I have mixed feelings about this book. It's a very well-done, detailed true story of a unique and remarkable man who survived internment in several Japanese POW camps during WWII and eventually began to thrive and to help others improve their lives, particularly by sharing his Christian beliefs. While one hesitates to say anything negative when discussing his horrific experiences and acknowledging the price he paid for his service, I have to say the book is in places overly dramatic and at times not believable. It is perhaps even a bit cultish. But it is a powerful story that spotlights the brutality of the Japanese military during WWII, a topic avoided these days because of our current favorable relationship with Japan. The reader gets a little rushed in places and, because there are no obvious breaks for paragraphs, events seem to get crowded together in ways that seem odd. I think if one were reading the book it would be obvious that time had passed between certain events but when listening it seems that they follow on each other non-stop.
Simply excellent, on all levels. Even better than Seabiscuit (and that's saying a lot!).
The drama and depth of the characters
Overall his performance was superb.
Couldn't stop. A truely GREAT read and picture into history.
Would recommend to anyone who loves history, romance, and true crime...
Laura Hillenbrand has done another excellent job researching and writing. Her characterizations are clear and compelling. The story is better than any fiction that I have read in a long time.
I thought I had enough of WWII storytelling and was reluctant to buy this book. I did so based on how much I enjoyed her previous best seller (I love horses) and of course, the online reviews. I was not disappointed. The story was moving, well told and kept me interested, though I knew the hero had made it out alive. The ending got a bit soppy, but overall it was a good "read".
Although I am an atheist, I find it so inspirational when someone finds the faith necessary to conquer their demons and then to forgive those demons on top of it.
A story of survival, resilience, and redemption. Leave out World War II
From the very beginning I was caught up in this powerful story. Upon meeting young Louis and his family, I wanted to hear more about their life, more importantly, his life. To see how this boy grew into a man who would endure so many hardships that war inevitably brings is an inspiration to all. Laura Hillenbrand once again does an excellent job telling a story of real people and events that defines courage and bravery.
Sacrifice. Inspiring. Redemption
Sharks jumping out of the water at Louie.
Louie returns to Japan to reconnect. My father could never do that after fighting at Okinawa.
This is like the Old Man and the Sea meets Indiana Jones. The action is non-stop.
There were many scenes. His overcoming his fear of the "Bird", the survival on the raft, being chased while buck naked as a child, the description of the air ship blotting out the stars and his wonder come quickly to mind.
Lara Hillenbrand did a wonderful job of telling a complex story in an interesting and moving way. She is a great story teller. Ed Herman brings a wonderfulmlife to an already compelling story. I couldn't stop listening to it. I highly recommend this book!