Captivating readers : Middlebrow aesthetics and James Hilton's lost horizon

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-243
Journal / PublicationCEA Critic
Issue number2
Online published21 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


A bestseller during its day, Lost Horizon became the first-ever mass-market paperback and has never been out of print since its initial release…. Further demonstrating the novel’s enduring influence and appeal, Lost Horizon has inspired several sequel novels, a musical, radio adaptations, and the namesake for the Shangri-La Hotel chain. Indeed, the word Shangri-la itself was coined by Hilton and has found a place in the OED. Although not all these appropriations are necessarily to be lauded, it is clear that Lost Horizon has maintained a prominence in popular culture that is difficult to reduce or explain away in terms of mere entertainment value.

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