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

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Dec 08, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: military
Read in November, 2012

It is hard to imagine how this book could have been better. It is the story of Louis Zamperini, from his boyhood, through his amazing and disturbing war years, and his struggles after the war. The ordeal of Zamparini's 40+ days on a life raft in the Pacific followed by two years as a prisoner of the Japanese are something that very few could survive. Even in a POW camp where every prisoner was harshly treated, Zamperini's experiences were extreme. One thing that added to the story for me was that Zamperini was not just a war hero, but also an amazing athlete. At the age of 19 he ran the 5000 meters in the 1939 Olympics and very likely would have been the first to run a four-minute mile had WWII not occurred. Undoubtedly the fitness and strong will it takes to run at that level were a large part of how he managed to survive the war years. In the post war years Zamperini battled against the extreme psychological damage caused by his mistreatment during his POW years. But he was able to finally move beyond this (and alcoholism) to find peace and forgive the POW camp guard who beat him daily. All this and more...the book had a picture of him in his eighties on a skateboard! This is a hard and disturbing book to read, but it is also irresistibly compelling. I recommend it to everyone. Outstanding.

There is a great May 2012 interview with Zamperini at


Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Unbroken.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.