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)
I've spent a lot of time over the years, learning about WWII. However, it has been mainly focused on Europe. Not only did I learn some history, it was an emotional roller-coaster!
The unbelievable things these men experienced...
Teacher, writer and avid book listener.... My first love is American History. But, every once in a while, its good to have a little brain candy.
After seeing an advertisement for the movie, I thought that the book might be worth the time.
I was unprepared for the beautiful narrative that told this powerful and compelling story.
A very gripping and horribly revealing account of American POWs suffering and degradation at the hands of the Wartime Japanize. The whole insertion of the Billy Graham/Evangelical material seems to me to be just a little more than gratuitous. Apart from this "interlude", the book, "Unbroken" is a wonderfully told Masterpiece!
Kerry Bourke, Halifax, N.S., Canada
I saw the movie first so I had fair knowledge of the story going in. However while the movie was very well done, to get the true big picture of what Louie's life really was, you MUST get this book. Absolutely amazing!
"It's a definitely must-read book"
An extremely interesting, involving and touching story. No doubt, one of the best I’ve heard!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.