Lost Horizon, written by James Hilton
in 1933, was the first paperback
ever published. Lost Horizon is the quiet, elegantly narrate
d story of four Westerners
kidnapped and brought to a mystical
Himilayan paradise they cannot understand or appreciate.
As the story opens, the four dissimilar individuals are kidnapped by plane during an evacuation of Peshawar's white citizens. Their plane crashes in the mountains of Tibet, their kidnapper/pilot dies, and the four are inexplicably met by a group that escorts them up Mount Karakal and to the lamasery.
Then things get weird.
The quartet lives in perfect, serene luxury. Their assigned mentor, Chang, sees that all of their needs are met. They meet one of Chopin's ex-students, a captivating Chinese princess, and the eerie and fascinating High Lama.
But are our heros satisfied?
My copy of Lost Horizon found me on my last day of 11th grade. The last student to leave the classroom, I was summoned back by my teacher.
"You forgot your book, Jennifer."
"But it's not..."
I bit my lip, grabbed the battered paperback, and said goodbye. The book soon disappeared, and I forgot about it. Three years later, it mysteriously reappeared and immediately became my favorite book. The story is told simply and elegantly, and the tension is built very carefully. No matter how many times I've read it, I still find it difficult to put down late at night.