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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

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  •  
    Paul Fountain Valley, CA, United States 02-18-15
    Paul Fountain Valley, CA, United States 02-18-15 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unbelievable. .The will to live"

    This story gives us the insight into a man with a will to live that many of us do not have. Have not seen the movie yet. The book cannot bring out all of the atrocities that were put on the POWs...The movie definitely cannot. War is H**L...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Bourdo 02-18-15
    C. Bourdo 02-18-15

    Tina Bourdo

    ratings
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    11
    4
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    Story
    "Wonderful story of redemption"

    Once I started listening to this book I couldn't hardly stop. I highly. recommend it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. High 02-18-15
    K. High 02-18-15 Member Since 2014
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    1
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    Story
    "Unbelievable Story of Perseverance"

    Louis endured seemingly unbelievable trials throughout his life and you can't fathom how things go from worse to even worse as hire sorry unfolds.
    It is evident that the author did an amazing amount of research to write this story. The interwoven details are so specific and yet she writes in a way to allow your imagination to run wild. Read the prelude, if you're not hooked, this book is not for you!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Ruth Logan, Ut, United States 02-18-15
    Emily Ruth Logan, Ut, United States 02-18-15 Member Since 2013
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    5
    4
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    "Fascinating!"

    Such a beautiful story, and the narrator did a phenomenal job keeping me entertained. This story has sparked my interest in other stories of the resilience of the human spirit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nikole 02-18-15
    Nikole 02-18-15 Member Since 2013
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    "great story!"

    Reader got boring at times and the book at some points also. But overall it had great detail and was an enthralling story

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John S. Whitehouse 02-17-15
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    2
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    "Excellent"

    Listened to this on an East Coast road trip, excellent way to spend 14 hours. Edward Hermann provides a familiar voice in the narration with great cadence and emphasis. The story itself deserves the hype it's been given. It's incredible that one man went through so much, a fitting tribute to the "Greatest Generation".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Worth Watts 02-17-15
    Worth Watts 02-17-15 Member Since 2014
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    3
    3
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    Story
    "Tremendously well told"

    Loved it!!! I especially appreciate the tender approach to his encounter with Billy Graham at the end. I'm getting a copy for my Dad!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Corral 02-17-15
    A. Corral 02-17-15 Member Since 2015
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    3
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    "Good book!"

    The beginning is a little boring Get past the plane crash after ch 10 and the book gets really good!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rohan Kumar Gurgaon,India 02-17-15
    Rohan Kumar Gurgaon,India 02-17-15
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    "A story that hits you to the core."

    Loved this story of resilience and human endeavour to persist. Amazingly narrated, takes you to a different era, a different time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renee Waianae, HI, United States 02-17-15
    Renee Waianae, HI, United States 02-17-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Incredible Story!"

    I don't often write a review unless I absolute love with the book. The story is unforgettable, it's unbelievable, heartbreaking, awe inspiring, and it's a true story. It was well written and narrated. I've listened to the story three times now, and will probably listen to it again and never get tired of the telling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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