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July 6, 2011 / Leslie

Review: Lost in Shangri-LA

Lost In Shangri-LaLost in Shangri-La
by Mitchell Zuckoff
Read by Mitchell Zuckoff

Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Harper Audio
Publish Date: April 26, 2011
Format: Audible Audio Edition | 8 hours and 32 min.
Version: Unabridged
Rating: 4 of 5

On May 13, 1945, twenty four service men and women boarded an American transport plane ironically nick-named the Gremlin Special to go on a day trip sightseeing over a beautiful, tropical valley known as Shangri-La. This was supposed to be a fun filled day, a treat for a group of service people stationed at an army base in Dutch New Guinea. But poor visibility and clouds obscured the mountains as they arrived over the valley. The flight ended in tragedy as the plane crashed into a mountain side leaving only three survivors, two who were badly injured and burned. This is the true story of their survival and eventual rescue and the 46 days they spent in the jungle.

A little known incident in military history, this is an engaging account of endurance and perseverance. With access to military records, letters, journals, photos and interview with eyewitnesses, the author was able to piece together the events of those weeks into an exciting narrative which reads like an adventure story. Suspense builds as the survivors make their way through the jungle and encounter natives that may or may not be friendly while at the same time the Army is planning a dangerous rescue mission to get them safely back home.

I listed to the audiobook which was narrated by the author in a documentary-like style. While it was not presented in dramatic fashion, I found his reading pleasant and easy to listen to. This is a fascinating, well-researched true story that will capture your attention and keep you listening, or reading if you choose the book. The only downside to the audio vs the book is that you don’t get to see the photos, which in a real life story such as this one can enhance the understanding for the reader.
Source: I received a copy of the audiobook from HarperAudio for review.



Leave a Comment
  1. TheBookGirl / Jul 6 2011 9:04 am

    I was curious about this one. I’m glad to see that you enjoyed the audio, as sometimes an author narrating his or her own book can be a mistake.


  2. Man of la Book / Jul 6 2011 10:17 am

    I loved this book (my thoughts: The characterization of the people involved and their amazing story is what brought the book together for me.


  3. BermudaOnion / Jul 6 2011 12:21 pm

    I have this in print – it sounds like a book I’ll enjoy.


  4. Elizabeth / Jul 6 2011 2:17 pm

    I read the printed copy….it is wonderful.

    I have a review on my blog if you want to stop by.



  5. Anna (Diary of an Eccentric) / Jul 11 2011 9:08 am

    I love looking at photos when reading non-fiction, so I’ll definitely go for a print copy. I’ve been curious about this book since it’s been getting such good reviews. I’ve linked to your post on War Through the Generations.


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