Date: September 15, 2011
I chose ‘Lost in Shangri-La’ because my brother is stationed in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea. I was hoping for insights about the first contact with the native people who wear penis gourds. However, the book was light on anthropology and history, although we did gain a new perspective on how world-wide WWII really was.
The story is about a crash of a U.S. Army plane in New Guinea’s Baliem Valley which, at the time was uncharted. But the valley was inhabited by 100,000 natives untouched by modernity. Nineteen passengers and crew were killed but somehow three survived: a lieutenant whose twin brother died in the crash, a sergeant who suffered terrible head wounds, and a beautiful member of the Women’s Army Corps.
Clearly a well-researched book, including first hand accounts from the survivors themselves, Mitchell Zuckoff writes a easy-to-read adventure of three individuals lost on uncharted soil and the relationships they built not only with each other, but also with a lost civilization.
Margaret Hastings, the Women’s Army Corps Sargeant:
12 minute film by Alexander Cann, the rogue filmmaker who’d left Hollywood after being exposed as a jewel-thief: