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)
I read an excerpt of this in last month's Vanity Fair magazine. My husband and I couldn't put the article down. So we decided to get the audio version because we are short on time. I put it on my ipod and tooled around the house. I meant to listen to it in a few weeks but wound up listening for 5-6 hours at a time and finished the book in 4 days because I was so captivated by the story and just had to hear what was next. Hillenbrand's story is very easy to get lost in.
I don't usually read nonfiction books. I am so glad that I read this one. What an amazing story of human strength and endurance. I had no idea that the Japanese were so cruel to POWs. I think everybody should read this book.
I bought this book for my husband to listen to. It is very hard to find him books that he absolutely loves. He could not put this one down! He rated it as one of of the best books he ever read! The plot was filled with mystery and emotion. It was truly great writing. A must read!
Greg in San Jose
In every detail Unbroken was one of the best Audio books I've listened to. The story itself is something that quickly takes hold of you and you end up driving or walking around much longer than intended unable to turn off your iPod, wanting to hear what happens next. Laura Hillenbrand is an incredible writer, one of the best. Furthermore, Edward Herrmann reads with such perfect and appropriate cadence and emotion at each point, I can't immagine a better reader for this book. A five star rating is not hyberbole - this book is the real deal, it earns every star.
I don't cry over books or movies or even old Hallmark commercials. If this book doesn't blow your mind, then this is the Zombie apocalypse and your patient zero.
Christopher L Gerardi
Once I started this book, every free moment was spent listening. I was so anxious to see what Louie was going to encounter next! The words just flew off the page (so to speak), and Louie Zamperini is, to this day, an amazing man with an amazing story.
Along with "Tears of Darkness,"a nuanced yet straight forward look at great American heroes. Not to be missed.
One of the best I have listened to. Not only did I enjoy the book but learned much history that would have never heard. A great listen
An amazing life story. Told in a way that kept me enthralled from beginning to end. Loved it! 5 stars all the way!
His courage and forgivness that is a tribute to the greatness of the ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances. If there were more people in the world like this there would be more hope for mankind to overcome the cycle of hatred that plagues the human species.
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