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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 (30946 )
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Performance
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  •  
    oscar LEXINGTON, SC, United States 06-17-15
    oscar LEXINGTON, SC, United States 06-17-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful!!"

    The story is amazing despite revealing hardships and cruelties which are REALLY heartbreaking to learn. The narrator couldn't have been a more perfect choice and couldn't have done a more outstanding job!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    robert hennessey 06-17-15
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    "Great story"

    At first I thought that the additional chapters from the movie run necessary but when the story ended I felt a sense of completion and was grateful for the additional time I had with Louie and the rest

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan Houston, TX, USA 06-17-15
    Nathan Houston, TX, USA 06-17-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I read this for a book club"

    For the most part I don't read prison/holocaust books. They almost never elevate me more than they bring me down. This book is that same. I understand it is supposed to be about overcoming adversity, and I suppose this book manages that. Sadly it did not elevate my soul. It did not make me feel better about being human. It mostly made me thirsty, hungry, and disappointed in mankind.
    About the book it's self
    It is a little hard to get started but past about chapter 10 it picks up.
    It is a little choppy but that, I think, is do I part to the fact that is is non fiction and life is seldom smooth.
    I'm not sure the reader is the best reader for this book, but it could have been worse they could have had Dick Hill read it.
    If you like books like this I suppose it is the best of it's kind. It was not a compleat waste of time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert J. Plumer 06-17-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Incredible"

    An incredible story that is hard to stop once you begin. It is surprising that I never heard of this story before this. It is incredible and redeeming. Worth every second of listening time. Now to see the movie. I give this my highest recommendation!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Vaughan Ontario, Canada 06-17-15
    Jane Vaughan Ontario, Canada 06-17-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Unsurpassed, a book never to be forgotten"

    This story is magnificent and I'm sure will influence all readers as to the importance of attitude, faith & forgiveness have on the quality of our own lives. I had never heard of him until this book, & this story just shows how much one person can change the world. If there is one book to read, or listen to, this is it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ricky Giovanetto Tremont, Illinois United States 06-16-15
    Ricky Giovanetto Tremont, Illinois United States 06-16-15 Member Since 2014

    Top 40 Titan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Death is not an option"
    Where does Unbroken rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Near the top


    What other book might you compare Unbroken to and why?

    The Hiding Place - though no real comparison.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Louis' reunion with his family


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I could not have handled this book in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    Perhaps the greatest example of human spirit I've ever read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leah G. 06-16-15
    Leah G. 06-16-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Most depressing, miserable story ever."

    This was seriously the most awful story ever. The last half hour of a "happy ending" was not worth the other dozen of misery.
    Save yourself the onset of depression and read something else...unless, of course, you're looking for a kick-me-down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Muñoz 06-16-15
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    "A must-read for every American!"

    A riveting, unbelievable story of strength, survival, and redemption! Loved it to the last word!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara Yashinski Israel 06-15-15
    Sara Yashinski Israel 06-15-15 Member Since 2016

    SY

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    "Amazing book"

    Loved every minute of it. Both content and narration were a phenomenal, grasping experience. Highly recommended

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary kate 06-15-15
    Mary kate 06-15-15 Member Since 2015
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    3
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    "Loved it"

    Would recommend to anyone who has a love for very well written, intriguing, true stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Iain
    11/9/15
    Overall
    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
    Overall
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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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