Reviews

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

Editorial Review - Kirkus - Jane Doe

The author of Seabiscuit (2001) returns with another dynamic, well-researched story of guts overcoming odds.Hillenbrand examines the life of Louis Zamperini, an American airman who, after his bomber crashed in the Pacific during World War II, survived 47 days on a life raft only to be captured by Japanese soldiers and subjected to inhuman treatment for the next two years at a series of POW camps ... Read full review

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Absolutely Amazing!

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This book was so well written. The author keeps you engaged from beginning until the end. Louie's story is so amazing. His fight for survival his willingness to survive and his fighters spirit are truly inspiring.
Great read!

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This book is one of the best book i have EVER read!!! The story of a kid who like me was doing horrible in school and was able to go from someone who not many people liked to being the hero of a small town. This story is book that i would recommend to those who like both military and survival.

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one word wow

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A ripping good read. True yes, but it is not short on embellishment for dramatic effect. For example the claim that in Zentsuji POW camp, an American died on the last day of November is not quite correct. An RAF officer Fl/Lt Moulden passed away on November 21st principally from starvation but also he had been subject to punishment because whilst sick in the sick bay (and you had to be extremely seriously sick to be allowed into the sick bay) he was caught with leaf tobacco smuggled into the camp.
On 12th November a Major Barret suddenly died, (official reason internal hemorrhage, probably brought on by diet - or lack of.)
However do not let this put you off as it is really a story of survival in times of severe adversity and as such is an inspirational story.
My one complaint is that it does not need the embellishments. For example here is an excerpt from a POW's diary from Zentsuji:
"Weds Nov 15th 1944
... reduced to lowest level of human existence just holding on to the border of painful hunger or malnutrition (grip of) ready to tip over on mortal starvation."
Does not actually need dramatic embellishments.
 

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Forgiveness... this story weaves it though the soul of a man who cannot escape the cruelty inflicted by others, leading to his salvation.... culminating in joy. It is a lesson to be learned by the many fortunate people, my self among them, who never know the unmerited terrors life can bring. This book is not only entertaining, it's informative and evocative. Read... and open your heart.  

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A profoundly moving story about the transcendent capacity of the human spirit to endure the unspeakable. The biographer of Louis Zamperini describes his delinquent childhood, the successful redirection of his errant energies into running, and his history as an award-winning Olympian before his entry into the Army Air Force during WW2.
The crash of his plane over the shark-infested Pacific Ocean began a whole new chapter in Louis' life. Imagine 46 days with no food or water and hungry sharks rubbing the bottom of the lifeboat in eager anticipation?
Author Laura Hillenbrand analyzes Louis' capacity to survive:
"Though all three men (in the life raft) faced the same hardship, their differing perspectives of it appeared to be shaping their fates. Louis' and Phil's hope displaced their fear and inspired them to work towards their survival and each success renewed their physical and emotional vigor...Louis and Phil's optimism were becoming self-fulfilling."
Their fateful landing was not at all the joy they'd hoped for: they were held POW in Japanese camps and there treated to the most inhumane of cruelty by Japanese guards, the worst being `The Monster' Watanabe who, through incessant beatings, tried to deprive Louis and his friends of their most important possession - human dignity.
Author Hillenbrand comments: "This self-respect and sense of self-worth, the innermost armament of the soul, lies at the heart of humanness; to be deprived of it is to be de-humanized, ...In its absence, men are defined not by themselves, but by their captors... In captivity in Kwajalein, Louis and Philip learned a dark truth known to the doomed in Hitler's death camps, the slaves of the American South, and a hundred other generations of betrayed people."
This powerful history cum biography describes amazing American and Australian POW survival tactics that kept them alive and as well, outlines the worst consequences of survival, namely post-war trauma, wherein the victim of abuse can actually destroy his own rescued life.
We learn how Louie's post-war trauma was healed and with every page are astonished at this brave story of human resilience.
Congratulations to author Laura Hillenbrand for her excellent accomplishment of 400 pages of inspiration.
Eleanor Cowan, author of : A History of a Pedophile's Wife
 

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Well done. Great history lesson.

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EXCELLENT!!!

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