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The Review Man

Formerly of Goodreads, now of both words, in the coming times only here?

Currently reading

Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature
Margaret Atwood
Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals
Robert M. Pirsig
Simulacra and Simulation (The Body, In Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism)
Jean Baudrillard, Sheila Faria Glaser
Leaven of Malice
Robertson Davies
The Salterton Trilogy
Robertson Davies
Effi Briest (Penguin Classics)
Theodor Fontane
Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World
Nicholas Ostler
Cases And Materials On The Law Of Torts
Robert M. Solomon
Public Law : Cases Materials and Commentary
Philip Bryden, Craik, Neil, Craig Forcese, Forcese, Craig
A Property Law Reader
Bruce H. Ziff
Lost in Shangri-la: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II - Mitchell Zuckoff If Lost in Shangri-La truly was the most incredible rescue mission of World War II, the 1940s must have been a pretty dull decade.

The advertised 'survival'? Three characters walking around in the jungle for six days. 'Adventure' turned out to be meeting the local natives, whom Zuckoff misleadingly hyped as savage cannibals.

Due to the lack of actual plot, Zuckoff is forced to devote dangerously large portions of the book's 384 pages to the relatives of every single major character. Consequently, you can skip every third paragraph of Lost in Shangri-La and not miss anything. Even if you choose not to skip sections, the book is over all too quickly. I'd pick it up when I had 15 minutes to spare and blaze through 50 pages at a time.

Nonetheless, Zuckoff deserves some praise. It was interesting to learn about the natives who had never seen a white man (much less a white woman), and the story itself is a feel-good affair that sheds a bit of light on the state of the American military in more peaceful areas of the Pacific. But Lost in Shangri-La really would have functioned better as a two-hour television special.

But despite my criticism, there's something about Lost in Shangri-La that makes it an enjoyable read (particularly the epilogue). The heroes of the novel are now very, very old (or have already passed away), and that's a sobering thought. How long will it be until World War II is nothing more than a faded memory?