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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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  •  
    mike 08-10-15
    mike 08-10-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Fabulous"
    What did you love best about Unbroken?

    It makes the hardships of our lives seem so trifling.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It just kept flowing. Hard to stop listening.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    While stranded at sea.


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

    It does depict some brutal torture and violence. More for men.


    Any additional comments?

    I picked it up because of reviews and it did not disappoint. It is enthralling and the narrator is superb!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Nicholson 08-09-15 Member Since 2010

    Sales and Marketing professional, love to listen to books while on the road for work!

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    14
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    "Great Listen"

    This is an emotional book and the performance keeps you focused on the detailed story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miriam 08-08-15
    Miriam 08-08-15
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    2
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    "History detailed like the most gripping novel."

    The author weaves facts together so comprehensively that the reader is enthralled in the experience and personally feels the defeats and victories of this WWII story. I was left feeling grounded in a renewed understanding of forbearance and forgiveness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TupperwearHappy 08-07-15

    TupperwareHappy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "YES!"

    It was FABULOUS! Usually if I'm going to read a book I don't see the movie until AFTER I've read. This time the movie was so good I decided to get the book too. I couldn't put it down. I kept finding excuses to sit in my car. DON'T MISS THIS EXCELLENT STORY!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy 08-07-15
    Timothy 08-07-15 Member Since 2015

    Musician and runner living on the island of Jeju in South Korea.

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    "Like a conversation with my Grandfather"

    This was the first audiobook that I listened, and it was almost too good of a starting point. Hillenbrand's reliable research and superb storytelling propel the plot and provide enough historical context along the way for history buffs. Hillenbrand never shies away from the ugly truths of war and it's psychological effects. What I found refreshing is that she is matter-of-fact with her details and does not omit any story aspects that shed light on Zamperini's flaws.

    Hillenbrand also takes great care to be balanced and shed light on lesser known heroes such as Russell Philips. There is an effort to understand the story's main villain Mutsohiro Watanabe, but Japanese sources seem to remain scarce and the novel mostly maintains a United States perspective.

    Held together by Edward Hermann's spot-on narration, this is a must-listen for audiobook enthusiasts. The novel is equal parts inspiration, informative and entertaining and provides enough closure for a satisfying ending. It's a celebration of an incredible life and the human spirit that it reflects.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Moeller 08-06-15
    J. Moeller 08-06-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Inspiring, heart wrenching story"

    I don't think I will forget Louis' story. Glad I listened. The abridged version is a good idea for people with less time or younger people. I

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Olivia Bernal 08-05-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WOW, WOW, WOW"

    Amazing story. After seeing the movie I thought I was going to be disappointed. But the book just filled in the empty spaces. The reading was just right, not boring or annoying. Would definitely listen again and recommend to everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry 08-05-15
    Terry 08-05-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Better than the movie"

    I enjoyed thd book and it tells the rest of the story. war is hell, coming home is never the end, judt a new beginning.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Morris C Christensen 08-05-15 Member Since 2015
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    35
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    "Their greatness is in my DNA..."

    I am named after my Father's older brother... Who flew torpedoe bombers over the Pacific during this same time.... He went down and was never found... This book was alive to me... my grandmother's emotions ... to ....my uncle's plane's malfunction and crash.... So well written I could feel their lives......

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MD Baton Rouge, LA, US 08-04-15
    MD Baton Rouge, LA, US 08-04-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great"

    A really good inspirational book to get you through difficult times. Great book for anytime.

    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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