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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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  •  
    Brendan 05-28-15
    Brendan 05-28-15
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    "Powerful story"

    Listening to this audiobook really transformed the way I approach my day to day inconveniences which previously seemed to carry more weight.
    This story keeps you rooting against all odds, amid the worst punishments one could never begin to imagine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tdg 05-28-15
    tdg 05-28-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Uplifting"

    The title of this book says it all. The author takes us on an odyssey through a troubled childhood, a renewal, a horrific wartime ordeal, a crushing struggle, and finally redemption and forgiveness.

    The writing is not as descriptive as I prefer, but she is a good storyteller. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

    The performance was outstanding. Mr. Hermann is a superb narrator, always brings life and enjoyment. What I enjoy most is that he never distracts from a story with uneven pacing, reading too slowly, or mispronounments.

    Overall, I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Bevan 05-27-15
    David Bevan 05-27-15
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    "Enjoyable"

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Mr. Herrmann did a great job narrating. Highly recommend this to everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-27-15
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    "Brilliant story"

    You will learn so much from Louis Zamperini's story. Our history books gloss over so much of the Pacific side of WWII. Get it and listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph 05-27-15
    Joseph 05-27-15
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    "What a story!"

    I have been meaning to read this book for some time. I was absolutely blown away. I typically will judge a movie or a book by how it strikes me on an emotional level; unbroken hit just about every possible emotion I could feel. I sat there and laughed, came close to tears, smiled, felt nervous, empathize, was terrified, was depressed, and was overjoyed.

    This was a story that should be read by every high school student. The perseverance that Louie displayed could be covered in a college course in psychology. Upon completing the book, I felt nothing but extreme gratitude for having the opportunity to read the story. I have the utmost respect for Louie and look forward to meeting him in the next world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen 05-27-15
    Stephen 05-27-15
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    "A must read To Forgive Heals All Wounds Review by Stephen Dooley"

    I began reading the book with an open mind . Not sure what to expect. As I began getting further into the story, I was hooked and found myself wanting to get back to reading more and more each night. I felt satisfied how it ended..except perhaps that the two didn't get together and Louie didn't received an apology from the Bird. Possibly the Bird truly felt sorry for all he had done but being trained as a soldier were you never accepted defeat, he couldn't apologize and Louie forgave him anyway. The reader was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica 05-26-15
    Jessica 05-26-15 Member Since 2016
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    "awesome. .... pure and simple"

    This is one of them best biographies I've ever read. Action, suspense, sorrow, redemption, and forgiveness. shows the power and healing that only Christ can give. incredible

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, United States 05-26-15
    Mike INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, United States 05-26-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Lays Bare Unbearable POW Survival Revealing Grace"

    In finality One can break the mirror which reflects our coarse experience living in Grace

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LINDA 05-26-15
    LINDA 05-26-15 Member Since 2013
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    "The ultimate survival story"
    Would you listen to Unbroken again? Why?

    Yes, I found there were so many facts about WWII planes I would like to listen too again. The story was riveting.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like the story about a rambunctious boy, who turned into a man that was able to use what others saw as delinquency to his advantage to survive.


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

    I like Edward Hermann's voice. Soothing but made me want to listen.


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

    I cried many times in the middle and end and I laughed a few times. My gut felt sick for the inhumanity of men and sadness for the women in war.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan Huggins 05-25-15 Member Since 2015
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    "An Amazing Triumph"

    This is one of the most heartbreaking and redemptive stories I've ever heard. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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