Lost in Shangri-La

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 June, 2011, 12:00am

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Lost in Shangri-La
by Mitchell Zuckoff
HarperCollins e-books (e-book)

No wonder Mitchell Zuckoff couldn't forget the 1945 plane-crash story he stumbled on while doing research on something else. After reading his account, Lost in Shangri-La, readers too will find it hard to put the tale out of their minds, packed as it is with all the ingredients for adventure: a beautiful corporal, Margaret Hastings, Lieutenant John McCollom and Tech-Sergeant Kenneth Decker are the only survivors of a sightseeing joyride in New Guinea. The crash, in what's now known as the Baliem Valley, kills 21 passengers. Hastings and Decker, suffering burns that turn gangrenous and surviving on sweets, follow McCollom to a clearing where they are spotted by searchers. Because there is nowhere to land the plane, the three must wait for its return, during which time they encounter tribesmen who believe them to be spirits from the sky. The story continues with the rescue mission as Filipino medics parachute in with supplies. Zuckoff's well-written book will surely be adapted to film.

Extras: none