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)
Absolutely a triumphant story of a harrowing tale of survival against all odds. A must read, gives you pause about your struggles in your life. Makes your struggles seem paltry.
Very interesting and much better than the movie. This is my first time reading a book about a real person. So very interesting and narrated exceedingly well. Will definitely recommend .
It makes the hardships of our lives seem so trifling.
It just kept flowing. Hard to stop listening.
While stranded at sea.
It does depict some brutal torture and violence. More for men.
I picked it up because of reviews and it did not disappoint. It is enthralling and the narrator is superb!
Sales and Marketing professional, love to listen to books while on the road for work!
This is an emotional book and the performance keeps you focused on the detailed story.
The author weaves facts together so comprehensively that the reader is enthralled in the experience and personally feels the defeats and victories of this WWII story. I was left feeling grounded in a renewed understanding of forbearance and forgiveness.
It was FABULOUS! Usually if I'm going to read a book I don't see the movie until AFTER I've read. This time the movie was so good I decided to get the book too. I couldn't put it down. I kept finding excuses to sit in my car. DON'T MISS THIS EXCELLENT STORY!
Musician and runner living on the island of Jeju in South Korea.
This was the first audiobook that I listened, and it was almost too good of a starting point. Hillenbrand's reliable research and superb storytelling propel the plot and provide enough historical context along the way for history buffs. Hillenbrand never shies away from the ugly truths of war and it's psychological effects. What I found refreshing is that she is matter-of-fact with her details and does not omit any story aspects that shed light on Zamperini's flaws.
Hillenbrand also takes great care to be balanced and shed light on lesser known heroes such as Russell Philips. There is an effort to understand the story's main villain Mutsohiro Watanabe, but Japanese sources seem to remain scarce and the novel mostly maintains a United States perspective.
Held together by Edward Hermann's spot-on narration, this is a must-listen for audiobook enthusiasts. The novel is equal parts inspiration, informative and entertaining and provides enough closure for a satisfying ending. It's a celebration of an incredible life and the human spirit that it reflects.
Amazing story. After seeing the movie I thought I was going to be disappointed. But the book just filled in the empty spaces. The reading was just right, not boring or annoying. Would definitely listen again and recommend to everyone.
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