Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Front Cover
Random House Publishing Group, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 473 pages
2796 Reviews
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.

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Her research is impeccable, detailed, and educational. - Goodreads
This book was very hard to read. - Goodreads
Great, great storytelling about an amazing life. - Goodreads
The prose was kind of clunky and simplistic. - Goodreads
Amazing story, amazing writing. - Goodreads
The trite, neatly packaged ending actually enrages me. - Goodreads

Review: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

User Review  - Bob - Goodreads

I felt Hillenbrand spent a little too much time on Louis' running which makes the first quarter of the book slow for me (although if you enjoy competitive sports you may disagree with my opinion on ... Read full review

Review: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

User Review  - Erika95 98 - Goodreads

I had heard a lot about this book and thus had wanted to read it for quite a while. While I stand in awe of Louis and all POWs for all they sacrificed and endured, this book was a sad disappointment ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Laura Hillenbrand is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Seabiscuit: An American Legend, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, won the Book Sense Book of the Year Award and the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award, landed on more than fifteen best-of-the-year lists, and inspired the film Seabiscuit, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.  Hillenbrand’s New Yorker article, “A Sudden Illness,” won the 2004 National Magazine Award, and she is a two-time winner of the Eclipse Award, the highest journalistic honor in Thoroughbred racing. She and actor Gary Sinise are the co-founders of Operation International Children, a charity that provides school supplies to children through American troops. She lives in Washington, D.C. 

Bibliographic information