Hilton, James. Lost Horizon. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1939. I read Lost Horizon for my book report. The main characters in this story are Conway, Mallinson, Barnard, and Miss Brinklow. Conway was a man of thirty-seven years old who didn't have a wife or any other family.
Mallinson was a young man of about twenty or so who was not married yet either. Barnard was a middle-aged man that was without a wife or family also. Miss Brinklow was a woman of around the age of fifty. This story was about four passengers on an aeroplane that was supposed to be going to Peshawar from Bask ul. While they were on the trip, they noticed that the pilot wasn't keeping a straight course to Peshawar, so they went to the front to ask the pilot what was happening and they noticed that it wasn't the pilot who was supposed to be flying the aeroplane. When they tried to ask the pilot what was going on, he pointed a gun on them, so all they could do was ride the plane until he stopped.
They finally came to a land after they had flown many hours. The pilot was dying and in his last words he told them that there was a place not far from where they were and that they could go there. Not long on their journey they met some people who were from this place, which is called Shangri-La, and these people led them there. When they got there, they were told that it would be about two months before there was a way for them to make the journey back to civilization.
In these two months Conway and Chang, who was a guy that made their stay comfortable, talked a lot. In these talks Conway would ask many questions that Chang could not answer and this got Conway puzzled and made him think that there was something that was being hidden. Almost after these two months were up Chang told Conway that the High Lama wanted to see him and that this was an honor because he had never seen anyone that quickly after arriving there. When Conway was talking with the High Lama, he told him the story of the place and about the person who founded it. He also told him about the legend that this guy had never died and that when someone came to this place that there was a drug that they took that made them live longer than a normal person would. He told him that when a person was brought to this place that they could never leave again.
They kept talking after Conway was told this and the High Lama liked Conway because he took this news better that anyone had ever taken it before. Then after many visits with the High Lama, the High Lama told Conway that he was going to die soon and someone had to take over his place and that it was going to be him. When Conway heard this he was wondering how he was going to do this, but the High Lama said that it would be easy for him to do. Then the High Lama died and left Conway puzzled.
Conway then was going back to his room when Mallinson got him and told him that the people were there to escort them back to civilization. When Mallinson told Conway this he said that they couldn't leave this place and he told him the story the High Lama told him and tried to convince him to stay. Mallinson thought Conway had gone crazy when he heard what he had to say and then after a long discussion convinced Conway to leave the place and go with him. My opinion was this book was that it was ok. I really couldn't get into it like I did The Outsiders. At times in this book I could really get into it, but then at others I was bored.
I really didn't understand why Conway decided to leave with Mallinson at the end. I thought it would have been better if he would have convinced Mallinson like the High Lama had convinced him. Then make the ending be something like Conway stayed at Shangri-La and ruling over it. Terri Marks.