Friday, October 26, 2007


Looking for imput.

My Delayed Post

I finished the book... finally. (not to whine but life has been CRAZY)

I like the idea of time, but not of moderation, especailly moderation of moral standards.

I would think a few monk scouts could find people enough to fill Shangri-la, and that they would have to resort to kidnapping and murder ( Chang implied it, for resistant ones)

I am glad Mallison escaped with the little manchu, and hope they were happy, and that he perished before he saw her age and his dreams go up in smoke...

I hope Conway found his way back, as he had a clear understanding of what he was after, i like to think after helping Mallison escape, he won't force people to stay in th future.

I wonder if Rutherford and Green, were intersted in an old friend and a good story, or in finding Shangri-La themselves.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My Recommendation...

is that perhaps Shyla should not treat people like they don't have feelings. Shy, just because you don't have feelings doesn't mean that other people don't. I want you to know that I feel hurt that you would try to ruin my good name with the Freestone's. I finally understand why Tecia doesn't like me and why Debs thinks I am a complete idiot.

In my defense I want to let everyone know that the only reason I don't like the book club is because for me it takes the enjoyment out of reading. Shyla says that I need to consider the fact that if I thought more about the author's intentions as well as the characters that it would enhance my reading experience. I am not sure that is how it is going to work for me but I will give the next book a chance.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Cylynn vs. Hilton

Since Cylynn has failed to contribute to the book club with a recent post, I have taken the following out of an email she sent me to use as her final post on this book:

"Lost Horizon has been out of my hands for at least 1 1/2 weeks now. I finsihed the book and got rid of it. I don't have any comments to make. It was an okay book and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone nor would I read it again so I have nothing to say besides that. I do agree with Tegan that the reason they were taken to Shangri-blah was because the people were trying to increase the population. I just think that the author could have thought of some better crap besides that. I mean hell even I could have thought of something."

Next Book

Well I am happy you all are already anticipating the next book. We are taking suggestions--so if you have any, just name them in a comment to this post. I can tell you that Karen is already pushing hard for "Northanger Abbey" though. Also, I feel constrained, but reluctant, to report that Cylynn is dropping out of the book club. She said being in the book club was like experiencing hell. However, I am hoping that soon she will be able to successfully complete a literacy program and then maybe she would like it a lot better (I'm not sure there is a lot of reading going on in Rock Springs, WY, you know what I mean?).

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Mallison-Gotta love him!

Thank goodness for the healthy dose of reality that Mallison brought to Conway!! Whew, that was a close one. Conway was almost stuck in Shangri-La forever!! I must admit that I was glad that Conway was happy and tranquil. But I am even more happy that he left. The place just kept getting worse (worse being more and more moderate). I like it when Mallison's answer to Barnard is "Possibly,if you happen to like prison." When I read that it struck me that that is exactly what Shangri-La is, a prison. I too am interested in all the details. I enjoyed the journey but I am glad it is over. I hope Conway is happy wherever he is and I feel that he harbors no regrets except the loss of Lo-Tsen. I feel as Mallison does that the whole place is evil. Too many drugs and too much open mindness. They are so open minded that they can't make any decisions or opinions about anything. Thanks for the good read Shyla, what is the next book?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Mad, then Sane OR Sane, then Mad?

I have to admit that upon initially finishing the book, I felt let down. There is an intense build up, the High Lama dies, things come to a head with Mallinson, and then . . . nothing. We are abruptly left with incomplete knowledge, even more questions, and no way of getting them answered. Is Mallinson right, is he even alive, if he is not right does he ever discover he is wrong, is Conway sane, even if he can go back to Shangri-La can he still be the leader, does he make it back to Shangri-La, and what the hell is the deal with Lo-Tsen?

But now I have given it some thought and concluded that it is all beautifully a part of Hilton’s genius writing. At the end of the book, I was left feeling how Conway must have felt climbing the mountain with Mallinson and pondering all his unanswered questions. Was he a fool to blindly believe the High Lama on his word alone? Is the hot-headed, close-minded, self-important, antagonistic Mallinson the only one who managed to retain his sanity in the midst of a confusing, but enchanting place? Early in the book, Conway contemplates over the “will of God or the lunacy of man” or alternatively “the will of man and the lunacy of God.” Ch. 2. He observes that “[i]t must be satisfying to be quite certain which way to look at it.” Ch. 2. Perhaps Conway’s problem is that he is too philosophical and broad-minded. He can always see both sides so clearly, he is never quite certain which is “right.” His even bigger problem is that he is never certain which way to look at things—that would drive anyone crazy. When the High Lama dies and his story is challenged by Mallinson, suddenly Conway isn’t sure whether Mallinson is sane and the High Lama is a crazy, manipulative liar, or whether Mallinson is merely close-minded and a slave to tangible objects of proof and Conway is just a believer of something he never had any reason to doubt. Thus, Conway was a “wanderer between two worlds and must ever wander. . . .” Ch. 11.

What should Conway believe? Has he been so disillusioned by war and the political world that he cannot accept something too good to be true or has his disillusionment left him in the border-line sanity position of being too willing to accept what is impossibly too good to be true? I love it!

I am convinced that both Rutherford and the doctor believe the whole story. Of course, they try to act like they maintain a reasonable amount of doubt but they don’t have me fooled for a minute. They believe it because “certum est, quia impossible”—“it is certain, because it is impossible.” As well as because they are romantics and consumed by the beauty of the story. However, that is not why Conway became a believer. He became a believer for the opposite reason—because he saw it was possible. The valley opened up to him a world of possibilities he had never considered and was a place where he could feel himself changing and where he could focus on more dormant aspects of his personality, talents, and dreams. Like most beliefs that require faith, there is no reasoned answer to the questions put forth by Mallinson. Conway believed it because he believed it and Mallinson, who had nothing in actual contradiction to Conway’s assertions, didn’t believe it because he didn’t believe it. That is all there is to it—“the truth is when it comes to believing things without actual evidence, we all incline to what we find most attractive.” Ch. 11.

As my comment to Tecia’s post indicates, I believe that we are supposed to believe the entire story is true (although I have a nagging question left by Chang’s assertion that Mallinson would be able to talk to the porters when he was never able to), but I would have liked confirmation and more details recounting what happened from the “escape” and on. Nonetheless, once I put aside that disappointment, I realize the more interesting part of the story and a proper place for focus is whether Conway was sane or mad, and which, when. I hope that Conway was able to achieve that which he lacked most—the ability to be certain which way to look at things. If he achieves that, the rest doesn’t matter. He can love and live in Shangri-La because he is certain it contains everything the High Lama claimed, or he can love and live in Shangri-La because while he is certain it is not a “magical” place, he is certain it is a place where he feels fulfilled, happiest, and at peace.


I did like Shangri-la and I also thought, like Shyla, that living for a really long time and not forever was a good idea. But what is their life like? The high lama hardly talked to anyone. It was too much effort. Although, he talked to Conway alot. It just doesn't seem worth it. So I am kind of like Tegan. It's a long life with lots of learning, but what good is that learning if you can't really do anything good with it? It really is rather selfish. Why not just make better use of your normal mortal time and learn than waste it smoking cigars. And like Shyla, that company does seem a little lacking in entertainment.

I enjoyed Conway's character. And I thought they summed up his personality in the end well and why he was the way he was. Sorry I don't have anything more clever to say or quote like Tegan did, Shyla, but I was just reading. The one part I wanted to quote and comment on Eddie lost my spot too when he read it and I never marked it properly.

I think Miss Brinklow is weird. She wants to change the place and that is not possible, crazy woman. And the other guy, the theif type, deserves to be there forever and remember the things he did.

I finally did buy some highliters on sale so I will try and mark my next book better so I can make intelligent comments and points.

Poor Mallison, but he won in the end, although not really because he lost the girl, which no one has commented on. That was all rather weird. She must have known she would age and die when she left, so why did she? Did she really like Mallison that much?

In short, I liked the book, but I thought the ending was too sophisticated for me. I didn't get it. Eddie had to tell me that they were all looking for Shangri-la now. Crazy. I too want to know the next book.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hilton-a great read

A read this book as a hardback edition that Karen Anne got me for my birthday so I didn't write in it. But through page 82 I had sticky notes galore. Alas, I got behind in my reading and my posting so after srf left I began to read again feverishly. Shangri-Blah!? Cy-I will beat you the next time I see you. Hilton is a great read. He is philosophical and writes with a beauty that merits quoting. The contrast of Shangri-La and the world, of the Manchu and Miss Brinklow, of Mallinson and the passionless Conway, of the panic brought on by the combination of the elements and control and then insuing and dominating tranquility--just for the taking. It was a great journey. And even though the divide was only "moderately well watched" (Chapter 11)it was only an escape to those leaving. So I ask you, at the beginning of the book, when Conway eluded Rutherford, why was he in such an earnest hurry and to go where? A quote that I have had in my quote book for many years: "Somewhere south of Oz and north of Shangri-La". Peace, time, satisfaction, contentment. Shangri-La was a good trip. So what is the next book?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Learning is Good and All, but . . .

Unlike Tegan, I am not concerned with the selfishness of the Shangri-La people. They are just trying to protect themselves. I will say however, that I wish they could come up with a better screening system. I mean, kidnap if you must, but can't you avoid kidnapping people like Mallinson? Talk about dead weight. And couldn't you have tried to get a few more people on the plane? Also, Miss Brinklow is nice and all, but if repopulating is your goal, she just doesn't seem much like a likely candidate.

I have always been attracted to monasteries as places of great focus on increasing knowledge and isolation from unimportant things in the world. But I only picture people being in monasteries for 30 years or so. This Shangri-La thing is serious. You could be there for centuries. And as cool as it seems, I would be a little worried about getting bored. I mean read, converse, look at art, and learn music, but at the end of the day you still want to be able to laugh at funny jokes and gossip about dumb or annoying people. Where is the entertainment? So far everyone is nice and impressive to talk to, but where are the funny, witty people? I wouldn't want to live 200 years with just Chang for a best friend.

But I will say I am very happy that Shangri-La only slows time. I was thinking people lived forever there. That would have been dumb. The delayed death is a smart move by Hilton. No one really wants to live forever so Shangri-La could not have been the ideal place. But to live some extra time, quite comfortably, and most of the time looking and feeling a significantly younger age is a good deal. Maybe our next book club book should be one on yoga techniques.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


I can't believe it. The "mystery" is that they need people to populate Shangri-La, and so they just decieded to kidnap them!! The High Lama (perrault) gave his blessing to Talu and he went and kidnapped some people. Nice. Then, the High Lama tries to explain to Conway why he should be happy to be there forever. Basically the best reason to stay is so you can read, learn music, enjoy the beauty of Shangri-La, and live out your days (and rather a lot of days apparently) in lovely peace and solitude. Hello, does that not seem selfish to anyone else? They are willing to let the world destroy itself and they are hoping to live through that, then "the Christian ethic may at last be fulfilled, and the meek shall inherit the earth." p159. Who do they think they are? Why are they so special that they don't have to pass through sorrow and trials and in the end be rewarded with peace and happiness AFTER they have proven themselves worthy? They are so selfish as to isolate themselves from the world and not care about anyone that doesn't happen to "drop in." Mallison is not going to like this at all! I don't know if I am liking this book so much.