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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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  •  
    Ryan J. Mascarello 05-20-15

    I am very new to audio book as of last year 2014. I really have been missing out. I travel a lot so it's perfect for me.

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    "Deep war story from one of our many heros in WWII"
    If you could sum up Unbroken in three words, what would they be?

    Passionate, suspenseful, and dramatic


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Louis is obviously my favorite because it is written from his account.


    What does Edward Herrmann bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    There are points his voice makes it really feel like he's the one that was there. You almost forget he's reading a book to you.


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

    Well someone already has. Called it Unbroken. I have not seen it yet but look forward to it.

    You could also call it "The American Spirit" or "The war behind enemy lines"


    Any additional comments?

    ****Spoiler alert**** Overall great story. The part where he spent 3 years in POW camps drags on. But that being said it is very important that part of the story is told as so many men died there. And it was a long time for someone to endure that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tammie 05-20-15
    Tammie 05-20-15 Member Since 2015
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    "A hero, a man of honor, a Christian"

    The horrors of WWII illustrate why our freedom is our mostly costly treasure. Time fades the real truth of the evil that rang in world war and the need for confronting evil to remove its wings, it's ability to prosper. May we never forget the courage and bravery of those who serve our country.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandy Norman, OK, United States 05-20-15
    Sandy Norman, OK, United States 05-20-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent!"

    This was an excellent telling of Louie Zamperini's life. What a remarkable life he lead. He was a testimony of overcoming terrible trials and then finding forgiveness through Christ.

    I saw the movie before reading (listening) the book. I must say that the book is so much better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda 05-19-15
    Amanda 05-19-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Really good"

    Very heartbreaking story that reminds us how cruel war can be and how strong man can be. Hats off to Louis and all the POWs that suffered. Very well written story and I really enjoyed the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex 05-19-15
    Alex 05-19-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Hard to believe it's true..."

    This book leaves you wondering about the evils mankind is capable of. The narration can be described as "matter of fact" and the "story" like a work of fiction... honestly the reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because of the feeling it left behind and the questions I'm still asking myself.

    Truth be told, this book is extraordinarily well written and the narration is spot on. A total recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Curtis 05-19-15
    Curtis 05-19-15 Member Since 2005
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    "Wonderful!!!!"

    Great story, and so interesting because it was true!!! Hard to stop listening! The narrator was great!!! I strongly recommend this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Rene M. Coughenour 05-18-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Outstanding book!"

    Amazing story of our greatest generation. The resilience these men had is incredible. Absolutely heartbreaking to learn the atrocities they suffered through at the hands of the Japanese.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Kessler Kingston, WA USA 05-17-15
    B. Kessler Kingston, WA USA 05-17-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Fascinating story"

    Always wonderful to read true stories without the Hollywood take--very intriguing and gripping. Thought the audio presentation was better than reading the book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    mike peccia 05-17-15
    mike peccia 05-17-15
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    "A true hero"

    Awesome and thanks to all our veterans and my heart is broken for those who have had to suffer as prisoners of war

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Houston, TX, United States 05-17-15
    Joe Houston, TX, United States 05-17-15 Member Since 2016

    Born in Ohio, lived in California, Alaska, and now Texas

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    "I talked with Louis before he passed!"

    This book was so inspirational that I called the charity that Louis started to make a donation. Louis answered the phone and I was able to speak with him for a few minutes!! As good as others claim, maybe better. One of the top 10 of the 100+ titles that I've listened to.

    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
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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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