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Unbroken Audiobook

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

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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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  •  
    Linda S. Imel 06-09-15 Member Since 2016

    I love reading history, Isabel & Ferdinand, Columbus, or Mary Queen of Scots - fascinating, rich lives woven into a tension filled narrative

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    "Such resilience!"
    Would you listen to Unbroken again? Why?

    I think not - because it is a 'heavy' story until Louis comes to know Jesus. He had an arduous experience, and its not one I would want to revisit very often.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Unbroken?

    When Louis stands in front of The Bird, and takes the beatings over and over and over again. Of course, this is not a representation of Jesus, Louis was not even a believer yet. And yet, it is a visual and emotional account of a man standing and receiving blows and beatings that he did not deserve. A profound visual of the Cross.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Louis is reconnected to his family - I could see his little mother beaming with delight that her little boy was home.


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

    It is a very sobering reminder of mans' blindness to his personal sin before surrendering to truth. It is a visceral reminder of the truth of the unredeemed, untouched heart.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the book. It was just difficult to read, yet I was on edge, wanting to read and finish it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada 06-09-15
    Kathleen Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada 06-09-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A most compelling, deeply troubling and moving story"

    Unbroken is one of the most compelling audio books I have listened to. As the daughter of a WWll veteran who suffered from PTSD long before this trauma-based affliction had a name, I was deeply moved by the depth and heart wrenching truth of Laura Hillenbrand's novel read with such clarity by Edward Herrmann.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megan 06-08-15
    Megan 06-08-15
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    "I wept and was inspired and educated"

    I learned so much about history through the life of this inspiring man. As a Christian, the story of his conversion and how it helped him overcome the horrors of war, was moving.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon 06-07-15
    Shannon 06-07-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Amazing"

    A Remarkable story of human courage and salvation . A great tribute to the human spirit

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    avery1317 Lafayette, CA 06-07-15
    avery1317 Lafayette, CA 06-07-15
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    "An Important Book"

    Should be required reading in school to give kids some perspective. All to easy to coast through life without any historical perspective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian 06-07-15
    Brian 06-07-15
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    "One of the best I've ever heard"

    Great narration and a great story. Brad my three boys 11-15 riveted for the entires drive on a very long drive. Epic

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. McDowell Washington 06-06-15
    K. McDowell Washington 06-06-15

    Mother of 8

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    "Great Story!"

    You will not regret the time spent in listening to this audio book. Well written and we'll read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Learning Alterations 06-06-15
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    "Gripping and Unbelievably Suspenseful!"

    The story itself is very detailed. The writing is so descriptive it puts you right there with Louis and his comrades. The narration only adds to the suspense and real life drama. This is a must read. It brings history to life and gave me a new appreciation for all of those POWs and what they endured. Highly highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-05-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Wow"

    A tough story to get through but well worth the effort. It was nice to see them go through the remainder of his life postwar.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Aaron Un 06-04-15
    N. Aaron Un 06-04-15
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    "Wonderful story"

    Awesome loved it. Never knew this side of pacific war!! Recommended!! I am new to reading books and this definitely keeps me more hooked to listen more

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Iain
    11/9/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stunning spirit"
    Would you listen to Unbroken again? Why?

    No, but I would be interested in listening to his own account


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Unbroken?

    Too many to mention without giving it away


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    Well paced, well read throughout


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Survival with courage and dignity


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to this story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Renata Rissi Silva
    3/21/15
    Overall
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    "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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