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Unbroken Audiobook

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

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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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  •  
    Susan 08-25-15
    Susan 08-25-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Thank you"
    If you could sum up Unbroken in three words, what would they be?

    Loved, heart wrenching, unbreakable


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Unbroken?

    History in school was time, places, dates etc which irritated me because it wasn't presented personal. I've wondered all these years and this would be my first real insight on a part of time that took place with not just text but details that unfolded for many men.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I laughed, cried, screamed and cheered throughout entire listen. A history unfolded that I never had been fully aware of verbally only saw through my Grandfathers eyes it was a deeply emotional time.


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

    Didn't want to turn it off and first thing in morning began listening until this audible was completed. Great narration!


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you so much for this audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CG 08-25-15
    CG 08-25-15 Member Since 2009

    glasercb

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    "One of the best Audio books ever!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Edward Herrmann gives a masterful performance. I really felt like I was there in the moment as it was happening--not just listening to a historical recounting of events that took almost 75 years ago. Laura Hillenbrand's writing makes all her stories come alive and the suspense is woven throughout.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Even though I knew the outcome of Louis Zamperini's story and a fair amount about WWII, Edward Herrmann's telling of Laura Hillenbrand's writing made me feel like I was living through it. It was sad, exciting, scary and suspenseful. I almost listened to it in one sitting.


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    It was amazing. I felt like I was listening to a contemporary war correspondent's narration of events as they happened.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trevor Bevis 08-24-15
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    "Excellently done!"

    A tale of darkness and light, God's ultimate grace overcoming great hatred. What an astonishing story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Vincent Ohio, USA 08-23-15
    D. Vincent Ohio, USA 08-23-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Great story"

    The unbelievable true story of Louie Zamperinie was amazing. Hillenbrand did a fantastic job of piecing it together in such a way that you can picture each and every terrible and wonderful scene. Herrman did a good job of narrating the story, however he pronounced a few words strangely, distracting me of the rest of the sentence. He also reads slightly slow, but otherwise did a great job and has a nice strong voice. Overall a good book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GLORIA GONZALEZ 08-21-15
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    "Extraordinary!"

    A man of incredible resilience and faith. His incredibly story has opened my eyes to the world of our beloved war veterans. We don't do enough to honor them. We could never do enough!
    An absolute must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abbie 08-21-15
    Abbie 08-21-15
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    "One of the best!"

    Had never heard of this book, before I downloaded it. Such a great read! Emotional, exciting and enticing! Kept me on the edge of my seat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danielle W. 08-21-15
    Danielle W. 08-21-15 Member Since 2014

    Listening to audiobooks is like watching a really, really, really long and way more interesting movie... with my ears.

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    "Life-changing Story"
    Would you listen to Unbroken again? Why?

    Yes. It would be tough. But I would do it. It's one of those books where you realize that there are real-life people who are like the heroes read about in fiction books. They take knock after knock and keep getting up. Louie was that guy. And his story is amazing.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Unbroken?

    One of the most memorable moments to me was on the life raft. The three men were trying to simply survive the elements. They got hit with one challenge after another and just when you think they cannot get any weaker or they'll die. They get attacked by sharks! The writing in this particular part gave me chills. When the sharks rubbed their backs along the bottom of the boat, I imagined how it would feel knowing the only thing separating you from this man-eating beast is a piece of vinyl.


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

    No.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me cry. A lot. It affected me. I had to take a break at one point. For days. I had to give myself a pep talk to get back to it. It was that moving.


    Any additional comments?

    The movie did not do Louie's life or this book justice.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ashley 08-20-15
    Ashley 08-20-15
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    "Every American should read this book!"

    I love a WWII story. Usually such stories focus on Europe, particularly the goings-on in France and Germany. Hillenbrand tells the story on the Pacific side beautifully, weaving in historical facts to a truly remarkable, tear-inducing story of one bombardier that captures the American spirit. Really this story is unbelievable and inspiring. Five stars all around.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauraliisa 08-20-15
    Lauraliisa 08-20-15 Member Since 2014
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    "One of the best I have listened to all year"

    I didn't want to get out of the car. I can't wait to watch the movie now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maryland Mom 08-18-15
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    "Typical Hillenbrand"

    Laura Hillenbrand does it again! With her amazing knack for detail she weaves an interesting and historically accurate tale. I felt inspired by Louis' story. Also, the narration was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Iain
    11/9/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stunning spirit"
    Would you listen to Unbroken again? Why?

    No, but I would be interested in listening to his own account


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Unbroken?

    Too many to mention without giving it away


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    Well paced, well read throughout


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Survival with courage and dignity


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to this story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 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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