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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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  •  
    Tara Fedyk 03-03-15
    Tara Fedyk 03-03-15
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    "Beautifully written!"

    What a great true story! One of my favorite books ever. Louie! What a true testament to God's graciousness and faithfulness!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathryn Bisordi California 03-03-15
    Cathryn Bisordi California 03-03-15 Member Since 2013

    CBisordi

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    11
    2
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    Story
    "Fascinating and heartbreaking"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Unbroken to be better than the print version?

    Yes


    What other book might you compare Unbroken to and why?

    The Hiding Place. Both center on WWII and the cruelty of the concentration camps, perpetrated in one case by the nazis, and the other by the Japanese. I learned so much. Made me so grateful for all I have.


    Which character – as performed by Edward Herrmann – was your favorite?

    The lead character louis zamperini


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I cried on more than one occasion. Laughed and rejoiced as well.


    Any additional comments?

    When I find myself complaining about trivial things I remind myself of what I have and think about those who have gone before me and what they have suffered. This book opened my eyes more widely to this. It also taught me so much about Japan's involvement in WWII as well as what American soldiers experienced and survived. Made me ever so much more grateful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe McCutcheon 03-03-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Hell yeah!"

    This was a great story. The beginning is slow and there's probably a little overkill on his statistics in regards to running. However, if you can make it past that you're in for a good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AR 03-03-15
    AR 03-03-15

    sg

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    54
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    "All aspects are exceptional!"

    I highly recommend this audio book. Excellent story. Extremely well written. Superb narration. Five out out five stars -- I look forward to listening again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara J. Christensen Harrisburg, PA 03-03-15
    Barbara J. Christensen Harrisburg, PA 03-03-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Fascinating!!"

    I agree with the previous reviewers. I found myself sitting in the driveway finishing a chapter, cleaning out closets in order to keep listening... I listened over lunch instead of watching the news & even laid in bed with my iPhone on my pillow. It is a compelling, fascinating, engaging & enlightening story of survival, buy this book, you will be glad you did!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Wellington, New Zealand 03-03-15
    John Wellington, New Zealand 03-03-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Moving and inspirational story"
    Which character – as performed by Edward Herrmann – was your favorite?

    Louis Zamperini


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

    The moment the life of Luis Zamperine turned from hate to forgiveness and love.
    It would have been so easy to keep absorbed by hate, but Louis turned it around into something good.


    Any additional comments?

    The books has 3 layers.
    The story of how a man (Louis Zamperine) survives horrific circumstances.
    The brutality of the Japanese during WII.
    The way a man (Louis Zamperini) can turn soul destroying experiences into something good.

    The entire book kept me listing from the first till the last sentence.
    Probably the best book I have ever listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clint 03-03-15
    Clint 03-03-15 Member Since 2014
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    "What a truly amazing story of Mr Zamporini"

    Amazing story, great storytelling performance by the audio reader too. I had to listen to this book in several sessions, taking a few breaks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Spencerport, NY, United States 03-02-15
    Amazon Customer Spencerport, NY, United States 03-02-15 Member Since 2010

    Esse Quam Videri

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    "Incredible story!"

    Hard to imagine anyone survived what he did. Only by the grace of God! This book challenged my life tremendously.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer USA 03-02-15
    Amazon Customer USA 03-02-15 Member Since 2015
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    4
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    "Powerful!"

    Unbroken exceeded expectations and offered a long look into war, its effects on those involved, and the resilience of the human spirit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve 03-02-15
    Steve 03-02-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Compelling story"

    Terrific story. Makes you realize the problems you're facing in your life are minuscule by comparison. My only complaint with the audiobook is that I think it was a couple hours too long and it could be very dreary and depressing for hours and hours.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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