This story is absolutely fascinating, and is very well written and read. It is hard to believe that is not a novel. The author provides a very well organized description of this amazing story with an appropriate amount of detail at the right time. This story is a classic of WW II stories and would be of interest of non-history buffs as well. The story is written well enough to not need a good understanding of the history of WWII. Excellent listen.
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!
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
Being a lover of horses, I was entranced by Hillenbrand's remarkably well-written "Seabiscuit," but, if it is possible, she creates an even more compelling drama with Unbroken, the story of another deep-hearted underdog who triumphs in the end. Highly recommended!
With a 4 1/2 hour commute to work, it's not hard for me to find time to listen to a good audiobook.
Edward Herrmann's masterful narration of 'Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption' takes you through the lifelong journey of Louie Zamperini from a troubled youth, Olympic competitor, prisoner of war, and prisoner of his own mind. The best line to describe this story without spoiling the plot is to use a couple of lines from the book itself,
"The paradox of vengefulness is that it makes men dependent upon those who have harmed them, believing that their release from pain will come only when they make their tormentors suffer [...] Louie had chained himself, once again, to his tyrant."
I dare anyone to listen to Herrmann describe the booming war scenes in Chapter 10, "The Stinking Six" and see if you don't catch yourself holding your breath. Or listen to Chapter 35, "Coming Undone", and see if sadness doesn't overwhelm you in the vivid description of Louie's mental suffering built through years of unimaginable abuse.
How someone in Hollywood hasn't picked this story up to make a multi-million dollar blockbuster is a wonder. I am actually glad it hasn't been made into a movie because I don't believe any Hollywood director can replicate the Louie Zamperini story as written by Laura Hillenbrand. The emotion in her words imprint Louie's agony, anguish, and will to survive on the reader/listener. I don't believe an average author could accomplish and honor this story as Hillenbrand did. She grasped the peaks and valleys of Louie's life and brought it together in a story so engrossing that I happily purchased the book too. I use it as a trophy on my bookshelf to show visitors what could be one of the best books they could read. And if they want a real treat, they should buy the audiobook and allow Edward Herrmann to pilot them through this story like Phil and Louie in their beloved B-24, Superman.
This was the best use of a credit that I have spent to date!
Between the story, the detail and the narration, this is one of the most interesting books Ive listened to....I began wondering is this a fictional novel or is it Non Fiction because it is so well written that it takes you into the characters and the story. Simply Brilliant!
Once I started this book, every free moment was spent listening. I was so anxious to see what Louie was going to encounter next! The words just flew off the page (so to speak), and Louie Zamperini is, to this day, an amazing man with an amazing story.
I read an excerpt of this in last month's Vanity Fair magazine. My husband and I couldn't put the article down. So we decided to get the audio version because we are short on time. I put it on my ipod and tooled around the house. I meant to listen to it in a few weeks but wound up listening for 5-6 hours at a time and finished the book in 4 days because I was so captivated by the story and just had to hear what was next. Hillenbrand's story is very easy to get lost in.
I don't usually read nonfiction books. I am so glad that I read this one. What an amazing story of human strength and endurance. I had no idea that the Japanese were so cruel to POWs. I think everybody should read this book.