Along with "Tears of Darkness,"a nuanced yet straight forward look at great American heroes. Not to be missed.
One of the best I have listened to. Not only did I enjoy the book but learned much history that would have never heard. A great listen
An amazing life story. Told in a way that kept me enthralled from beginning to end. Loved it! 5 stars all the way!
His courage and forgivness that is a tribute to the greatness of the ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances. If there were more people in the world like this there would be more hope for mankind to overcome the cycle of hatred that plagues the human species.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
This author has a unique way of making events come to life. I had to keep reminding myself that it was non-fiction. Wonderfully written and narrated, my only complaint is that it wasn't longer. Great book.
Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always."
When we read text, we don't read every word - our mind tells us what is there; we get the gist of a paragraph; and we move on. When we are read to, it takes longer - but we hear every word.
Laura Hillenbrand's writing is an exquisite orchid to Jane Austin's massive flowering rose bush. Both write beautifully and are and will long be remembered, but every word and sentence in Hilebrand's book is carefully trained and pruned to support an astonishing story. With Austin's work, a rose or three could be removed without notice.
That's not to say Louis Zamperini's story is austere or lacks details. Hillenbrand evokes Pre-WWII Southern California so clearly that 70 years later, you expect to see Zamperini on one of his long runs.
The description of his survival after an ocean crash is so detailed you feel Zamperini's despair as he realizes just how useless some of the survival gear stowed in the raft was.
Most of all, this is a story about the loss of dignity at the hands of captors, and the redemption of dignity. Hillenbrand shows that dignity should be first on Maslow's heirarchy, because without dignity, is anyone truly alive?
Rewind if you miss something thinking about the exit you need to take, because some of the most crucial details and changes in circumstances are in a few spare phrases . Don't miss a word of this book.
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SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
Can a book like this honestly be "enjoyable?" It's breathtaking, it's heartbreaking, it makes you chew your fingernails to shreds, but enjoyable? DEFINITELY worth your time (but make no mistake. When I say time, I mean: your life will stop because you will listen to it start to finish, "cover-to-cover," and you'll bring your listening device to the bathroom with you!)
Naturally, Zamperini is the favorite. There is character development and growth I pretty much didn't see coming but that I desperately hoped for. Because at the beginning? Honestly, the guy comes off as a flat-out sociopath as a child and young adult, with absolutely no thought to the suffering he's causing his family. So three cheers through redemption through absolutely unbelievable chaos and suffering! Laura Hillenbrand, who proves here that "Seabiscuit" was no fluke, brings to life all the characters, be they great, be they frightening beyond belief. You'll love Zamperini's brother, you'll love Phil, his pilot, and you'll have nightmares about "The Bird."
Hermann is a marvelous narrator, the only thing that keeps this from being a five-star performance is that sometimes his delivery is a little flat. This keeps the reader/listener at a slight distance from the entire emotional impact that, otherwise, I think one would feel. Other than that, hey! Four stars is pretty darned good, ya know?
As my dad is a World War II history buff, I went into this thinking that I knew pretty much everything there was to know about it. And I'd read "The Rape of Nanking," so I thought I'd be pretty numb to atrocities in the Pacific. Not so. You'll never think of the war in the Pacific the same way again, not its POWs, not its aggressors. And need I even say that sharks will haunt your nightmares for the foreseeable future after this?
This book is about as perfect as it gets. It's gripping, emotional, and so very, very well written. Hillenbrand is a true star, and I can't wait for her next book. Until then, I'll have plenty to think about with this one: terror, resilience, loyalty, resourcefulness, and the unwillingness to give up. Quite a lot to pack into one story. That it's true is flabbergasting... and frightening.
But also just plain cool!
Constantly in search of the perfect listen.
I hated the first part of this book, and really wanted to like it. It is a true story of an actual hero but the re-telling of events was very monotonous to start off with. Detailed accounts of what a plane looked like, of particular battles and so on, were all very boring.
Luckily, once I got into Part 2 something changed. I was more drawn into the story. The account of Louis Zamperini’s time as a Prisoner of War in a Japanese prison camp is riveting. I was blown away by what he and the other prisoners suffered through and in Zamperini’s case survived. It’s amazing what the human body and spirit can overcome. I was also utterly disgusted by the cruelties some humans seem to be capable of. Overall, this is a book well worth listening to, if only out of respect for a man who is undeniably an American hero.
When I listened to the sample audio, I loved the sound of the narrator’s voice. When I started getting into the actual audiobook, however, the narration began to feel quite bland. It put me to sleep at times. His voice was very nice, and it might be that there is a lot of detail being explained during much of the book. So, while I ended up not loving the narration, I cannot place the full blame on the narrator himself.
I kept coming back to this audio book solely because others rated it so highly. I passed on it several times thinking 14 hours was too much time. I decided that all the positive reviews just might make this a good listen. I must admit, after a year of membership and many audible ???listens???, this book has been the best by far. This audible book was excellently written, and having it narrated by Edward Herrmann was icing on the cake. This is one book that will probably always have a place in my memories.
I don't believe any fiction book, even coming from the most creative mind, can top this true account of mens lives and what they endured in Japanese prison camps. This book is about survival and determination, especially of the main character. There are many lessons for all of us within these pages. I believe I experienced every emotion known to man as I listened to this book, and it left me with a deep respect for the men and women of our armed forces for the risks they take defending our freedoms and gave me a renewed sense of pride in our country. This book is a must read for everyone.
The narration by Mr. Hermann is quite good. His voice is deep and clear and was read at an even pace.