Lost Horizon

  • by James Hilton
  • Narrated by Michael de Morgan
  • 8 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Celebrating the 70th anniversary of this magical and well-loved classic. Following a plane crash, Conway, a British consul; his deputy; a missionary; and an American financier find themselves in the enigmatic snow-capped mountains of uncharted Tibet. Here they discover a seemingly perfect hidden community where they are welcomed with gracious hospitality. Intrigued by its mystery, the travelers set about discovering the secret hidden at the shimmering heart of Shangri-La.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Love this story, performance not so much

How did the narrator detract from the book?

This seems to have been recorded when audiobooks were geared toward "reading for the blind"...before audiobooks became more mainstream. I think as audiobooks became more mainstream, standards became higher and narrators are now asked to act/perform, and producers and/or directors are involved to audit quality. This narrator has a fantastic and fitting voice but doesn't seem to act out the story. There are awkward pauses, the characters don't really come to life, and there is background noise. This is one of my all time favorite stories so I still enjoyed it. If I were not already in love with it, however, I don't believe this audiobook would have captured my attention enough and I'd have dismissed it. I would love to hear a re-record of Lost Horizon.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

In a heartbeat.

Any additional comments?

Please re-record this book.

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- Jennifer Knight

Amazingly wonderful, a new favorite!

I knew about this book but had never read it, and I haven't seen the movie. I knew it involved a mystical place called Shangri-La, but that was it. I listened to the audible version, and enjoyed it very much. It's set post-WWI, an era I am drawn to, mostly because my grandfather served with the army in France. I wish I knew more about his experience, but he would never talk about it, even to my father.

Lost Horizon features an interesting narrative structure in that the story is mostly told third hand by a neurologist who hears the story from a novelist (Rutherford) who got the story from the main character, Hugh "Glory" Conway. Rutherford discovers Conway (whose remarkable personal, academic, and athletic qualities create an indelible impression on everyone he meets) in a mission hospital in China. Conway originally is suffering from amnesia, but when he regains his memories, he tells his story to Rutherford, who writes it down and gives it to the narrator. Then Conway disappears. The novel's epilogue leaves an interesting question in the mind of the reader, and I have my own preferred "answer."

When Conway and three companions are being evacuated from India during a revolution, their plane is hijacked and crashes in the mountains to the west of Tibet. The pilot dies, but the party is rescued and escorted to a lamasery, Shangri-La. I don't want to give away more of the plot, because it is so wonderful to discover it for the first time. I think I might have wanted to stay in Shangri-La, were I given the chance. I just love the philosophy of the monks: moderation. Nothing is particularly right or wrong, so there's little need for a crime-punishment mentality, which really bothers two of the kidnapped hostages. In my opinion, the treatment of time at the lamasery is the most fascinating aspect of Hilton's imagination -- especially in contrast with the experiences of people who survived WWI, escaped from a violent revolution, and lived through a plane crash -- and is the most remarkable feature of this novel.

The reader of the audible book is fine, but it's not really a "performance" narration. It suited me, even though I did not like the voice given to Miss Brinklow -- one of the kidnapped evacuees. Other voices were subtly distinct and not distracting.

I'm currently reading Hilton's book, Random Harvest, and am enjoying the similarities in the themes and characterizations. I especially like the material regarding the impact of WWI on the individuals who fought in the trenches and the way society dealt with the returning veterans.
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- Julie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-20-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios