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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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  •  
    Annie 01-21-15
    Annie 01-21-15 Member Since 2014

    Rather adorable.

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    "Unbelievable tale to tell..."

    ...But so glad that he did. I think everything there is to be said about this book has probably already been said - and better than I could have. I'll just let the stars speak for themselves.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    catie 01-21-15
    catie 01-21-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Moving"

    A terrific performance and touching story made this book chilling and heart warming. The devastation to the human soul that come with war is terrifying but the souls ability to rebuild is heart warming and beautifully depicted.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Marsh 01-21-15
    John Marsh 01-21-15
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    "Uncommon courage"

    The narration takes you back and you almost feel you are there for every high and every despairingly horrific moment of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alene L. Wesner Kansas City, MO United States 01-21-15
    Alene L. Wesner Kansas City, MO United States 01-21-15 Member Since 2014

    Alene

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    "Outstanding in every way!"

    Very rarely does a book affect me as deeply as this one has. The faith and forgiveness felt and shown by Louis after hearing Billy Graham has touched me more than I can say. The story and performance were both outstanding. This and Fearless written by Eric Blehm are now my top two favorite books just below the Holy Bible. Well done indeed!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin 01-21-15
    Kevin 01-21-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Best book to listen to."

    This book is incredible. And walking through it I felt as if I was really there. A must listen for everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Hsteager 01-20-15
    Hsteager 01-20-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Touching"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Unbroken to be better than the print version?

    I cried multiple times during this book. I feel that if you're a veteran who has struggles with your military history, this book is very inspiring. It might trigger you if you suffer significantly from PTSD, etc., but I found it very inspirational for myself.


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

    No I have not.


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

    Several.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Willson 01-20-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Physically, emotionally and Spiritually moving"

    Author and narrator outstanding. The true story, simply amazing
    Highly recommend reading Great appreciation for the costly freedom we enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Smith 01-20-15
    Brian Smith 01-20-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Phenomenal"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Incredible story about an incredible hero. Truly reminded me how thankful I am of our Veterans!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    His salvation


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    "Unbroken"

    Hey, that's pretty good...I wonder if anyone will pay me for it. I can even tell you who you can cast for each part, and I bet that will be willing to do it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Matthew Pledger 01-20-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Awesome"

    The story was really well written, and the narrator did a awesome job!
    Overall I give two thumbs up and five stars!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-20-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Thought provoking and inspiring story."

    I greatly appreciated Louis story being shared for all who are willing to learn from. I am so grateful to all the men and women who sacrificed so greatly to assure the freedom we enjoy. Words are not enough to express how I feel. Thank you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Renata Rissi Silva
    3/21/15
    Overall
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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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