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)
I know that many listeners gave this book very high ratings. I did not see any that mentioned how LONG the descriptions of the various atrocities were. Describing the torture and barbaric treatment of the POW's by the Japanese military was important, however, I think that the descriptions went on much too long. I wondered if it were for shock value, and I found myself "fast forwarding" through many minutes of the sessions of subjugation, beating, and torture.
Overall this was a pretty good book and the life story of Louie is pretty amazing. This book was also a harsh reminder of how violent and evil the Japanese army was during World War II. I thought the portion of the book that depicted his life as a prisoner of war was a little overdone. Right about the time you got a really good feeling about the kind of mistreatment and torture that he lived through, it went on for three more chapters.
it was a wonderful story of resilience and courage. I dont think I would have had it in me to survive what he went through. amazing!
This book is worth reading and re-reading again. Zamperini's story is enormously inspiring. I feel a renewed sense of incredible gratitude for life after reading this book as well. It really put me in touch with my feelings of love for life and hope for those who are in extremely adverse situations in life.
I got chills listening to this. It was amazing to hear such an amazing story.
He was easy to understand and definitely added a touch to the story.
What book has taken roots in your life?
What a wonderful life story filled with challenges and hurdles. These lives are forever part of mine now.
This was a fantastic story I think everyone should read. War is ugly and we need to remember that!
The narrator was amazing! He was able to keep my attention through the whole book!
I never seem to have time to read, but listening to this book reminds me that my imagination is so much better than any movie!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.