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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.8 out of 5.0
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Too slow

This is a biased review because I like faster paced interesting books. I tried very hard to stay interested but everything was very drawn out and I couldn't even finish it. I gave up on the idea of listening to it when I ran or worked out almost immediately, but even in the car, it would make me sleepy.

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Could not put down!

Loved this audio book! Great story and story telling! So unbelievable what atrocities these men survived. Cannot wait to see the motion picture.

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Very moving. Hard to believe TRUE story!

Everyone should hear this story and remember the history. God bless the men who sacrificed so much. What an amazing life and achievement! Life lessons we can all learn from. Very well read. Truly enjoyable.

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Very exciting but hard story to hear...

I enjoyed the reader and his voice was very good for this story.
The middle of this story is very hard to listen to but so important to know of the power of people and choices they make for both evil and for good. The last few chapters are amazing and show the power of forgiveness and God's grace extended to us. Louie and his many friends and family are examples of courage, respect and dedication. Thank you!

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Powerful

Unbroken changed my view of WW2. The book is a riveting true story of an olympiads experience as a POW. The underlying theme of the book demonstrates the power of a man's will to survive through unspeakable ordeals. This book takes through vivid emotional experiences. Hillenbrand has written a masterpiece as she tells the story of WW2 through the eyes of Louis Zamperini.

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This should be read by every American!

What a story and what a life! Written well and great narration. I would recommend to anyone😃

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Great unknown story of American hero.

I did not know the full story of Louis Zampareni. This is a compelling story of his incredible life. The author did not sugar coat his mistakes, and didn't preach. I also learned a lot of the atrocities of war in the Pacific theater.wow

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Incredible!!!

By far the best book I have ever listened to!! The story was incredibly well written and the narrator was fabulous!!! I was truly inspired by Louie's story and the life choices he made following excruciating circumstances.

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Riveting story, reads like an adventure story

What did you love best about Unbroken?

Hillenbrand tells a biographical story with all that matters and without listing dates, times, names, etc. Extremely captivating. Pity the movie didn't do justice to this great story.

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Excellent!

Excellent narration of a life of family love, triumph, trial, unimaginable pain and suffering, struggle, family love once again and ultimately, how God's love transformed a life ruined by hate & revenge.