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)
The story was very compelling.
There were many astonishing events.!
Some descriptions were to horrific to endure and needed to be passed over.
The final years of Louis showed a wonderful enduring transformed spirit.
I had actually ordered this audio book several months before listening to it. In the interim, the movie had become available and I downloaded it only to have it sit on my hard drive. I decided on a whim (I had 2 days off in a row) to listen to the book. Boy was I glad that I listened to the book as it had me riveted! The descriptor words and lively [period-centric] use of certain terms allows one to really become immersed in the story. I actually found myself moved to tears for one part about halfway through the book.
Do yourself a favor and buy this book. The narrator does a splendid job of keeping the listener entranced and the story seems to unfold at a naturally progressive rate that doesn't leave with you a feeling of hurried anticipation for the next scene. Its a wonderful listen and highlights a very moving story (among the thousands that there were) about one soldier's plight during the great war.
I appreciate more then ever what our soldiers endure for the rest of us to have freedom. Also taught never relinquish your self to hatred and be who you can be whatever that is for each one of us.
This is an amazing book about an amazing man who lived through unbelievable horrors but came out in the end unbroken and being used for good. The power of God to save in the end was encouraging and inspiring.
Surprising ending to a masterfully-crafted true story of a man who found final redemption and forgiveness for his shockingly cruel captors, suddenly appreciating how God had woven the mosaic of his entire life -- his record-shattering giftedness, his unending odyssey at sea and his POW barbarism -- ultimately to orchestrate final joy for the man, his family and all of us, his readers and spectators, many years later.
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