Hilton’s Lost Horizon dead loss to literature

Lost Horizon‘s only contribution to literature was make Shangri-La synonymous with paradise on earth, thereby providing a name for raunchy bars. James Hilton’s novel is just plain stupid. Lost Horizon by James Hilton William Morrow, 1934. 277 pages. 1935 bestseller # 8. My grade C-. Hilton presents Lost Horizon as a second-hand tale, a device […]

My picks of 1945 bestsellers have a political bent

My nominees for the three best of the best-selling 1945 novels are So Well Remembered by James Hilton, A Lion Is in the Streets by Adria Locke Langley, and Earth and High Heaven by Gwethalyn Graham. If nobody’s counting, I’ll add James Ramsey Ullman’s The White Tower to the list, not because it’s such a […]

So Well Remembered is a forgotten gem

I don’t often find a book that I want to buy for my own collection, but I found one in So Well Remembered. It’s a novel that bears re-reading. So Well Remembered by James Hilton Little, Brown 1945. 328 pages. 1945 bestseller # 7. My Grade: A. On Sept. 1, 1921 as the Great War […]

Three Exemplary Fathers in Fiction

Good fathers are too dull for novels. At least that’s the impression the scarcity of exemplary fathers in bestselling fiction gives. I turned up just three interesting men in the bestselling pre-1970 fiction who have a demonstrable, positive impact on their own children. Atticus Finch Of the three, lawyer Atticus Finch in To Kill a […]

My Picks of 1953 Novels Celebrate Heroism of Unheroic Men

Whopping big books with important messages dominate the 1953 bestseller list. Not one of those hefty novels is one  I’d dig out to read a second time. The novels with the most entertainment per pound are among the thinnest of the 1953 novels: Beyond This Place by A. J. Cronin and Time and Time Again […]

Nothing routine about Time and Time Again

Time and Time Again is primarily character study, but a superbly plotted one, and James Hilton’s totally unpredictable ending is entirely plausible. Charles Anderson, 52, is a British career diplomat. To date, his public life has been respectably dull aside intermittent painful episodes resulting from his father’s descent into dementia. Charles bears the knowledge that […]