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Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption | [Laura Hillenbrand]

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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  •  
    Gus J Bentz 02-06-15
    Gus J Bentz 02-06-15 Member Since 2014
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    2
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    "AMAZING!"

    A Must Read for EVERYONE! One can only pray for a heart full of forgiveness as Louis'! There is a reason for everything!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda 02-06-15
    Amanda 02-06-15 Member Since 2014
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    2
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    "What a story!"

    must listen for any wwii aficionado.. the author is a wordsmith, painting a brutal, vibrant portrait of torture & anguish.. and leaving room for redemption & forgiveness. literally cried through over half the book, both in heartbreak and soul lifting triumph. highest recommendation

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave 02-06-15
    Dave 02-06-15
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    5
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    Story
    "Long laborious excruciating detail"

    The story of Louis Zamperini is ultimately a triumphant story of the human will and truly inspiring. He is a most remarkable man and the story is one that must be told. Having said this, the audiobook is long, laborious, and languished on with excruciating detail about inhumane abuse that was oftentimes hard to listen to and to endure. The reader should be warned of that. A more abridged version would have been much better appreciated and could have told the depth of story without the reader having to endure the unending detail of abuses. The ending was welcomed. I rejoiced in Mr Zamperini's ultimate victory in his remarkable life of triumph over unspeakable adversity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler 02-06-15
    Tyler 02-06-15
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    "Oh Baby!"

    Made me cry!
    Cry sad.
    Cry joy.
    I felt the feelings.
    Made me believe in God more.
    Really really good!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    turqouisemama 02-06-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Well told"

    The narrator was great! There was never a good stopping point, I yearned to hear more. Incredible story, a must!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stacy 02-06-15
    Stacy 02-06-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Amazing story!"

    Great listen! It is amazing what people can live through and how they can prevail. There were a couple of parts that seemed redundant, but overall enjoyable and I would recommend it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve 02-06-15
    Steve 02-06-15

    Rust Never Sleeps

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    "great story, but falls flat"

    Yes, this is an undeniably great story of some of the POW's captured in Japan. It is a shocking and horrifying tale of their ordeals and survival.

    The only thing is the way the book is written. The narrator is just reading from a book or diary. There is no creativeness here, no story offered. Just some guy reading notes, or someones diary. This does not compare to Sea Bisquit at all. This is something anyone who has done some research could write.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 02-06-15
    Paul 02-06-15
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    Story
    "Knockout!"

    My attention often wanders while listening to audible books ... but not this one. This account of Louis Zamperini's wartime experience scoops you up and carries you along at a breathtaking pace. It is difficult to believe that a man could bear this experience and still keep going.

    A knowledge of his youth and pre-war life are important to an understanding of his character, but the description of his early years is a tad long-winded. Interesting enough, but you're anxious to get on with it.

    There are moments of humour that provide relief from the relentless misery of Zamperini's experience, touches that author Hillenbrand slips in so deftly that they're almost gone before you catch them and chuckle. She also includes some profound observations on those qualities of the mind that tap a higher order of existence. These observations are brief but effective; they make you want to pause and think about them.

    Reminiscent of Blaine Harden's ESCAPE FROM CAMP 14, UNBROKEN will probably stay with you long after you have finished reading or listening to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Charlie Strawn 02-05-15 Member Since 2014
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    3
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    "Intense"

    I listened to this audiobook while I ran and hearing the shit he went through made working out seem easy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Ford 02-05-15
    Kelly Ford 02-05-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Amazing Story"

    During a time when most would give up-he preserved. I am a better person for reading this book. Well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • 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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