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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

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Performance
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  •  
    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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    147
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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
  •  
    Axworthy 02-21-15
    Axworthy 02-21-15 Member Since 2014
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    1
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    "Excellent story of the power of the human spirit"

    I have been going back and forth on reading this for a while. I'm so glad I finally did. It is truly an inspirational story of one man's struggle to overcome impossible to imagine brutality. The author tells the story in an unvarnished manner. I would highly recommend this to anyone with an interest in World War II, or history, or simply the wonders of the human spirit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-21-15 Member Since 2014
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    2
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    "Masterfully done!"
    Where does Unbroken rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This ranks pretty high. An engaging and remarkable true story. A fantastic and riveting performance by the late Edward Herrmann. I will certainly listen to anything this artist has performed.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Louis Zamperini. What a scrapper.


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    His humanity. The dignity he lent to the performance, particularly when dealing with the difficulty of the conditions in the POW camps. Remarkable.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    So many moments, but the one that moved me most was Louis reading the names on the wall when first captured by the Japanese. Heart wrenching.


    Any additional comments?

    A stunning combination of great story, good writing and an eloquent and engaging performance. A great audio book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Santa Monica, CA, United States 02-21-15
    Nancy Santa Monica, CA, United States 02-21-15 Member Since 2015

    SoCalNanynan

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    "Unbroken"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is one of the best books I have ever read. I did see the movie, but it did not ruin the story for me. There is so much more in the book than the movie could capture. Hard to believe how Louis and other POW's survived the torture, starvation and loss of dignity. The reader was perfect!


    Any additional comments?

    I usually read when I go to bed at night. Definitely not recommended for this book. Many sleepless nights. Now that I finally finished it, I look forward to a good night's sleep.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 02-20-15
    David 02-20-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Human spirit can overcome"

    Exceptional story, excellent reader. A must read/listen. Our greatest generation again demonstrates ones ability to rise above temporary circumstance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie Kresta 02-20-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Wonderful"

    The most wonderful story I have ever heard. The type of story that makes you a better person just because you have heard it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Govardhan 02-20-15
    Govardhan 02-20-15 Member Since 2014
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    "great story"

    I listen to aufiobooks on my commute to work. one of the best I have listened to. highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Cleveland 02-20-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Best in show...."

    One of the best books I have had the pleasure of reading/listening. I highly recommend you start it now!!

    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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