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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

4.7 (26331 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ed 03-29-15
    Ed 03-29-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    "Held Spellbound!"

    Brought back my own memories of war. Our return was not quite triumphant. But Louie survived much more than almost anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megan Post Colorado 03-29-15
    Megan Post Colorado 03-29-15 Member Since 2013

    MP

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    3
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    "Unbelievable!!"

    What an incredible story and beautifully written. From the beginning to the end this book held me captive. A must to read or listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kris 03-28-15
    Kris 03-28-15 Member Since 2014
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    3
    3
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    Story
    "Amazing!"

    I saw the movie first so I had fair knowledge of the story going in. However while the movie was very well done, to get the true big picture of what Louie's life really was, you MUST get this book. Absolutely amazing!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lonnie Arnold 03-28-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Inspirational and excellently performed"

    This story was gripping and spiritually encouraging. The necessity of hope and it's power to change a life is skillfully portrayed. Even though parts of the book were painful to hear, I loved it and highly recommend it. We need to know our history and what great struggles have been overcome.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maggie 03-28-15
    Maggie 03-28-15 Member Since 2014
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    4
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    "America Needs Heroes"
    What did you love best about Unbroken?

    The humility of this man who gave for his country.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Unbroken?

    His return to Japan to visit the internment camp.


    Have you listened to any of Edward Herrmann’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


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

    Yes. I had to relisten to parts to "catch-up" on details when I listened again. I found it very enjoyable to re-listen to on a roadtrip to Buffalo, NY from Saint Robert, MO last Christmas.


    Any additional comments?

    In these dark times whereby millions of Americans (actual U.S. citizens and illegal immigrants) who aren’t willing to work, don’t serve in the military or in their communities, think that it is their “right” to be provided with “free” everything (housing, food, healthcare, childcare, mobile phones, etc.), and/or are born with the silver spoon in their mouths (not part of the generation that actually did the hard work to build the business that earned the wealth they enjoy) , part of the Hollywood elite who fail to “give back”, or just spoiled rotten’ children of lifelong hardworking parents who worked to provide their offspring with things to give them a better life than they had themselves … America needs Heroes. America needs to remember who and how this great country was founded and what it takes from a person to maintain the great freedom and lifestyle that we have the potential to enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Poppie Dawg 03-28-15
    Poppie Dawg 03-28-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Eye opening - Riveting - Emotional"

    Short & Sweet - Well Maybe Not ...
    I could hardly put it down and when I did, I looked forward to the moment that I could start reading the book again.
    My father was in the Navy during World War II aboard the vessel USS North Carolina. He never talked about the War and he was one of the fortunate ones to come home safe. Louie's story could have been one in the same of any one of our Fathers that served in that war. His story made me Question how could Human Beings could treat one another with such Cruelty and then go on living with one's self in among others in " normal, seemingly healthy community?
    Does War give us a " Free Ticket " to be Non-Human - More savage than any Beast of the Wild? This Audible Book that I listened to: (referred to the world of people who have a challenge reading using their eyes as "Ear Reading") was one that left me Pondering Life. A Must Read for Every Human Being. Thank you Audible for your commitment to bring the world of reading to all who desire it. O'l Poppie Dawg

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig 03-28-15
    Craig 03-28-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Amazing!"

    I enjoyed this book tremendously - it was very insightful and informative, provided me with a history of Japan I wasn't aware.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason 03-28-15
    Jason 03-28-15
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    "Powerful."

    Amazing to see how terrible man can become. Humbling to know Christ descended below all and gave us the power to be redeemed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J3W3L$ 03-27-15
    J3W3L$ 03-27-15 Member Since 2014
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    5
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    "Proud to be a listener"

    So glad there's a God of love and faithfulness ...that healed this awesome American. Hug a Vet today!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alyssa 03-27-15
    Alyssa 03-27-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Exceptional story of resilience"

    I highly recommend to motivated people that want to be inspired by a story
    Simply excellent recommended for every one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Renata Rissi Silva
    3/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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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