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Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption | [Laura Hillenbrand]

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. 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.....
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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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  •  
    Laura Baker Central CA 03-05-15
    Laura Baker Central CA 03-05-15 Member Since 2015

    reallyreal!

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    "Movie did not do the story justice."

    All I heard in school is how bad America was for dropping the atom bomb. This man and others with him went through hell.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Drake 03-05-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Inspiring"

    Absolutely fantastic and inspiring. A book every young person should read. A reminder of the past to better our features.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe 03-05-15
    Joe 03-05-15
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    "EVERY TEENAGER IN AMERICA SHOULD BE REQUIRED READ"
    What made the experience of listening to Unbroken the most enjoyable?

    One of the finest non-fiction books I have ever heard.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How forgiveness relieves your soul. What a remarkable story of survival and redemption,


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

    Great narrator


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Unbroken of course.


    Any additional comments?

    I think this should be on the read list in all schools in the US.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Painkiller67 03-04-15 Member Since 2011
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    4
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    "Best WWII story I've ever read!!! Get it now!"

    Grads you from the first page and never lets go!!! I will always remember this story for the rest of my life

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph 03-04-15
    Joseph 03-04-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Brilliant"

    One of the most critical stories you'll ever hear!
    Narration was wonderful most memorable moment was very last paragraph of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chad Mowery 03-04-15
    Chad Mowery 03-04-15 Member Since 2013
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    "You must!"
    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was very emotional and made a mark with the sacrifices that our forefathers made in WWII becoming more real to me. A reminder that freedom isn't free and human feelings of superiority can quickly lead to atrocious acts of evil. The resilience of human beings in dire circumstances is utterly amazing.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Bishop Pensacola, FL United States 03-04-15
    T. Bishop Pensacola, FL United States 03-04-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Going to be hard to top this one!"

    Great story! I miss Louis now that it is over! Amazing man and fantastic writing!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill mesa, AZ, United States 03-04-15
    Bill mesa, AZ, United States 03-04-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing"

    So good, this story possessed me with a plethora of emotions. I could not put it down any more than I could abandon a dear friend. I felt bitterness, anger, revenge, tears, forgiveness, hope, inspiration, love. So good., just so very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shaun Rody 03-04-15
    Shaun Rody 03-04-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Inspiration Seized from the Precipice of Defeat"
    If you could sum up Unbroken in three words, what would they be?

    Harrowing - Sequestration - Enlightenment


    What did you like best about this story?

    The best parts of the story for me was how it was told. It seemed as if Mr. Zamperini's life ebbed and flowed. There were times of sadness and desperation to outrageous fortune. The details of how one part of his life flowed to the next was riveting.


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

    No I haven't, I would imagine they are all as wonderful as this though. The man had an unbelievably smooth delivery and perfect voice.


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

    I am not a religious man, far from it, but when Mr. Zamperini finds solace it is inspiring, whether or not it actually happened that way.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jasonstuff United States 03-04-15
    jasonstuff United States 03-04-15 Member Since 2014

    jasonstuff

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    "INCREDIBLE PROFOUND"

    Everyone told me to read this, so I finally did and wow! I really enjoyed the narrator as well. The story is so powerful and as a Christian I find it awesome and amazing how God changed this man's life and so many because if him. So well written! You are immersed into each scene in such vivid clarity and feel the pain, joy...full emotion add the story unfolds. The journey of a man's life and the rippling effects of knowing he could survive anything and survived more than most will ever imagine in their nightmares.

    I strongly recommend this for anyone looking for hope, encouragement...perspective. It is a deep and moving story that the movie shamefully missed the heartbeat of.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • 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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