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 wouldn't listen to it again just because I'm the kind of person that doesn't generally go back and re-read or re-listen to a book.
Realizing the internal strength of the POW men.
He really brought the book to life for me. I felt that I had a wise teacher reading a story to me. I believe reading the book would have gotten me a little too mired down in the details. I've heard from a few of my friends that read this book that it had so many details that it was hard to get through. Having the book read to me made it easier to take in.
Definitely a must read! I usually shy away from history or WWII books, but this one kept my attention. Knowing that it was a true story made it much more enjoyable!
Perhaps, after a while. Although it was a terrific story, it was difficult to hear some of the horrendous conditions Zamperini had to endure.
Yes, I never cared for history as a child, but as I've gotten older I love learning about real people and their real life hardships and achievements.
Absolutely, Laura Hillenbrand is a very talented writer who wove the story of Louie Zamperini's life from his childhood to athletic achievements, courage in the face of torture, romance and finally, his faith journey in such a way that you really felt like you knew him , his family, friends and comrades. The book opens with a scene that is absolutely riveting and it keeps you enthralled like a good novel!
Nothing I can think of.
This book was so well done it makes me want to look into other books by this author. Bravo!
You just can't make this story up. Louis is a complex guy. But how he managed to survive is beyond amazing. It's a story of resilience without making him out to be a hero. Just a human being like the rest of us who managed to come through. And you just have to wonder at the darkness of humanity that let such horrors happen. That he then found the grace to forgive is even more amazing. Edward Hermann's narration does it all justice.
So well written that you actually feel like you're there.
Would have to be the main character
Narration was excellent.
Not really any reaction but certainly kept my attention.
I needed to drive for 8 hours from Woodbridge, VA to Asheville, NC. recently. I listened to the first half of the book on the way down and actually finished the book as I was pulling into the parking lot at home on the return trip. Really made the trip a pleasure! I already have another book downloaded for my next trip!
It's an incredible, true story so well-written I almost felt like I was there. I could see the characters and environments vividly as the story unfolded. I loved the book and sent it to my father who was a WWII vet who flew in the South Pacific during the war.
Louis, of course. He was an ordinary man who did extraordinary things and the author was able to show him in a very full and layered fashion.
That's very hard to say - there were so many different times and places.
Yes, when Louis was able to forgive and went back to Japan to face his captors.
This book was a truly amazing story giving a historical perspective of WWII as well.
The story, the characters, the reader. All were absolutely incredible.
The stunning turnaround in Louis Z's life at the end.
No, but now I want to.
This is truly an incredible story about what our POWs in the Pacific theater of WWII endured. I've been Air Force officer for 18 years and am a pretty good student of military history, but must say I am a little ashamed to not have known a lot about this part of WWII. If anyone feels their life is tough, just read/listen to this story and you will gain a completely new perspective, and a deeper appreciation for being an American.
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