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 love a WWII story. Usually such stories focus on Europe, particularly the goings-on in France and Germany. Hillenbrand tells the story on the Pacific side beautifully, weaving in historical facts to a truly remarkable, tear-inducing story of one bombardier that captures the American spirit. Really this story is unbelievable and inspiring. Five stars all around.
Laura Hillenbrand does it again! With her amazing knack for detail she weaves an interesting and historically accurate tale. I felt inspired by Louis' story. Also, the narration was excellent.
This book was my first Audible purchase and I lucked into the best choice possible! Anyone who loves suspense, great detail, vivid imagery, and a hopeful story would love this book. Also a great listen for any history buffs or those who love war stories.
My husband, teenage nephew, and I went on a road trip and no one slept on the 13 hour drive - we wanted to hurry back to the car at stops to find out what would be next.
"Unbroken" is not a light or short read, but it well worth the time. I highly recommend it to all ages (early teens and up).
Gripping from the start and I'm so glad the book goes into so much more detail into this amazing man than the movie. Some of the torture seemed repetitive but exceptionally narrated.
Reading this book for me took a long time. The story was very good and Louie Zamperini is now in my mind. After listening to this I feel as though I know him personally. Although it was very good, I am not much of a nonfiction reader so it was not the best book for me. I also thought that although important, not all of the information before and after his capture was relevant to the book, and dragged on just a bit too long. Overall though, this book is good and I would recommend it. :)
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