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)
Traumatizing yet addicting
I liked that the story told a side of WWII that I had never learned before. While listening to the story, I wanted to research and learn more about the Japanese role in WWII and what led up to it. We all know about the Holocaust and Japanese internment, but high school US History class never bothers to teach you about the what the rest of the world was doing during this complex and large-scale war.
I've never listened to this narrator before, but this was a great first experience. His narration is perfect for a war story, and his voice is very easy to listen to without effort. The story is completely mesmerizing and Hermann's narration allows you to get fully absorbed in the story.
No, because the story is very graphic and traumatizing. The story is mesmerizing and addicting; however, my mind couldn't grasp all the horrors for more than 15 minutes at a time.
This book shows us a story many people don't hear about in today's world. It glorifies God in the the highest. This is a well written book and a great history lesson.
Highly recommend this book. I was most fascinated by them quizzing each other and keep their mind occupied at sea during their forty seven days odyssey. It is all about keeping the brain involved. Great great read. #1 on my bookshelf at this time.
I have already recommended this book to several of my friends because it is so inspiring.
If you listen to one book this year, this should be the one!
What a compelling saga! I learned so much about WWII and I'm a bit of a history buff. Definite recommendation!
Narration was perfect. Never wanted to stop listening. Each character held our interest including the horrific " bird". The strength of each of the Zamparini family members was phenomenal.
One of the best World War II stories I have ever heard The resilience of man has always been a great interest for me this book is a culmination of that interest
"It's a definitely must-read book"
An extremely interesting, involving and touching story. No doubt, one of the best I’ve heard!
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