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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 (25539 )
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  •  
    Jeffrey Wieseman 11-23-10 Member Since 2007

    Gosoxjsw

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book"

    This book has helped me realize, I don't read enough non-fiction. I had to remind myself at times that this was a true story. Makes one wonder how the story of Louie Zamperini???s dramatic life was not already told.

    65 of 72 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed Woodbridge, CT, United States 12-03-10
    Ed Woodbridge, CT, United States 12-03-10 Member Since 2014
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    "Emotionally draining and uplifting."

    Best audio book I have ever "read"
    I had to pull the car over to wipe tears from my eyes.

    Louie is a true American hero!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt Bakersfield, CA, United States 11-29-10
    Matt Bakersfield, CA, United States 11-29-10
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    "Engaging story"

    This is a very engaging story. Well written, well read, interesting, uplifting and sad at the same time. Recommended.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Gladstone Havertown, PA USA 12-02-10
    Patricia Gladstone Havertown, PA USA 12-02-10 Member Since 2015
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    "Amazing Story"

    This was such an amazing story. It's hard to believe that people could survive the torment and torture that these POWs endured. Louis Zamporini's life is an inspiring testament to the resilience of the human spirit!

    21 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Oak Ridge, TN, United States 02-25-11
    Anthony Oak Ridge, TN, United States 02-25-11 Member Since 2007
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    "Simply The BEST!"

    I have been an Audible subscriber for nearly as long as it has been available. Unbroken is WITHOUT A DOUBT the best audio book I have ever listened to. A most listen!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roger Pflugerville, TX, United States 12-05-10
    Roger Pflugerville, TX, United States 12-05-10
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    "Great Story!"

    What a great story of endurance and perspective. One of the best listens in my library! I really enjoyed the historical information, the way Laura keeps track of all the characters thru the end. I really enjoyed this and would highly recommend. This helps you realize the depravity of all of us, the capability to endure, and the redemption possible thru forgiveness. Great job Laura and Edward.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Commack, NY, United States 12-04-10
    Anthony Commack, NY, United States 12-04-10 Member Since 2013
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    "WOW! Makes you realize how fortunate we are!"

    I want to write something to emphasize how powerful this story is, but can only come up with... unbelievable! The determination to live and the power of forgiveness = powerful.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David INDIAN LAND, SC, United States 12-01-10
    David INDIAN LAND, SC, United States 12-01-10 Member Since 2011
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    "Why have I not heard this story before?!?!"

    An excellent true-life account of Louis Zamperini and his comrades during WWII and their internment in Japanese prison camps! Laura Hillenbrand does a wonderful job bringing history to life and putting the reader right on the front lines with the characters. This is a must read for anybody who is facing life's hardships. Sure puts things into perspective and reminds me all over again, of the truly amazing willpower and the sacrifices made by the Veterans who served during WWII and America's other campaigns throughout history. Kudos to Laura Hillenbrand on another wonderful work. Excellent author. Excellent story. Excellent narrator. Home run! Also, Check out Seabiscuit: An American Legend by the same author. It is also extremely well written. I didn't expect to enjoy it as I'm not that interested in horse racing--but, as in Unbroken, she really brought the era to life.

    20 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne Valley Springs, CA, United States 12-02-10
    Wayne Valley Springs, CA, United States 12-02-10 Member Since 2010
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    "A GREAT AMERICAN HERO STORY OF SURVIVAL."

    What a an inspirational story. How these men stood all the torture and still survived Is amazing. It makes you proud of our military men and women.

    18 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Molly-o Seattle 01-05-11
    Molly-o Seattle 01-05-11 Member Since 2007

    English major. Love to read

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    "So good"

    How can you not like this book? Laura Hillenbrand is a consummate story teller and this story is made even more compelling by her ability to create a story. She makes you love the main character and you are there with him throughout his ordeal. Not to be missed, truly.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
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  • 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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