A strange tale is retold in a restaurant amongst three gentlemen in a foreign city of a missing companion, lost then found and then lost again. This is the beginning of James Hilton's classic Lost Horizon. Conway, Malinson, Barnard, and Ms. Brinklow are four passengers catching a flight out of Baskul as the political and military situation there deteriorates. The plane is being flown by a pilot who appears to be in a trance and taking them drastically off course.
A forced landing on a Himilayan mountain top kills the pilot and ruins the plane. The four survivors are rescued and brought to a strange, almost magical, mountain monastery and village. The setting is lush and green despite the altitude. The people placid and friendly, but mysteriously quiet about the prospects for returning to civilization, so remote is the village.
The story is a spiritual journey for those who see what it is they have stumbled upon, Shangri-La: paradise on Earth. Conway is given an audience with the High Lama but remains quiet as to what is going on. People age years instead of decades, there is no crime or war or hunger.
Despite his knowledge Conway leaves with Malinson in an attempt to reach India on foot. They are deceived and the journey is a tragic one. Conway managed to reach civilization and then is desperate to leave to make his return back to Shangri-La, to accept his position as successor to the deceased High Lama.
Hilton's book has aged well in the 70+ years since it's publication. It was the first book ever published in paperback. A true classic modern adventure made into a movie with Ronald Colman and Jane Wyatt.
This report prepared by David Fletcher