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Unbroken Audiobook

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - Whether your listening preferences usually point you to history tomes, adventure thrillers, or fiction with well-developed characters, Unbroken will hook you...and won’t let go. Laura Hillenbrand, previously of Seabiscuit fame, tells the fascinating story of Louis Zamperini – troubled youth, Olympic athlete, airman, and survivor – and you won’t believe how interested you’ll become in even the tiniest of details of his life. Much of that interest is thanks to narrator Edward Herrmann, who elevates this tremendous example of narrative nonfiction to masterful storytelling. — Diana D.

Publisher's Summary

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood.

Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane's bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant's name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he'd been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man's journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

©2010 Laura Hillenbrand; 2010 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Unbroken is wonderful twice over, for the tale it tells and for the way it’s told. A better book than Seabiscuit, it manages maximum velocity with no loss of subtlety. [Hillenbrand has] a jeweler’s eye for a detail that makes a story live." (Newsweek)

"A master class in narrative storytelling…Extraordinarily moving...A powerfully drawn survival epic." (The Wall Street Journal)

"Ambitious and powerful… Hillenbrand is intelligent and restrained, and wise enough to let the story unfold for itself. Her research is thorough, her writing crystalline. Unbroken is gripping in an almost cinematic way." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    EnGJ 09-03-15
    EnGJ 09-03-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Gripping story. "

    Moving and informative. Well written and narrated. Sad and joyful. A true tribute to the power of forgiveness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    J. Park PA, USA 08-31-15
    J. Park PA, USA 08-31-15
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    "Remember our POW's"

    A must-read for every American, Unbroken reveals the sacrifices that generations of the past have made for our nation. It's deeply moving and one of the best novels I've read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Reg 08-31-15
    Reg 08-31-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Fantastic"

    This is one of the best books I've ever listened to. It is an emotional journey that demonstrates the resilience of the human spirit and the ability for God to transform a life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Lorie A. Small 08-31-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Exhilarating Story"

    This superbly written story was an honest, but harsh account of Louie Zamperini's life. I had the honor to hear Louis in 2010 at an Easter Church Service in Sacramento CA. What an awesome and humble man. This book is recommended to any reader from middle school through adult. You will be riveted to this story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mandy Arndt 08-30-15
    Mandy Arndt 08-30-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Wonderful!"

    Loved this!! Narater was amazing. Great book for trips!! I'd suggest it to anyone! ☆

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A Reader 08-27-15
    A Reader 08-27-15

    Nine years "before the mast" on tiny Pacific island.

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    "Man is a mad creation; wonders of glory, horror"
    Would you listen to Unbroken again? Why?

    The story makes one feel really alive to all the wonders, and horrors, of life and war, and the reality of the strong spirit that keeps the vulnerable body alive.


    What other book might you compare Unbroken to and why?

    The book brings to mind many a sea tale- from "Fatal Voyage: "The Sinking of the Indianapolis," to Ïslands of the Damned" to heroic - and doomed - voyages of discovery, although it is not fully any of these.


    What does Edward Herrmann bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator seems to have moments channeling Franklin Roosevelt, a central figure in the book's era. Mr. Herrmann has the calm voice needed to narrate such a deeply nerve-wracking tale, completely avoiding the hyperbolic and verbal exclamation point. It is as if he was telling his guests the story by his fireside.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    In a ocean of horror, there is glory in survival.


    Any additional comments?

    Research made this book very satisfying; the lack of jingoism and hyperbole made it real.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Jacob 08-27-15
    Jacob 08-27-15 Member Since 2016
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    "An extraordinary tale"

    I laughed, I cries, I yelled profanities, and in the end I was filled with joy. This is an incredible story and very well written. The narration was excellent. This is well worth the money or credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Kelli D. White 08-25-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Top notch!"

    Didn't want to stop listening/ living this story. The visual emotion and experiences put into writing so perfectly that I was able to experience the anguish felt by these men and a new scenes of understanding for what our men endured has been brought to light.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Susan 08-25-15
    Susan 08-25-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Thank you"
    If you could sum up Unbroken in three words, what would they be?

    Loved, heart wrenching, unbreakable


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Unbroken?

    History in school was time, places, dates etc which irritated me because it wasn't presented personal. I've wondered all these years and this would be my first real insight on a part of time that took place with not just text but details that unfolded for many men.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I laughed, cried, screamed and cheered throughout entire listen. A history unfolded that I never had been fully aware of verbally only saw through my Grandfathers eyes it was a deeply emotional time.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Didn't want to turn it off and first thing in morning began listening until this audible was completed. Great narration!


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you so much for this audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CG 08-25-15
    CG 08-25-15 Member Since 2009

    glasercb

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    "One of the best Audio books ever!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Edward Herrmann gives a masterful performance. I really felt like I was there in the moment as it was happening--not just listening to a historical recounting of events that took almost 75 years ago. Laura Hillenbrand's writing makes all her stories come alive and the suspense is woven throughout.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Even though I knew the outcome of Louis Zamperini's story and a fair amount about WWII, Edward Herrmann's telling of Laura Hillenbrand's writing made me feel like I was living through it. It was sad, exciting, scary and suspenseful. I almost listened to it in one sitting.


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    It was amazing. I felt like I was listening to a contemporary war correspondent's narration of events as they happened.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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