Lost Horizon

This story is a book of fiction that has formed the basis of the stories of the mythical Shangri-La in the Himalayan mountains. Author James Hilton allows us to follow the British diplomat Conway as he meets the hidden valley and its inhabitants. We travel into the mystique of the East and its clashes with Western culture. At times, Hilton skilfully manages to capture the layers of complexity and contradictions of society and people. For example, when Conway is attributed to qualities, which the outside world assumes, while his inner motives are based on completely different causes. This is illustrated, among other things, by Hilton’s description of Conway’s supposedly racist attitude as a British upper class, with the words “Conway had no race or colour prejudice, and it was an affection for him to pretend, as he sometimes did in clubs and first-class railway carriages, that he set any particular store on the ‘whiteness’ of a lobster-red face under a topee. It saved trouble to let it be so assumed, especially in India, and Conway was a conscientious trouble saver.”

The book is exciting, philosophically thoughtful and ends in good style with a cliffhanger.

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Detta lilla alster är en läsvärd skönlitterär bok som legat till grund för historierna om det mytomspunna Shangri-La i Himalayas berg. Författaren James Hilton låter oss följa den brittiska diplomaten Conway när han möter den dolda dalen och dess invånare. Vi färdas in i österns mystik och dess krockar med västerländsk kultur. Bitvis lyckas Hilton skickligt fånga samhällets och människors lager av komplexitet och motstridigheter. Till exempel då Conway tillskrivs egenskaper, som yttervärlden förutsätter, samtidigt som hans inre drivkrafter grundar sig i helt andra orsaker. Det illustreras bland annat genom Hiltons beskrivning av Conways förutsatt rasistiska inställning som brittisk överklass, med orden “Conway had no race or colour prejudice, and it was an affection for him to pretend, as he sometimes did in clubs and first-class railway carriages, that he set any particular store on the ‘whiteness’ of a lobster-red face under a topee. It saved trouble to let it be so assumed, especially in India, and Conway was a conscientious trouble saver.”

Boken är spännande, filosofiskt tänkvärd och avslutas i god stil med en cliffhanger.

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