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.
War is gruesome.... and more than half of this book is just that. Edward Hermann did a terrific job narrating it. Not an easy read... would not recommend it to the faint of heart!
Tell us about yourself!
The first couple of hours were boring to me that I had to double check that the amazing reviews I read were actually for this book. But after listening and going deeper into the chapters, I understood from where these reviews came.
The story is amazing and yes as the title says it’s a story of survival, resilience and redemption. But for me, it was more as it encompasses the human life with its various stages; the ambition to achieve, the hardships of life, the struggles we endure, the moving on, the letting go and hopefully finally making it. What’s great about it is that it’s a true story and thus reflects the imperfect world and the imperfect us. Even the main character (Louis Zamperini) who is a model and an inspiring great person had his down periods and at a point almost gave up.
The story also made me see war through a different lens. We all know that war is hard, difficult and devastating. But what these men had to go though is unbelievable! How they survived it, I have no idea. Hillenbrand also makes an amazing job researching the war and the people, narrating all the details and conveying it in way that one feels that they are living it with them. This could drain you out at times as the hardships they went through are unbearable.
The ending is specially touching and makes me reflect on my own life, what I have made to others specially my family.
Finally, I would love to read more nonfiction books written that way as it’s informative and interesting at the same time.
This was going to be four stars right up until the last chapter, and then I realized it has changed my life. It is a fabulous survivor story. In fact, if it weren't a true story, you would swear the author was making it so unbelievable that you would have given up a long time ago asking yourself what she thought she was doing, or who she was trying to kid. Things just go from bad to worse to incomprehensibly worse. That anyone lived to tell this story is nothing short of miraculous, but that is not the only miracle in this story. It is truly a tribute to how much the human mind and body can endure, and how much easier life is when we depend on a higher power, that is to say, God, to help us through the horrible times. We all go through tough times, but I hope and pray I never have to go through anything close to what these men went through.
Edward Herrmann is a very good narrator. He really made this story come alive.
Along with "Tears of Darkness,"a nuanced yet straight forward look at great American heroes. Not to be missed.
Unbelievable story of courage, disappointment, faith, and forgiveness. It is hard to believe that this is a true story.
Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!
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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I don't cry over books or movies or even old Hallmark commercials. If this book doesn't blow your mind, then this is the Zombie apocalypse and your patient zero.
A transplanted Englishman, I spend my time on biography, history and military books. I appreciate good English and good narration.
This may be the second time I have ever given 5 stars.
The story is compelling. The early years when rebellion leads to hilarious consequences. The brutality inflicted so often by so many upon the hero and others, is quite incredible. How anyone could remain sane afterwards and live a long and productive life equally unbelievable. This story tests the very limits of my tolerance for, much as I wish to forget, how any group of human beings could be so cruel to any other group questions the very roots of a culture. And...so it should. If we are to remember the holocaust lest it occur again, books such as this create an equally valuable lesson for life.
All therein contained would be too much to be true were it not for the level of detail and research that must have gone into writing this book. The harrowing story of endurance and courage is written with such clarity that I am almost there with our hero. The successive traumas endured never become tiresome by repetition. The characters are described so realistically that they never merge, one into another. I find my myself admiring, hating, intriguing, hoping, feeling and...even laughing with them. Laura Hillenbrand has the most economic of styles: no excessive use of long words; no fear of the short sentence; a sense of timing of fact introduction that accentuates humor and retains interest until the key moment; a wonderful belief that all she has to do is inform accurately and interest, constantly, in the simplest way possible. I rarely had to go back and reread something because I had not gleaned the meaning of a paragraph or sentence. Her impish sense of humor, although appearing all too rarely, smacks of Barbara Tuchman. Strunck and White can relax in their graves.
Finally, and Thank You Audible, Edward Herrmann allows me to listen for hours at a stretch. His easy, clear, deep voice and soft accent (I am very sensitive to this element of enjoyment since I am English!), his cadence, his emphasis never disappoint.
Laura Hillenbrand now enters a rare category for me. Never mind the subject, consider the author; buy the book.
Truly inspiring. Some of the stories in this book angered me to the point of hatred. Others were painful. But it makes a person see how much our enlisted men go through for us.
LOVED this audionook