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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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  •  
    David San Jose, CA United States 10-01-15
    David San Jose, CA United States 10-01-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This may be better than I think"

    I think this is probably a better book than I am willing to rate it right now. Perhaps I'm suffering from fatigue from Japanese POW narratives. The brutality is difficult to stand. I don't think I'll read another like this for some time. I get the cultural context for the Japanese treatment of prisoners; yet, that does nothing to lessen each blow described. I wondered where this would end. By its nature, you must suspect the hero will survive, but what happened after the war. I did appreciate the discussion of PTSD in the context of Pacific War vets in particular. I think that's a subject that hasn't received nearly enough popular attention. People like to make comparisons of the WWII generation and their children, and I see some remark at the strength of the WWII generation. At the same time, these men suffered in silence. We can't say they didn't suffer from their experience. I do think this book can be a good stand in for other similar POW stories. I do think it was well written. I won't be seeing the movie, I don't want to see it anymore.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-01-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Simply amazing!"

    The courage, strength, will power, tenacity and many other character traits of the men who made this story what it truly is are simply unheard of! I can't imagine a week of any part of the undeserved punishment that these men and many more like them chose to endure after capture or being cast away nor would I want to!!!
    Not even half way through this book I had a new hero! Louie Zamparini is . . . I don't know, there are no words! He is my hero!
    Read or listen to this book!!! You simply must!
    Even if you're a boring stick in the mud that doesn't care about anything the lessons you can take from this part of history are priceless!
    The narrater couldn't have done a better job!
    I give it 👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽 on a scale of 1-10 absolutely 100!
    I implore you to partake of this history lesson!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy C. 10-01-15
    Amy C. 10-01-15
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    "Hello"

    Hello! I love all the christen hero books you make. They're so awesome
    That I listen to them thirty times !
    There is one book I really love......
    Unbroken. I listen to that book all the time my dad gets tired of listening to it when I am sleeping in his room. I hope
    you make more books like unbroken. And another thing I like about your books is because they are real story's they are not made up story's. But real.
    Thank you for reading this!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    smarron 09-29-15
    smarron 09-29-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent read"

    Much better story then the movie. Emotion is much closer to the surface. Movie glosses over many important background facts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Davis Hammond, LA United States 09-29-15
    Janet Davis Hammond, LA United States 09-29-15 Member Since 2001

    glass lady

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    "Grim, captivating"

    I know that many listeners gave this book very high ratings. I did not see any that mentioned how LONG the descriptions of the various atrocities were. Describing the torture and barbaric treatment of the POW's by the Japanese military was important, however, I think that the descriptions went on much too long. I wondered if it were for shock value, and I found myself "fast forwarding" through many minutes of the sessions of subjugation, beating, and torture.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ricky San Mateo, CA, United States 09-29-15
    Ricky San Mateo, CA, United States 09-29-15 Member Since 2012
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    "What an amazing life."

    Overall this was a pretty good book and the life story of Louie is pretty amazing. This book was also a harsh reminder of how violent and evil the Japanese army was during World War II. I thought the portion of the book that depicted his life as a prisoner of war was a little overdone. Right about the time you got a really good feeling about the kind of mistreatment and torture that he lived through, it went on for three more chapters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Barbara 09-29-15
    Barbara 09-29-15 Member Since 2007
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    "Inspirational"

    The hours listening to this amazing book flew by. I found the lessons presented important and enlightening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rabi A. Jones Waldorf, MD 09-24-15
    Rabi A. Jones Waldorf, MD 09-24-15 Member Since 2015
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    "unbelievable story"

    it was a wonderful story of resilience and courage. I dont think I would have had it in me to survive what he went through. amazing!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 09-20-15
    Chris 09-20-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Wow!"

    Wow! This was a powerfully written story which brought about a whole host of thoughts and emotions..
    Highly recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan 09-20-15
    Ryan 09-20-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Incredibly Moving"

    This book is worth reading and re-reading again. Zamperini's story is enormously inspiring. I feel a renewed sense of incredible gratitude for life after reading this book as well. It really put me in touch with my feelings of love for life and hope for those who are in extremely adverse situations in life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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