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)
Loved, heart wrenching, unbreakable
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.
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.
Didn't want to turn it off and first thing in morning began listening until this audible was completed. Great narration!
Thank you so much for this audible.
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.
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.
It was amazing. I felt like I was listening to a contemporary war correspondent's narration of events as they happened.
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.
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.
Listening to audiobooks is like watching a really, really, really long and way more interesting movie... with my ears.
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.
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.
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.
The movie did not do Louie's life or this book justice.
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.
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.
No, but I would be interested in listening to his own account
Too many to mention without giving it away
Well paced, well read throughout
Survival with courage and dignity
Listen to this story!
"It's a definitely must-read book"
An extremely interesting, involving and touching story. No doubt, one of the best I’ve heard!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.