Unbroken: An Extraordinary True Story of Courage and Survival
On a may Afternoon in 1943, a U.S. 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...more
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Louis Zamperini is my new hero. I loved his charisma and endurance, both of...more
I absolutely loved Seabiscuit, so I expected great things from this one. However, where Seabiscuit focused narrowly on a small set of characters and events, this was more sprawling, bursting with a poorly-sketched cast of characters who, over time, became nearly indistinguishable. For most of the middle section, the book wore me down with its unrelenting catalogue of abuse and privation. On a related note, I wasn't crazy about the fact that the book endlessly described...more
* This is why I love non-fiction.
* Best book (by far) I've read this year.
* Every positive cliche adjective should be applied to this story.
* 5 stars isn't enough.
* If it was fiction, you wouldn't believe it.
* Go buy yourself a cloth hankie, 'cause a kleenex ain't gonna cut it by the last ch...more
This book is a poorly written, exaggerated, sensationalized version of a true story, an overhyped ‘pop history’ book more concerned with drumming home the message that the human spirit can be indestructible in th...more
This is a WWII survival story of an American aviator in the Pacific theater. And wow! Louis Zamperini. Zamp!
An Italian immigrant with the fastest mile in college track who shook hands with Hitler at the ’36 Olympics, shot down in the pacific, 40+ days in a 2-man raft with 3 people, captured, paraded for propaganda, torture...more
The promotional buzz for this book focuses on Louis Zamperini's survival at sea after a WWII plane crash, and his subsequent ordeal as a POW in Japan. If that's what piqued your interest in the book, I suggest beginning with Chapter 12,(or a few pages before, so you can get the part about the crash). For the first eleven chapters, it's as if Hillenbrand couldn't decide which story she wanted to tell. Instead, she tried to tell them all, and did so poorly. You can...more
Well, the previews for this book are wicked misleading. Everything about it—the jacket cover, the book description...ok, maybe just the jacket cover and the book description—led me to believe this was a story about a World War II soldier lost at sea. And yes, there is certainly a...more
Louis Zamperini was an Italian-American Olympic runner whose plane goes down in World War 2, and he and two other men drift on a raft for a long, long time. I don't want to tell you anything else, because I want you to experience it. This books packs a double punch--the story itself is as amazing as Laura Hillenbrand's genius story-telling.
Books like this...more
Having a family that supports you as a child even when you’re a light-fingered, hyperactive little hellion. ↑
Becoming enough of a juvenile menace that the police are called to intervene. ↓
Hillenbrand is also the author of S...more
One big takeaway was just how cheap human life is in war. I think there was some stat about how 5/6 of the US airmen that died did so from accidents - that is simply staggering.
I love WWII stories, but most of the ones I've see...more
Though I have been familiar with this story for a long time, Hillenbrand's telling of it is magnificent. This is a book to reinforce everything you knew doctrinally about man's capac...more
WWII Was More Than Meets the Eye
Imagine that you are an American soldier. You and two other of your fellow soldiers are lost in the South Pacific Ocean after a horrific plane crash. You have little water or food to keep you alive, and the scorching sun in relentless. Oh, and your raft that you are aimlessly floating about on is being circled by twenty foot sharks. You are adrift for forty-six days of hell on Earth. Finally, after nearly seven weeks, you spot land. Somehow, you defied al...more
"Unbroken" was our book club choice for the month, and I picked it up somewhat reluctantly. It seemed awfully big and I worried it would be too slow and too depressing. How glad I am that it was chosen! I am going to buy a permanent copy to keep and maybe one for my Dad for Christmas.
The book follows the life of Louis Zamperini, a troubled youth turned Olympic runner. He is preparing for the next Olympic games when Pea...more
While I thought I was pretty knowledgeable about World War II and, especially, since my story-telling father-in-law had served in the Pacific, I found it fascinating that I had such limited understanding of the cruelty and dehumanizing treatment the Japanese inflicted on their prisoners of war. Even having recently r...more
Unbroken is a weighty boo...more
Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand's unforgettable tribute to courage and grace, tells the harrowing story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who suffered unspeakable treatment as a POW in Japan during WW II. While some of her prose is awkward, the story she tells is so riveting that it is nearly impossible to put down. It weaves personal information about Zamperini with a thorough analysis of his experiences, taking us from the Depression and America's reluctant entry into the war and depositing...more
I was listening to it during runs and hikes, then progressed to listening to it here, there, everywhere just so I could hear more. It is so well done, and so worth reading. If you are expecting a dry, dull narrative in age tinted black and white, you could not be more...more
Laura Hillenbrand made me a fan after reading Seabiscuit: An American Legend the way that she is able to recapture someone's life onto a page is a talent that only a very few can attain. She has continued to inspire me with this book. As Louie's story weaves through Olympic trials, getting drafted in...more
Louis Zamperini's life story is an extraordinary one. He goes from being a very mischievous kid..to being a world class athlete...to being thrust into WWII as an Army Airman. To a...more
Nope, couldn't wait until my next weight training day to listen to this book. Suffice it to say, NOTHING got done this weekend, because I could no...more
I must be in serious need of personal courage and grit in my own life, because the next book I plan to read is "Between a Rock and a Hard Place," the story about Aron Ralston. The movie "127 Hours" is based on hi...more
It's amazing (not in a good way) how many fighter pilots lost their lives during the Second World War by malfunctions more than by enemy attack. That fact alone blew my mind. I am so glad for having read this book because I think that it isn't until you some...more