A world unseen within the Himalayas, forged by the imagination of James Hilton in Lost Horizon (272 pages). This novel follows a band of foreigners who venture forth into a Himalayan monastery that seems immune to the disease of old age. Numerous residents are mentioned to be over one-hundred years also, specifically a young girl, who has retained her aesthetic beauty for over a decade. Longevity, beautiful vegetation, friendliness of the people all create the picturesque monastery of Shangri-La. In the midst of worldly conflicts back when the book was published in 1933, Shangri-La is the ultimate safe haven from worldly affairs. Lost Horizon focuses on four characters journey through the monastery. Their thoughts upon the monastery, past-life, and decisions to stay or return to the familiar world are all put to the test in Lost Horizon.
Fellow utopian readers will find solace in the mythical realm of Shangri-La. It offers a perspective into what the clarity of mind really is: a world high above the clouds, free from mortal quarrels and anxieties. Beauty exists in many forms in this monastery: longevity of youth, freedom from global conflicts, and the picturesque scenery. Each of the four foreigners introduced into the monastery represent a handful of any random candidates: a petty crook, a man convinced to stay in the monastery, a reserved elderly woman, and a man trying to escape back home.
James Hilton’s novel influenced the mythical realm of Shangri-La in Far Cry 4, and the city of Zhongdian was officially renamed to Shangri-La in 2001 after being influenced by Hilton’s novel. In the novel there are several incidents where some of the foreigners attempt to escape, but their attempts are often futile, for this monastery is high within the Himalayas and supplies from the outside world are dropped off rarely every other month. Discover the fate of the foreigners and the depth of imagination that Hilton delves into in order to captivate a place that is liberated from human suffering.