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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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    TweedBunny 03-18-15
    TweedBunny 03-18-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Unfathomable hardship, incredible story"

    This story caused me to cry more than once throughout. And my nearly broke when their hardship on the ocean was over.... only to turn into something even worse. Incredible man with an incredible story that I'm so glad he recorded and shared!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Turner 03-18-15 Member Since 2013
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    "very inspiring. "

    one of the best books Iv ever read. highly recommended. id say a must read for any one who watched the movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip 03-18-15
    Philip 03-18-15 Member Since 2014

    Have found audiobooks to be a great way to pass time during long car road trips for work, and Audible makes it easy.

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    "Fantastic book (far better than the movie!)"
    Any additional comments?

    I thought the book and narration performance were outstanding. Really made me excited to see the movie, which (as happens in most cases) I felt didn't live up to the book. What a fascinating individual. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Matt 03-18-15
    Matt 03-18-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great Book"

    AMAZING. COMPLETELY WORTH IT.
    GREAT NARRATOR. AMAZING BOOK to anyone looking for a something to spend their time look no further

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Susan S. Coryell Tullahoma, TN 03-17-15
    Susan S. Coryell Tullahoma, TN 03-17-15 Member Since 2015

    phoenix

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    "Absolutely riveting."
    What did you love best about Unbroken?

    The spunk of Louie and that his family loved and supported him through good and bad.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Unbroken?

    When he went to the Billy Graham tent meeting and decided to keep his promise to God that he had made on the lifeboat, received the peace of God, stopped drinking, stopped smoking and stopped having nightmares and flashbacks of his ordeal. It was another miracle in this man's life that showed him God wanted him for Himself.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When they had to fight off the sharks jumping in the lifeboat.


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

    When his wife died.


    Any additional comments?

    I kept thinking, no one could live through this without the hand of God bringing him through it. And it made me wonder how different Louie could have possibly been from all the other POWS who did not live. For a reason only God knows, he was spared. He should have been dead a hundred times, but it never happened.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    finnmom 03-17-15
    finnmom 03-17-15 Member Since 2014
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    "The Human Spirit and Christ's Forgiveness"

    This book was captivating and, therefore easy to read.I have never cried so hard Worthwhile.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Knipper 03-17-15
    Knipper 03-17-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Outstanding"

    The moment at the end when Louie comes to Christ and when he says goodbye to his brother Pete for the final time....so moving.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Sarah Reagin 03-17-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Inspiring tale of tough American Hero"

    What a wonderful story. This exceeded all expectations and renewed my interest in historical tales and non-fiction in general.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Mike 03-16-15
    Mike 03-16-15
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    "Great Book"

    Fantastic and inspiring story of courage and spirit !!!!!!! Would like to have known Louie. Highly recommend this book to everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Stephen Red Bluff, CA, United States 03-16-15
    Stephen Red Bluff, CA, United States 03-16-15 Member Since 2005

    You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” ― C.S. Lewis

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    "HE TOOK A LICKING AND KEPT ON TICKING"

    A wonderful true story of a man who took life at its worst and always wound up on top of things. Well voiced by Mr. Herrmann. I looked on the internet and found out he just died in July 2014, They made a movie out of this book but I'm told they left the redemption part out of things so i'll wait to watch it on netflix. Highly recommended. Right now they are selling this book for under 4 dollars... unbelievable.

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