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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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  •  
    Kenneth Kirtley 10-16-15
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    "Great book"

    Awesome narration and an amazing story of survival... So much more detail and facts than the movie!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alka Auckland New Zealand 10-16-15
    Alka Auckland New Zealand 10-16-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Overwhelming...inspiring...heartfelt writing"

    You are connected with Zamperini from the start all the way to the finish
    Recommended highly
    Informative perspective on the pacific pow experience

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elise S Hardy 10-15-15
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    7
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    "love this book"

    I have a hard to putting it down. it's an inspiring story. it is truly upsetting that so many ppl lost their lives . may they rest in peace.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jesse 10-15-15
    Jesse 10-15-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Fabulous read"

    It's like 3 books in one and the storytelling is fabulous. Hillenbrand makes you feel like you're in the war with Louis! A must read for all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret 10-14-15
    Margaret 10-14-15
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    "Long but glad I listened"

    I nearly didn't buy this book and there were times I wished I hadn't. Hillenbrand has a tendency of staying too long on a set of descriptors. Her characters tend to extremes - fastest, stupidest, kindest, most dysfunctional people alive with few having any balance of characteristics. Likewise, the segments of the this book became repetitious.
    But overall I am glad I read the book. It helped me understand a part of WWII that was not in my thought pattern and helped me understand reactions by elderly American men who had served in that theatre. The story offered plenty of conflict, lots of excitement and possibility. I really didn't feel sure how the story would end. The ending was satisfying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-13-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent listen"

    Certainly makes me appreciate my freedom and all that was sacrificed for it. Also provided a good history lesson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jman_16 10-12-15
    Jman_16 10-12-15
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    4
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    "Incredible story and well written"

    What an incredible story and a well written one at that. The will to live and power to forgive are exemplified in this remarkable account.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    momathome 10-12-15
    momathome 10-12-15
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    "Exceptionally heartbreaking, yet, inspiring"

    Listening to this story has left me with interesting impressions of human nature. I studied Human Development as an undergrad and that along with a religious lifestyle provided me with various insights while listening. in fact, I didn't want to stop listening and relished the traffic that accompanied my drives in the late afternoons. This is an amazing telling of cruelty, resilience, determination, dignity, forgiveness, brotherly love, and other facets of the human experience. I feel enraptured and edified by this story accompanied by a desire to be kinder and do more for others. Only the best of stories have such an effect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Key West Texas 10-12-15
    C. Key West Texas 10-12-15

    CindyLouMe

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    "This is an outstanding true story that was masterfully written!"

    .I was working on a very mundane project that allowed me to listen to audiobooks while I worked. I found that I was hurrying to get there to learn what happened next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 10-12-15
    Jennifer 10-12-15 Member Since 2017
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    "Inspiring"

    What a wonderful story! I was apprehensive about the content at first, but I'm glad I gave it a chance. The story was told in such a captivating manner. Highly recommend to others!

    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
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    Story
    "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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