Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Lost in Shangri-La
by Mitchell Zuckoff
New York : HarperCollins, 2011.
A plane crash in New Guinea during World War 2 leaves a few survivors in a remote valley nicknamed "Shangri-La." The natives, rumored to be cannibals, have been isolated from the modern world and may have never seen a white person before. Meanwhile, back on the base in Hollandia, military personnel have a hard task before them in figuring out how to rescue the injured survivors.
Journalist Mitchell Zuckoff brings together interviews, one of the survivor's shorthand diary, military documents, photographs, and more to tell the story of the survivors and the native people involved in this fascinating tale of survival and rescue. He incorporates detail without sacrificing the pace of the narrative, and clearly made the effort to include the natives' perspectives of the events: he isn't writing from an anthropological perspective, but he strikes me as presenting a balanced view.
This was my second time reading it, and it was just as interesting to read as it was the first time.