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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 (22558 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    James A. Polk, CPA 01-26-15
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Story
    "My take"

    I was born on 5-22-1942, and have always been fascinated by the world and time I was born in. This book gave me a view of that time and world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Wonder Lake, IL United States 01-25-15
    Amazon Customer Wonder Lake, IL United States 01-25-15 Member Since 2013

    Bluejay

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    124
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interminable"
    What did you like best about Unbroken? What did you like least?

    The story itself was not too bad, but told in a very unappealing way. The hero had a very hard time in the raft and in prison camp, but the telling was extremely repetitious. How many times can you hear that he (and the other prisoners) got dysentery and then it got bad and then it got worse? Just awful... I will watch the movie, because it may be better without all the repetition.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Laura Hillenbrand? Why or why not?

    No


    Would you be willing to try another one of Edward Herrmann’s performances?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Patnode Littleton, CO USA 01-25-15
    T. Patnode Littleton, CO USA 01-25-15
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    "Fierce resilience and forgiveness"

    Exemplary humanity shows through what must have seemed like hell on earth. How Zamperini came through it all with a smile is too incredible. There were parts where It was too painful to listen let alone imagining having lived through it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dngrhm 01-25-15
    dngrhm 01-25-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    "Couldn't stop listening!"

    This book surpassed all expectations I had! The story itself is fascinating, but Hillenbrand puts it into a package that is irresistible!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat 01-25-15
    Pat 01-25-15
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    "Unbroken"

    Moved quickly with tremendous detail.
    I have no idea how the author obtained so many facts and I highly doubt any movie could do it justice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maureen J. Curtiss 01-25-15
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    5
    2
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    "Return or replace Unbroken."
    Would you try another book from Laura Hillenbrand and/or Edward Herrmann?

    No I could not even finish reading it and it was terrible narration.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    No


    What didn’t you like about Edward Herrmann’s performance?

    Boring boring unlistenable.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    Please take it back.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather S 01-25-15
    Heather S 01-25-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    Story
    "So sad! Great triumph!"

    Difficult to listen too! I could not imagine such cruelty. I loved the power of forgiveness and the final joy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aaron 01-25-15
    aaron 01-25-15
    ratings
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    1
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    "Very good"

    Enjoyed it very much I have listen to the book at least 6 times! Will be listening to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gabriel Torres Coalinga 01-25-15
    Gabriel Torres Coalinga 01-25-15
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    2
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    "Very Uplifting"

    The story of Louie is a testament to the will power we all have inside us. Very powerful life story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    augus079 01-25-15
    augus079 01-25-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Get through the first part"

    The first part seemed like it was going nowhere but o my god stay with it. Such a great book and truly an unbelievable story.

    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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