Carolinecarver's Reviews > Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
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Nov 05, 11

Read in October, 2011

I'm in the minority with my rating, but this book just made me uncomfortable, not for the many scenes of torture and deprivation that Louis Zamperini endured, but because these overwrought descriptions of day-in and day-out humiliation became both monotonous and hyperbolic, a strange formulation. There was so much focus on "the Bird," the main antagonist for Louis, and he disappeared and reappeared so often he became like "Freddy" in a horror film. To me Zamperini is a true hero, and his survival at sea and in Japanese prison camps (and his family's undying belief in his survival) is an awesome and truly life-affirming story. However, I think Hillenbrand cheapened it in her telling. There are many characters other than "the Bird" and Louis and his family, but they remain underdeveloped and come in and out of focus so that at times I felt that Louis and his antagonist were the only ones in the prison camps.

I learned a lot about our unpreparedness for war, and I felt genuine relief that my dad didn't make it into the air corps but served on a PT boat in the Pacific instead. The numbers of planes that went down due to poor maneuverability and just plain lousy construction were frightening, and the men who piloted them in spite of the conditions were truly superhuman.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Maureen I couldn't agree with you more. We are in the minority, but I am happy to not be alone. It seemed so many loved it. Your review is spot on.


Carolinecarver Thanks..glad to have company!


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