Joy (cithra) wrote,

I just finished reading James Hilton's Lost Horizon. It's one of my mom's favorite books, there was a copy kicking around the house for years when I was growing up, but somehow it never ended up being one of the things I read in any meaningful way. So between this and that she lent me a copy yesterday, and I read it last night.

It's interesting, and problematic, and quite definitely a product of its times (1933), probably more even than is initially apparent. It's the story of Shangri-La, a remote Tibetan monastery, and a number of foreigners who have encountered it over the years.

It isn't that it wasn't what I was expecting; the outlines of the story, after all, have sort of settled into the cultural consciousness. But I'm still considering why things unfolded the way they did. Also, it's offhandedly sexist in the way of its time, which I find frustrating for its own sake as well as for how it seems to obscure (to me at least) what is supposed to be going on.

I enjoyed reading it, and wouldn't mind doing so again - I think I've found the book to recommend for the Espresso Ulysses reading group.

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