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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

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  •  
    N. Le Los Angeles 02-23-15
    N. Le Los Angeles 02-23-15 Member Since 2015

    N. Le

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    "An amazing war story"
    If you could sum up Unbroken in three words, what would they be?

    Traumatizing yet addicting


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


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

    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.


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

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven 02-23-15
    Steven 02-23-15 Member Since 2014
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    3
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    "Soul searching"

    A compelling story of this strong man who went through most life events of ten individuals in one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deloris D. Thompson oklahoma 02-23-15
    Deloris D. Thompson oklahoma 02-23-15 Member Since 2013

    lady hunter

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    "Awesome"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dean 02-22-15
    Dean 02-22-15 Member Since 2015
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    "What an amazing story, eritten excellently."

    What an amazing story and what amazing brave men. I wish we could hear all their stories. God bless them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KC 02-22-15
    KC 02-22-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Loved this audiobook very much"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Quincy, WA, United States 02-22-15
    Kathy Quincy, WA, United States 02-22-15 Member Since 2012
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    "WOW"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have already recommended this book to several of my friends because it is so inspiring.


    Any additional comments?

    If you listen to one book this year, this should be the one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dinah Powder Springs, GA, United States 02-22-15
    Dinah Powder Springs, GA, United States 02-22-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Powerful story and performance"

    What a compelling saga! I learned so much about WWII and I'm a bit of a history buff. Definite recommendation!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jac155 02-22-15
    Jac155 02-22-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Riveting, fascinating, compelling!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Venom 02-21-15
    Venom 02-21-15 Member Since 2015
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    "The best books I've ever read/listened to!"

    This brought me to tears and once again, it proved to me the power of redemption and forgiveness and the inhumane part of war!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bradley Barnhill 02-21-15 Member Since 2014
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    4
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    "Great great book!!!!!"

    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

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