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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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing Story of Survival

Could not stop listening!!!! Well written and well read. Highly recommend this book. Thank you.

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Unbroken

Very well written and performed. Accurate research and detail make this novel truly historical fiction.

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Unbroken

Very interesting story of the resistance of the human spirit. Shows to never give up.

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The Best.

What a great story. Narrated by a voice I wished was narrating all my audio books. real dece.

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incredible

An incredible story with a great narrator. it made me shiver, anguish and smile

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  • Ntron
  • Austin, TX
  • 05-06-16

This book changed my life in many ways

The author is an artist who paints masterfully with words and emotions. This book changed the way I look at life, and my reaction to the curveballs it sometimes throws at me. After reading this book I have a new sense of gratitude for what I have, my country, and the men and when who serve in the military, but this book also gave me the strength to persevere over whatever hardships I'm facing, because nothing I'm facing can ever compare to the horrors the brave men in this book, and countless others, had to endure in their selfless fight to save the world from an arrogant evil.

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Quite long, but a story everyone should read.

Sometimes it was painful to listen to what our young man endured. Anyone who isn't about the USA, should leave our beautiful country. God bless those young soldiers.

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Great book

This confirms the incredible strength of the human spirit to survive the harshest conditions. It also confirms those very conditions can be imposed through the hatred and brutality of our fellow man. Life affirming story. God bless our veterans!

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Worth all the time spent listening

If you could sum up Unbroken in three words, what would they be?

Just for me.

What other book might you compare Unbroken to and why?

Atlas Shrugged. It is alike in the simple truth that some people just aren't meant to be stuck into the mold.

Which scene was your favorite?

Not to give too much away. I enjoyed the chocolate going missing and the description of the individuals face who had taken it.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

This is not a one sitting book (its long), however, its like one of those films you can just watch again and again. It is perfect for that road trip the second time through the book.

Any additional comments?

This story of a man that just, would, not let outside forces break his will and determination. It was a story that needed to be told. Laura Hillenbrand did. This is a listen or a read worth every syllable, letter, and annunciation. Thank You.

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Outstanding book amazing man...

This was a great book of the madness of Japan's terrible atrocities of WWII and the triumphant spirit of a man.