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Unbroken Audiobook

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

Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. 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.....
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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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  •  
    Ethan 05-08-15
    Ethan 05-08-15
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    "Absolutely loved the story."

    I really enjoyed the historical significance of this story. From a non-reader this book is a must read! Love it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HardyBoy64 05-08-15
    HardyBoy64 05-08-15

    RLC

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    "Stunning audiobook"
    What did you love best about Unbroken?

    The exciting and enthralling story of survival and heroism that it portrays to the reader/listener.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Louis of course! He is the hero of the book. Also, I loved hearing about Jesse Stay and his minor role in Louie's experience. I knew Jesse Stay and he was a wonderful human being.


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    His voice was not too gruff and not over emotional. I thought he read it with power and conviction and with a lot of reverence for the source material.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I rarely, and I mean VERY rarely, cry while listening to or reading a book. I cried out of sheer joy when Louie was reunited with his family. Also, when he strives to offer forgiveness to his torturers.


    Any additional comments?

    LISTEN TO THIS BOOK.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie Doncaster East, Australia 05-08-15
    Natalie Doncaster East, Australia 05-08-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Best Book Ever!!!!"

    For the last three days I have been enraptured by the story of Lewis Zamporini. I am so glad that I downloaded it. I was worried at first that it would be too heavy for me as WW2 stories can be, I didn't want to be a blubbering mess in the car. The readers voice was superb and somehow kept it light enough that I felt continually inspired. This book is so well written, I just loved it. I felt it gave me a message that was deep, heartfelt and awakening. It's a must read!!!!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evan Beaufort, SC, United States 05-07-15
    Evan Beaufort, SC, United States 05-07-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Inspiring and moving"

    An amazing story of an amazing life lived. It is a must read for everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandy Lowell, OH, United States 05-06-15
    Brandy Lowell, OH, United States 05-06-15 Member Since 2014
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    "An amazing story of forgiveness!"
    Any additional comments?

    I cannot remember why I downloaded this audiobook as it not of my normal genres but I am glad I did. I am in disbelief at what a determined human being can endure and in disgust and completely shocked in regards to what some people can impose on others. You read and study about wars in school but you never learn about the true journey and unbelievable encounters of our soldiers. This book follows the life story of Olympian and WWII soldier, Louis Zamperini from his childhood clear through his very old age. We follow Zamperini through his years as a soldier including his crash and astonishing survival on an inflated raft through the Pacific. We get to encounter the moments of his capture by the Japanese and his outlandish days in the POW camps. We get a glimpse of the physical, mental and emotional tortures he suffered and the glorious redemption of Christ's forgiveness years later when he was facing the moment of truly losing it all.

    I am not much into war stories but other than the detailed snippets of battles and such in the beginning, this book had me enthralled until the end. Truly eye opening and at times, heart wrenching.

    I highly recommend this book for Junior High and up. Hoping someday this book will become a reading requirement in our school systems so our youth can gain a more real life understanding of war and its affects on our soldiers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Jessica 05-06-15
    Jessica 05-06-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Way better than the movie!"

    The story is very compelling, and the narrator makes it come to life! Loved the flow of the book, and the author did a great job of adding detail without bogging down the flow of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Stacy Samson 05-05-15
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    "Gripping"

    I couldn't wait to start listening the book again. So good, I really don't think I need to see the movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Gary McGrath Raleigh, NC United States 05-05-15
    Gary McGrath Raleigh, NC United States 05-05-15 Member Since 2015
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    "FANTASTIC! Learn about true struggle and victory!"
    What did you love best about Unbroken?

    The details Laura includes in the book, based on historical research, are extremely well written and masterful. This is a must read but be warned it can be disturbing. When you can read a book that moves you like this does it is worth the discomfort! GREAT JOB LAURA!! Gary


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexander 05-05-15
    Alexander 05-05-15 Member Since 2012

    Computer Tech

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    "Best Book I bought since going audible"

    This is well worth getting this book. Learned a lot about the war n people in war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric S Lewis 05-04-15
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    "Excellent story and a great listen. Inspiring!!"

    This is one of the greatest stories of survival and overcoming the enemy that I have ever read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Iain
    11/9/15
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    Performance
    Story
    "Stunning spirit"
    Would you listen to Unbroken again? Why?

    No, but I would be interested in listening to his own account


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Unbroken?

    Too many to mention without giving it away


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    Well paced, well read throughout


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Survival with courage and dignity


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to this story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Renata Rissi Silva
    3/21/15
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    "It's a definitely must-read book"
    What did you like most about Unbroken?

    An extremely interesting, involving and touching story. No doubt, one of the best I’ve heard!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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