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)
The fact that this is a true story is UNreal!! You couldn't make up a better story. Very worth the listen, Hermann was great!
Never give up.
Hearing about the daily beatings and starvation made me, a born again Christian and Army Ranger, want to kill The Bird. To hear how all of the POWs didn't seek immediate revenge and Louie forgave The Bird after getting saved had tears streaming down my face. I'm glad I was in the car.
I grew up in Torrance, CA and so am very familiar with Mr. Zamperini, but I was still blown away by this book. It is so well written and well read. A true tribute to an amazing man!
Angela's Ashes. Unbroken is the most inspirational book I have ever "read". The triumph over hatred and despair is truly moving.
Louis overcoming being spiked and not striking back at other cheaters.
It is going to be a movie and comes out in a couple of months.
For new Audible users, this is the best possible introduction. The narrator is amazing, the author gifted, and the story simply amazing.
The narrator was clear and strong sounding, in keeping with the characters of the story.
It had to be Louis Zamperini, about whom this story was written.
No. But I would not hesitate to listen to a story read by him again.
I think when Louis's mother welcomed him home.
The story was told in a way that revealed how incomprehensibly cruel human beings can be to one another while alternatively highlighting the will of the human spirit to overcome what seems sometimes to be impossible odds and conditions. A little slow in parts of the beginning, but worth the effort to continue turning the pages.
Capturing, educational, emotional
Can't pick. Laura does a great job telling the story of a downed bomber during World War II.
R. this movie would make both women and men cry. What the men of World War II went through is unthinkable to the current generation. As a great news anchor's special stated, "the greatest generation".
I would love to see this real life story come to the pictures. Unpopular or not keep the hard stuff to handle. It makes the stuff my grandfather and others went through realistic. louis zamperini's recount of the duck is clearly a sticking point that needs to be explained.
I find no diff other than listening to Audible can be a productive experience when doing brainless chores like laundry/housework/driving/walking dogs.
Billy Graham's part and Louis' reaction/change.
Very extreme. I feel like this story should be a mandatory read for kids in high or middle school. If my child knew more of the times not too far back in our American history, I'm sure she would have a great deal more appreciation for how we have it now. I know I do.
One of the best books ever written.
I like to read, and with less time these days, I like to listen to books.
Perseverance. Struggle. Forgiveness.
It is a modern classic and could only be compared to novels, classics, that stand the test of time.
Exceptionally well narrated. Helped bring it to life.
I loved "Unbroken." It is one of the best books I have ever read.
I was mesmerized from the start of the book. It's really 3 amazing lives in one life.
I'm not going to give a literary review since there are plenty of those by more qualified folks. I'm just going to speak to those Audible listeners who (like me) are on the fence about this book. You've seen the title each time you come to the website to use your monthly credit and you've thought about getting this book but aren't sure it's for you. I KNOW YOU! I AM YOU! Just take a leap of faith and GET THIS BOOK! It's an amazing story. As a history nut (yeah... not a Lit major), I thought I new all of the epic survival stories from WW2 but this one took me by surprise. It's fascinating and will keep you engaged. I've taken long drives just to listen. And of course if you've ever heard anything narrated by Edward Herrmann, you don't need me to tell you what a great job he does. SO STOP PROCRASTINATING AND USE YOUR CREDIT... or get it even if your credit hasn't posted yet; it's worth it.
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