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 am not much of a reader of history. However, the reviews on Unbroken were so good, I decided to read it. So glad I did. I raced thru the book listening to it at every opportunity. The horrific inhumane treatment of the POWs, especially Louie Z., makes one wonder how any of them ever were able to live a normal life again. This is a an inspirational story about one man's ability to overcome and live again. It really has changed how I think about my own life. That is so many things we complain about on a daily basis seem like nothing, absolutely petty and small. So glad I read this book!
For sure - it's an amazing story about true events. So not only does it inform listeners about actual historical events, but it is centered around an easily lovable character that makes you want to keep listening to hear his story.
I just love Louie and his mother's reunion
What an inspiring story and group of men.
The book got to the heart of Louie's triumph over so much adversity and finding Jesus and forgiveness was his biggest victory!
Too bad Hollywood didn't emphasize the biggest triumph!
Yes, I never understood why my grandfather was so hateful of the Japanese. After reading this book I now understand. I had no idea our POWs were treated so badly. It was a moving story with lots' of lessons to be learned.
It moved fast...the fact that this was true story kept me engaged. I had no idea how my grandfather generation grew up and lived. It was a history lesson! And, hopefully we learn so that history doesn't repeat!
Yes, I turned it on every chance I got...even closing my office door and listening while I worked. Rarely do I like distractions while I work. This book was the one exception!
Make your kids read it so they know evil when they see it!
On so many levels this is an amazing story that grips you from the first paragraph. Love the fast moving and descriptive writing style ...will definitely read something else by this author. The narrator was also excellent.
"It's a definitely must-read book"
An extremely interesting, involving and touching story. No doubt, one of the best I’ve heard!
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