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
"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)
This is a must read, especially for Torrance natives, like myself. What an amazing story. I'd say one of the best books I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. I'm off to purchase the hard cover for my bookshelf. Do not second guess - just buy this book.
Hillenbrand has written a masterpiece. This is more than an epic biography. It is a singular work which transports the reader into the triumphs and tragedies of the Second World War.
All of us owe all we have to the tens of thousands "Louis Zamperini's" of that "Greatest Generation". This magnificent work is an honor and tribute to them.
Lest we ever forget the incredible sacrifices they made, we all may take heed from an admonition, written in 1598:
"This story shall the good man teach his son...From this day to the ending of the world..."
- from Henry V by William Shakespeare, 1598
Yes, the narrator tells the story brilliantly.
The scene in which Louis went to see "the Bird". He was able to forgive and forget despite the pain.
I found the story to be unrealisic. I'm sure it was based on fact but logic suggest liberal exageration in the descrioption of events. the perfornance was exellant
I began to feel that his troubles would never end. It was so depressing. I commented to my husband (we were listening together) that only finding God could take away his pain. I was then almost surprised. It strengthened my faith.
It made me cringe and cry.
I wouldn't listen to it again just because I'm the kind of person that doesn't generally go back and re-read or re-listen to a book.
Realizing the internal strength of the POW men.
He really brought the book to life for me. I felt that I had a wise teacher reading a story to me. I believe reading the book would have gotten me a little too mired down in the details. I've heard from a few of my friends that read this book that it had so many details that it was hard to get through. Having the book read to me made it easier to take in.
Definitely a must read! I usually shy away from history or WWII books, but this one kept my attention. Knowing that it was a true story made it much more enjoyable!
Perhaps, after a while. Although it was a terrific story, it was difficult to hear some of the horrendous conditions Zamperini had to endure.
Yes, I never cared for history as a child, but as I've gotten older I love learning about real people and their real life hardships and achievements.
Absolutely, Laura Hillenbrand is a very talented writer who wove the story of Louie Zamperini's life from his childhood to athletic achievements, courage in the face of torture, romance and finally, his faith journey in such a way that you really felt like you knew him , his family, friends and comrades. The book opens with a scene that is absolutely riveting and it keeps you enthralled like a good novel!
Nothing I can think of.
This book was so well done it makes me want to look into other books by this author. Bravo!
You just can't make this story up. Louis is a complex guy. But how he managed to survive is beyond amazing. It's a story of resilience without making him out to be a hero. Just a human being like the rest of us who managed to come through. And you just have to wonder at the darkness of humanity that let such horrors happen. That he then found the grace to forgive is even more amazing. Edward Hermann's narration does it all justice.
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