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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

4.7 (25531 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mike Smith 03-11-15
    Mike Smith 03-11-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Amazing"

    Simply an amazing story. Almost unbelievable. Very very inspiring. God is great. You must read this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Oliver 03-11-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Moving"

    Historically enlightening, this book brought to life the many atrocities, struggles, triumphs, and paradigms of life in the early to mid 20th century, and even war itself. I'm grateful to have experienced this wonderfully written and engaging book, and many thanks and praise be given to it's author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler 03-11-15
    Tyler 03-11-15 Member Since 2014
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    3
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    "Incredible story"

    Well told. Very addicting to listen too. I would recommend this to anyone who likes history, war stories and anything related to ww2

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melanie 03-10-15
    Melanie 03-10-15
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    "a very good read!"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The descriptions were vivid and it brought you into their struggle. Some of it was hard to read due to its graphic content but the style of narrating suited the book wonderfully. I learned a lot about the war and I am so glad our book club chose this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Travis 03-10-15
    Travis 03-10-15
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    4
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    "Best Audio book of the Year"
    Would you listen to Unbroken again? Why?

    Yes! Such a captivating story that goes to show how insignificant our everyday problems are compared to that of POW from WWII.


    What other book might you compare Unbroken to and why?

    No other book comes close.


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

    Pete. The caring brother who just wanted to see his brother happy and succeed.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    An Unimaginable Journey of a WWII Bombadier


    Any additional comments?

    Greatest book I've listened to yet. Such an amazing story of Louis Zamparini who goes from Olympic track star to a POW in Japan's most brutal camps during WWII. This story will make you feel guilty for cursing the traffic on your way to work this morning, for complaining about the missing cream in your coffee you got at Tim Horton's and for all those little things that we allow to disrupt our day. The sub-title of the book is spot on as the words survival, resilience and redemption sum up Louis' journey flawlessly. Listen. To. This. Book. You won't regret it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 03-10-15
    Andrew 03-10-15
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    "Amazing, inspirational !"

    A truly amazing story about war, suffering and the human condition. I was riveted by the story and thrilled by the conclusion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mickey O'Neil Houston, TX 03-09-15
    Mickey O'Neil Houston, TX 03-09-15

    Pikey

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    "Beautiful story of life, excellent narration"

    Amazing life story, beautifully written and the narration by Edward Herrmann is excellent. Definitely recommended

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew 03-09-15
    Matthew 03-09-15 Member Since 2013
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    10
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    "Absolutely amazing story"

    This is one of the most powerful story's I have ever read or listened to. The ability to endure such brutality and forgive is inspiring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jesse Flynn 03-09-15
    Jesse Flynn 03-09-15 Member Since 2015
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    3
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    "Extraordinary"

    The combination of a compelling story with a remarkable writer and superb narration leaves the listener very little to want .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason 03-09-15
    Jason 03-09-15 Member Since 2015
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    8
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    "Awesome!"

    The storyline was amazing. The writing was excellent. The narration was excellent. I highly recommend this book. Enjoy the book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Renata Rissi Silva
    3/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It's a definitely must-read book"
    What did you like most about Unbroken?

    An extremely interesting, involving and touching story. No doubt, one of the best I’ve heard!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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