The writing was occasionally trite but the story moved along at a good pace and was fascinating. The author turned some horrific events into an uplifting tale of perseverance. Seemed to be well researched. Reading was excellent.
This is a great book,and I'm enjoying the listen. The author describes conditions of the Pacific war accurately and in detail.
There are two concerns that I have with the reading of the book: 1. Pronounciation of the Eastern Washington town, Ephrata. In the east (I believe there's one in PA) it's pronounced "eff-rat-a",as pronounced on the recording. However, in Washington it's pronounced "ee-fray-tuh. 2. The author referred to Pappy Boyanton as the "winner" of the Congressional Medal of Honor (MOH). Those who wear the MOH are referred to as "recipients"...they did not "win" the award...it wasn't a contest.
50yrs old / audible member for 5 yrs library. 75% nonfiction, 15% classics and 10% fiction. History/Science/biography/Eng.18th cent fiction
I know Im fighting quite the overwhelming tide of adulation over this book but I think THIS BOOK SUCKS.. now before you go getting yourselves all riled up let me tell you why.
I'm a lifelong(50yrs) reader of books on war and viewer of just about every war documentary ever made. While I was reading this amazing story I found myself squinting and kinking my head to the side quite a bit as one does when something just isn't right somehow. By the time I finished the book I was actually furious. I was mad because I was sure many of the scenes in the book where padded- and it was SO unnecessary!!. The story was already so incredible why would the author feel the need for embellishment.
I felt it was a huge injustice to the memory of those that suffered in that horrific war. If I had the time and energy I would list all the places that smelled overwhelmingly fishy The fact that there are SO many instances convinced me my instincts are right. . I'm sure someone with the time and energy will do that for you somewhere in these reviews. Im surprised the book is rated so highly. I expected a higher percentage to see through this book. It kind of scares me that more haven't. I still give it 2 stars because despite the above, the story itself is a good one IF you perceive it as BASED on a true story.
After reading the nearly universal raves about this audiobook, I enthusiastically ordered it, excited about what an amazing book it had to be. I'm done plodding through it, and am scratching my head at whether the book I just listened to is the same one reviewed. It's a spectacular story--told in the most annoying flowery objective prose to leave me rolling my eyes through most of it. It jumps around too much to keep characters straight, the protagonist (Zamperini) is actually quite unlikeable--arrogant, destructive, and self-absorbed (both before AND after the war). What he endured was horrific--but I found myself wishing the pages had been spent on the more obscure but ultimately more heroic men who are glossed over as a supporting cast but who I found infinitely more interesting and sympathetic. It reads like a bad novel--with a revival miraculously curing alcoholism, violence and PTSD;, trivializing domestic violence;, and--for those of us with some background knowledge of the politics of WWII--a little too much literary license with the oversimplification of the good vs. evil theme. In the end, I found it a potentially great story poorly told.
Statistics - percentages - lots of them. It's apparent the author did a tremendous degree of research regarding the war in the Pacific. There is a voluminous amount of detail from the survival ratios relating to American pilots and/or POWs. Everything from airplane crash stats to PTSD stats, to shark attack stats, etc., etc. What comes to mind is that when the primary character in the book, Louis Zampernini, made mention of something, i.e., life in a POW camp, or survival on a raft in the middle of the Pacific, Hillenbrand took that information and proceeded to conduct detailed research, and would pepper the story with pages of that research resulting in prolific detail, not all of which contributes to the story. It's a compilation, albeit well done, of her notes, in many instances. Supremely educational, especially to those who are ignorant of WWII in the Pacific and Japan atrocities. It's the true story of this man, and likely many, many other men, who were subjected to equally horrific abuse. As a baby-boomer descendant of 'the greatest generation', I wonder what the descendants of Japanese prison guards think when they read stories like this. There are 'black eyes' in the history of all peoples, Americans included, but this type of inhumanity is beyond comprehension. Everyone should read. But be prepared for lots of numbers. Edward Hermann was the right choice for this historical read.
Again, I should have expected, this book like Seabiscuit from the same author, give so many irrelevant details that became kind of a Valium for me. I quit.
Say something about yourself!
"Why we fight" was a WW II slogan used when illustrating points to the people in News Reels etc.Both my dad and father in law were Veterans of the War in the Pacifc.Dad in the Navy and my father in law ,a machine gunner in the Army.
Both were very warm,caring,compassionate human beings and patriotic Americans.
Neither would ever own a Japanese car or wanted much to do with Japanese.
Imagine the perspective of a POW.
I of course knew about things like the Bataan death march and the mistreatment of Chinese,Koreans,Phillipinos etc.This book brings it home in spades.You find yourself asking "How can people be like this ??"
Hillendbrand explains the why and how of it and you do realize that not all Japanese, civilians or military ,were like this.Still enough were to make things like this happen.
Unbroken is about not only what happens to Louie and his buddies[ a great story in itself] but how he succeeds and prevails.Sound corny ? ?Well it's not.It's pretty amazing actually.
Louie forgave everyone and became a better person and a great American because of it.
And this was not his goal.
What really happened is worth reading about.The irony was I listened to most of it driving around in my Acura.
No, because of the narration.
Sing song delivery. He could have been reading the telephone directory. Wrong inflections. emphasized wrong parts of sentences. Such a big disappointment because he is such a well known and talented actor.
The author is excellent. I loved Seabiscuit and I know several people who read the printed version of this book and loved it. The narration is the worst I've ever listened to.
no . . . too long . . . too complaining and political at the end.
the beginning was great.