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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

4.7 (34178 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Janet Davis Hammond, LA United States 09-29-15
    Janet Davis Hammond, LA United States 09-29-15 Member Since 2001

    glass lady

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    "Grim, captivating"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RIck San Mateo, CA, United States 09-29-15
    RIck San Mateo, CA, United States 09-29-15 Member Since 2012
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    "What an amazing life."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara 09-29-15
    Barbara 09-29-15 Member Since 2007
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    "Inspirational"

    The hours listening to this amazing book flew by. I found the lessons presented important and enlightening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rabi A. Jones Waldorf, MD 09-24-15
    Rabi A. Jones Waldorf, MD 09-24-15 Member Since 2015
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    "unbelievable story"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 09-20-15
    Chris 09-20-15 Member Since 2017
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    "Wow!"

    Wow! This was a powerfully written story which brought about a whole host of thoughts and emotions..
    Highly recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan 09-20-15
    Ryan 09-20-15
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    "Incredibly Moving"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George 09-18-15
    George 09-18-15
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    "Simply Incredible & Unbelievable"

    One of the most amazing stories and lives of all time. Well-researched and written by LH and well-narrated by EH.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yenah 09-16-15
    Yenah 09-16-15
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    "Amazing"
    What made the experience of listening to Unbroken the most enjoyable?

    I got chills listening to this. It was amazing to hear such an amazing story.


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    He was easy to understand and definitely added a touch to the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roy Pickron 09-15-15
    Roy Pickron 09-15-15 Member Since 2016

    What book has taken roots in your life?

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    "A true delight…"

    What a wonderful life story filled with challenges and hurdles. These lives are forever part of mine now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    My thoughts 09-15-15
    My thoughts 09-15-15
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    10
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    "Riveting!"
    Would you listen to Unbroken again? Why?

    This was a fantastic story I think everyone should read. War is ugly and we need to remember that!


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

    The narrator was amazing! He was able to keep my attention through the whole book!


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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