals and original film footage, this book tells the amazing rescue story of these brave people.

Dec 17, 2012
  • Brian_Shaw rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Wonderfuly written story providing great detail and a first-hand account of this incredible event. My one suggestion would've been to hold some of the pictures in the story, because they gave away some of what was going to happen.

Highly recommend you read this book.

Dec 17, 2012

Meryl's recommendation

Sep 02, 2012
  • KatSu rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed this a lot, there was a lot of interesting information, but it was well written and only slowed down in a couple spots, all in all it was a very good read

Aug 12, 2012
  • gardooney rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Quite riveting. Enjoyed it. If your a WWII or history buff lots of interesting info.

Jul 30, 2012
  • randalljay rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Very interesting. However, I could not not connect the photos - where everyone looked pretty healthy - to the descriptions in the story - where they were in dire straights.

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Oct 30, 2014
  • TeenLibrarianBookReviews rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

TeenLibrarianBookReviews thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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