Sunday, August 7, 2011

Current Reading

Presently, I'm working through two bedtime books: Soldiers Sahib, which I told you about before but publishing and other business got me sidetracked from for a while, and James Hilton's Lost Horizon.

Perhaps you've seen the film starring Ronald Coleman, or the misfire in the 1970s starring Peter Finch. Actually the 70s version has some good elements, like Charles Boyer playing the mysterious grand puba of Shangri-La and Peter Finch as Conway. But the original version is the better one.

Lost Horizon has a great plot for any classic adventure fan, even with the lofty idealism that is its purpose: A man seeking a better world ends up on a hijacked plane that crashes in the Himalayas and the survivors are rescued by mysterious local natives who lead them to a paradise hidden from the world.

Haggard or Burroughs could have written such a story. Of course, there aren't prehistoric beasts for Conway to battle, unless you consider the 'beasts' of inner human struggle, blah blah blah. I've just reached the point in the story where Conway is on the plane, it has been hijacked and they've taken off again, flying perilously high in the misty mountain range...

Lost Horizon hasn't been adapted to film since the 1970s version (a musical, actually) and is overdue, I think. Naturally, Hollywood would insist on 'rebooting' and updating the story to make it more 'relevant', i.e. infecting the tale with youth and angst. But it would be best told in its original setting, the early 1930s, with grownups as written by Hilton. I think most reboots should earn the producers and directors who do them a boot in the ass...

I'm enjoying the book!

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