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)
This book is simply superb. Through the horrible and fascinating story of one WWII survivor, the author has created a tribute to all veterans. The story is not only riveting but also educational and informative. For those of us who did not live through the war it is especially enlightening as to how terrible and heart-breaking a time it was for veterans and their families across the world.
This book is so powerfully written that it may change any preconceived notions you had about WWII, Japan's role in the war and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I had never supported Truman's decision to drop the A-bomb until I read this book. The end justified the means.
I already have. This book captures you immediately and keeps you there. Roller coaster of emotion and gives a point of view of WWII rarely spoken of.
Emerging from the crash and surviving in the Pacific.
The tone of his voice matched the context well.
Laugh mostly. I also felt sorry for him. I could not imagine being put in those situations.
Read this book!!!
Mystery, suspense and edge of your seat listening is what I get out of Mark Greaney's writing with Jay Snyder narrating! Movies next?
The fact that this is non fiction! The life of Louis Z. is truly unbelievable.
When the prisoners were finally rescued!
His voice is so narrative and perfect for this story of adventure, defeat and tribulation.
Laura Hillenbrand is a great historical author and I will gladly sharpen my history knowledge with her books! Write more Laura!
The story is simply amazing, captivating and all consuming. How can any human endure such punishment? It shows how the will to live with a creative mind can overcome the unthinkable.
This is incredible journey with amazing detail that is a tribute to the research effort of the author.
Louis Zamperini is a hero and will always be an inspiration to me.
YES! All ready did! Great story was afraid I missed something the first time.
Very good reading very intense... keeps one on edge
Cried my eyes out! I felt the pain in the camps and the joy of ending of the war. Such a good story!
I was more upset that I did not learn more about the pacific theater in school. I wonder why I learned everything from vets and books. I do wonder if the conflict in Iraq will be portrayed in the schools the same way. Just highlighting the "big" events.
musing in new york
I was born in 1945 and can remember when I was a kid standing on the street corners with my friends telling one tale of Japanese POW camp tortures (we made them up but they came pretty close to the truth) after another. I never knew where that came from at the time. Now I do. What this man and his fellows went through in the Pacific theater alone and after being captured is amazing and speaks to the strength and resilience of the people of the times. How they came out alive is amazing.
My father was an Air Force captain (pilot) at the end of the war who spent time in Manila so the story hit closer to home to me for that reason as well.
I cried many times during this book and can only applaud the writer for her attention to detail and historical and emotional mix.
When they were captured by japan's army
Yes, at the end when he forgave THE BIRD
Fucking loved it!
I found this book very intriguing... at times I laughed and at times I cried. It was a great story and would highly recommend this book to others. Amazed at what Louis Zamperini experienced in his lifetime and his spirit given all he had gone through. Amazing individual and a very well written book that keeps you wanting more.
Excellent true story
This and fearless are the 2 best books I've read in a long time.
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