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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

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  •  
    Norma S Wimberley 03-16-15
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    11
    2
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    Story
    "Good Story"

    a story of hope and forgiveness.perserverance, bravery, mans inhumanity to fellow man, no remorse on part of. enemy and the true face ofUS

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    glmeirelles 03-15-15
    glmeirelles 03-15-15 Member Since 2014
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    8
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    Story
    "The title says for itself."

    Great book. The title says for itself. I would now like to see the movie hoping that it is as great as this book is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlotte Stevenson 03-15-15
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    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Story
    "I wish that I had known this man"

    This is incredible story. It kept me enthralled to the end. This story is as better than any best seller fiction that I have read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary V. Smith Baltimore, MD United States 03-15-15
    Mary V. Smith Baltimore, MD United States 03-15-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved this book!"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marissa 03-15-15
    Marissa 03-15-15 Member Since 2014
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    31
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    Story
    ""If you can take it, you can make it""
    Would you listen to Unbroken again? Why?

    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.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I just love Louie and his mother's reunion


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Hedeen 03-14-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Wow"

    Wow! Great story! Great book! Great narrator! I did not want it to end because it was so good. Wow

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry 03-14-15
    Terry 03-14-15 Member Since 2015
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    1
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    "Much better than the movie"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela York, PA, United States 03-14-15
    Angela York, PA, United States 03-14-15 Member Since 2014

    Angel

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    "Why the Japanese were once hated"
    Would you listen to Unbroken again? Why?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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!


    Any additional comments?

    Make your kids read it so they know evil when they see it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy Burnett 03-14-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Very engaging"

    This will keep you enthralled for hours.
    A small piece of World War 2 history in a few hours.
    Great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    marianne 03-14-15
    marianne 03-14-15
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    1
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    "Should be required reading"

    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.

    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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