Lost in Shangri-La LP: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II (Paperback)
Indie Next ListMay 2011
May 13, 1945. Twenty-four U.S. soldiers stationed in Dutch New Guinea pack into a C-47 for a sightseeing trip over a lush, mysterious, newly discovered valley. Unable to navigate the dense tropical clouds and steep mountain faces, the pilot crashes the plane deep in uncharted jungle. Only three injured passengers, including a WAC, survive. How they attempt to save themselves while caught between Japanese troops and hostile headhunters, what happens when they encounter a Stone Age tribe that had never seen white men or women, and how they are finally rescued is at the heart of this amazing true story. -- Lisa Howorth, Square Books, Oxford, MS
In 1945, twenty-four American servicemen and women boarded a plane to see Shangri-La, a beautiful valley deep within Dutch New Guinea. But when the plane crashed, only three pulled through to battle for survival.
Emotionally devastated and badly injured, the trio faced certain death. Caught between spear-carrying tribesmen and enemy Japanese, they trekked down the jungle-covered mountainside and straight into superstitious natives rumored to be cannibals.
Drawn from interviews, Army documents, photos, diaries, and original film footage, Lost in Shangri-La recounts this true-life adventure for the first time. Mitchell Zuckoff reveals how the trio traversed the jungle; how brave Filipino-American paratroopers risked their lives to save the survivors; how a native leader protected the Americans; and how a cowboy colonel attempted an untried rescue mission to get them out.
A riveting work of nonfiction that brings to life an odyssey at times terrifying, enlightening, and comic, Lost in Shangri-La is a thrill ride from beginning to end.
About the Author
Mitchell Zuckoff's honors include the 2000 Distinguished Writing Award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors. His book Choosing Naia: A Family's Journey was a Boston Globe bestseller and won the Christopher Award.
Praise for Lost in Shangri-La LP: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II…
“A truly incredible adventure.”
-New York Times Book Review
“[A] gripplingly cinematic account. . . . A remarkable cast of characters. . . . A.”
“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.”
“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