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)
Father, Author, Podcaster, Martial Artist
I was moved. Way deeper story than the movie. At times it was hard to remember this is a true story. Thank you Louie!
The writing was disjointed and in many cases unbelievable. Like when they were under attack in the air and the gun Phil was using could kill a man 4 miles away. Or that Louie was actually thinking anything other than "I gotta get outta here" while the plane was dragging him down and he was wrapped in wires and went unconscious and then suddenly had the mind to get out of there and up to air. Or that he was the sole hero of the lifeboats and that Mac ate all the chocolate without anyone knowing and on and on and on... If I didn't know better, I'd say that Louie won the war single-handedly! Implausible and too many fictionalized and sensationalized passages. I will admit, I could not fathom the idea of spending 9 more hours listening to it after the first six hours of such boring writing. The performance was dry and choppy as well. I liked the reader's voice tone, but there was no performance value -- which I suppose was par for the course since the writing had no emotion.
Bread or Death by Milt Kleinberg is coming out, and I'm now listening the Lucy Lipiner's Lusia's Long Journey Home.
Just kind of boring -- but I do think it was partly due to the writing being so choppy
I found myself saying "Oh Paleeze" several times. I did get angry that the story was embellished to the point where it belittled the efforts of all the other men. Also, it made the men look like a bunch of buffoons a lot. I can't believe so many other five star reviews, when so many other people had loved ones in the throes of battle too. Why embellish and fictionalize? Movie rights I assume.
Not even interested in finishing it -- six hours is all the commitment of my time I am willing to give this book. I just have too many other books that are well written and interesting to read.
This was probably one of the best books I've listened to in the Audible Library. The story was incredibly gripping as it covered the story of regular American through his life as a burgeoning track star whose career was cut short by World War II through his service as a bombardier on a B24 bomber during the war, as a survivor on a raft that drifted for over 40 days in the Pacific Ocean to the sadistic treatment he suffered as a prisoner in several Japanese POW camp to the demons that he had to confront as he tried to put his life together following the war to his final redemption. Louie is probably one of the most remarkable people you will ever meet in a book. Laura Hillenbrand did an great job with this book and Edward Herman's narration was fabulous. I think that the most incredible portion of the book was his internment in the POW camps and how he was somehow able to survive the war. This is a great book and a great recording. Well worth the listen
This was an unbelievable tale of survival and hope. I found my self listening to the book long after I got home. I would be just sitting in my car listening, I didn't want to stop.
I loved the story and loved learning about the history. I felt drawn in and could not stop listening. When the story ended I was left to ponder and realized I now understood so much more the motivations, attitudes, and kindnesses that pervaded on both sides of the war.
Yes- Very inspiring story. I never knew how rough the US POW's had it in the far East.
Yes- I found myself listening while I did othe rtasks.
I am so grateful for audiobooks that I can listen to at night when I cannot sleep or when I am in pain. A good book takes your mind off so many things.
What an incredible story. How frustrating that those who were the worst got to slink away and be left alone to live their lives after having taken so much from so many.
What a great story of forgiveness and restoration.
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