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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

4.7 (33567 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Nina 12-08-15
    Nina 12-08-15 Member Since 2015
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    "EXCELLENT!"

    A must for history lovers! Just when you think its over, there is more. Proud to be an American!!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-08-15 Member Since 2017
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    "Amazing story, a true blessing"

    it was very well written and read. I finished the book in days and in tears.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BeckyE 12-06-15
    BeckyE 12-06-15

    Becky

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    "A MUST! Period."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Unbroken to be better than the print version?

    I don't have time to read the print versions. I love the audio version because allows me to immerse myself in the story, even if I am doing other things, like knitting or cleaning house.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Unbroken?

    The best moments were near the end when the planes were flying over the camps and dropping food to the prisoners. (I don't want to give away anything).


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

    Wow, what can I say? Edward Herrmann is a winner all around. I think he could read mortgage paperwork and be interesting. What a joy to listen to a book told by not only a familiar voice, but one that is so commanding you can practically feel like you are in a movie.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I have never read a book that made me feel as many emotions as this one did. Sadness, fear, joy and sorrow. I also never read a book that literally made me cry. This was full of those moments, sometimes in the same page!


    Any additional comments?

    If you happened to watch the movie first, please try this version. The movie version was awful. The acting was subpar and the emotion just wasn't there. The writing in the book is superb and makes you feel like you are really there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 12-04-15
    Jennifer 12-04-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Humanity"

    This story alone with so many difficult parts will bring everyone if you back to full circle if you allow it. I almost dropped to my knees. I had tears streaming down. Humanity. On every front.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TurboMom 12-01-15
    TurboMom 12-01-15
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    4
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    "great book!"

    Although it was harrowing at times, this story showcases human strength in the face of cruelty. I found it very inspiring!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tiffany 11-25-15
    Tiffany 11-25-15
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    "Pride and broken hearted"

    I felt every word of this book. I feel like I know this man, I love this man, I want to meet this man. So well told. My heart broke over and over during this story. Yet, I felt his and others energy and will to live. I learned so much about WWII and how a will to live can survive through such hell. I'm proud of these men!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Quinton Nightingale 11-23-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent story"

    This is an excellent story, well written and well read. Everybody needs to read this book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ES 11-23-15
    ES 11-23-15
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    "Wow, just Wow"

    Wow, I new thing in Japan were bad and our troops were miss treated. But wow... This story is truly heartbreaking.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Happy 11-23-15
    Happy 11-23-15
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    12
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    "INCREDIBLE HEARTWARMING TRUE STORY OF GREATNESS"
    What did you love best about Unbroken?

    That it is a true story of an incredible man of honor and valour and GREATNESS!
    I loved that it updates all the close people to Louis.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Unbroken?

    The horrors that Louis went through while in the prison camps and that he was able to stay alive through the unimaginable beatings and conditions! Triumph in the end!!!!!!!!


    Have you listened to any of Edward Herrmann’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no I have not.


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

    yes I laughed with Louis and saddened greatly at the continual harshness of the Japanese captors. (The Bird)


    Any additional comments?

    Would recommend this book to everyone!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 11-21-15
    Paul 11-21-15 Member Since 2017
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    "amazing story"

    made me tear up several times at the incredible power of the human spirit and the faith of a man developed in dire circumstances forgotten for a time and recalled to remembrance through the efforts of a loving spouse and an inspired minister. a wonderful story of family love and Devotion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Iain
    11/9/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stunning spirit"
    Would you listen to Unbroken again? Why?

    No, but I would be interested in listening to his own account


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Unbroken?

    Too many to mention without giving it away


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    Well paced, well read throughout


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Survival with courage and dignity


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to this story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Renata Rissi Silva
    3/21/15
    Overall
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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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