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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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  •  
    David 01-29-15
    David 01-29-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Such an intense story I could not put it down."

    The book well documents the intensity and realization of the terror the Pacific POW's endured. In parallel it follows the story of both the POW's and their suffering families. The story then brings it all together to the modern day. It lifts my respect for the sacrifices they made and my pride to be an American.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harry F. Murphine 01-29-15 Member Since 2014
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    7
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    "Nonstop suspense"

    The author does a good job at capturing the reader from the very beginning. It's amazing how much the human body and mind can truly withstand and the gentleman in this story price just that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jonathan 01-28-15
    jonathan 01-28-15
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    "Excellent"

    Took a chapter to get used to the narrator, but quickly became hooked. Remarkable story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry Hodge 01-28-15
    Larry Hodge 01-28-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A real live superman"

    A very powerful novel I wish I had the inner strength that this man has. We should never forget about our past

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Mashunkashey 01-28-15
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    "We should never forget the horrors of war."

    Great men and women of the greatest generation. Thank you for telling us this story. An event in human history that should never be forgotten. A real life story of the power of faith and perseverance under trial.

    Edward Herrmann excellent, I always appreciate his clarity and tone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Kooser UNIONTOWN, PA, US 01-28-15
    Emily Kooser UNIONTOWN, PA, US 01-28-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Touching"

    A must read. Unforgettable. A tale of a boy, a runner, a soldier, and a man that all of us can relate to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Bartl Chicago 01-28-15
    J. Bartl Chicago 01-28-15 Member Since 2014

    a fan

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    "very well done."

    had a hard time pausing this book. fantastic story of extreme trial and redemption. highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Jeries Nsheiwat 01-28-15 Member Since 2012
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    "What a story, details not found in history books."

    Excellent book, great portrayal of events, details, feelings, and perceptions. I appreciate the effort put in to make sure this was not just one person's experience, excellent use of quotes from others who were there. Great ending!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    JP Mondeau 01-28-15
    JP Mondeau 01-28-15
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    "Story & Performance equally Great"

    An epic tale of adversity and courage simply told by the late Edward Hermmann.

    Re reading the time in the raft, it could be modern parallel of Exodus.

    I read the epilogue over and over. Louis Zamperini is a better man than I.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Daniel mudano 01-28-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Amazing. The best book I have ever read in my enti"

    I think everybody should this book. It has the has the right amount of action, informational facts, and emotion. Best book I have ever read, period.

    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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