An amazing listen!! Zamperini's life was unbelieveable. His inner strength and courage and ability to affect others was infectious. I would love to meet this man and shake his hand and say thank you for carring a life long burden of memories of what he suffered in war to fight for our country. THIS BOOK, THIS MAN and THIS LIFE he led is like no other!
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!
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.
Unbroken is among the best media experiences of my life. The story is simply awe inspiring, the writing superb and the narration excellent. I have learned a great deal about life in the many hours I have spent thinking and talking about this audiobook.
This book is about 80% intense unavoidable suffering/humiliation of the protagonist and 20% of the protagonist overcoming his hardships. It did keep me entertained on a 14 hour drive and it is thought provoking as far as "why do some human beings derive pleasure in the helpless torture of others".
The most frustrating part of this book for me was that it is just some narrator telling about what is happening, very little of the book is composed of the protagonist's actual words about what happened/what was happening. I would have preferred to hear how he dealt with everything in his own words, like in the book "Papillon", because that way, you also learn about how people overcome adversity rather than just never ending narrative about them being abused mentally and physically.
A very good book and you will not be able to stop reading it. I highly recommend it and know you will find it worth your time and money.
What can I say but riveting! This is not a genre I normally am drawn to, but Hillenbrand's masterful research and story telling created an audiobook that I could not turn off.
This is a compelling story written with authenticity and candor. It was almost impossible to imagine that this story was real yet it was. I would read this as fiction but as a biography it is totally amazing. This is a must read!!! You will be amazed and inspired.
older listener -- enjoys books rather than california traffic. enjoys running while listening -- or is it the other way around?
The story is really breathtaking. The reader pays it justice. Mr. Herrman obviously prepared himself well for this book. The immeasurable pleasure of a great book and a great rendering is rare to come by. Thank you for your service, Mr. Zamparini; thank you for your care in telling the story, Ms Hillenbrand; and thank you for your art, Mr. Herrman.
I'm going from chapter to chapter in life. Some are definitely better than others!
Reading this book made me proud to be an American, and gave me a greater appreciation for the men and women who serve our country. I could not wait to be in my car so I could hear the story, even knowing how it ends. It is a remarkable true story, and is one of the books I will keep on my ipod to hear again.