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
"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 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.
Unbelievable story of courage, disappointment, faith, and forgiveness. It is hard to believe that this is a true story.
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
Being a lover of horses, I was entranced by Hillenbrand's remarkably well-written "Seabiscuit," but, if it is possible, she creates an even more compelling drama with Unbroken, the story of another deep-hearted underdog who triumphs in the end. Highly recommended!
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The first couple of hours were boring to me that I had to double check that the amazing reviews I read were actually for this book. But after listening and going deeper into the chapters, I understood from where these reviews came.
The story is amazing and yes as the title says it’s a story of survival, resilience and redemption. But for me, it was more as it encompasses the human life with its various stages; the ambition to achieve, the hardships of life, the struggles we endure, the moving on, the letting go and hopefully finally making it. What’s great about it is that it’s a true story and thus reflects the imperfect world and the imperfect us. Even the main character (Louis Zamperini) who is a model and an inspiring great person had his down periods and at a point almost gave up.
The story also made me see war through a different lens. We all know that war is hard, difficult and devastating. But what these men had to go though is unbelievable! How they survived it, I have no idea. Hillenbrand also makes an amazing job researching the war and the people, narrating all the details and conveying it in way that one feels that they are living it with them. This could drain you out at times as the hardships they went through are unbearable.
The ending is specially touching and makes me reflect on my own life, what I have made to others specially my family.
Finally, I would love to read more nonfiction books written that way as it’s informative and interesting at the same time.
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.
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.
An amazing listen!! Zamperini's life was unbelieveable. His inner strength and courage and ability to affect others was infectious. I would love to meet this man and shake his hand and say thank you for carring a life long burden of memories of what he suffered in war to fight for our country. THIS BOOK, THIS MAN and THIS LIFE he led is like no other!
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!
This is a very engaging story. Well written, well read, interesting, uplifting and sad at the same time. Recommended.
This was going to be four stars right up until the last chapter, and then I realized it has changed my life. It is a fabulous survivor story. In fact, if it weren't a true story, you would swear the author was making it so unbelievable that you would have given up a long time ago asking yourself what she thought she was doing, or who she was trying to kid. Things just go from bad to worse to incomprehensibly worse. That anyone lived to tell this story is nothing short of miraculous, but that is not the only miracle in this story. It is truly a tribute to how much the human mind and body can endure, and how much easier life is when we depend on a higher power, that is to say, God, to help us through the horrible times. We all go through tough times, but I hope and pray I never have to go through anything close to what these men went through.
Edward Herrmann is a very good narrator. He really made this story come alive.
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