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

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jun 29, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: biography, favorites

The best book I have read all year and one of the best non fiction books I have ever read. I saw the interview with Louis Zamperini on 60 minutes and immediately ordered the book. See it here: While the interview made Louis seem likeable and sweet the book revealed the true nature of this American Hero. The man is a national treasure and everyone should read his amazing story. Just to start with, he was an Olympian runner. Then the war comes and he becomes an ace bomber. He survives a plane crash, thirty plus days at sea in a raft, numerous shark attacks, only to finally be rescued but by the Japanese. You wonder how things could get worse than being stranded in a raft with no food or water but they do, drastically so. This man cheated death so many times that the only conclusion that can be drawn is that GOD had a plan for his life. His religious conversion was inspiring. By the time I closed the book I had tears pouring down my face.

Laura Hillenbrand is an amazing author. She knows a thing or two about suffering and pain because she suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome. Many days she is not even able to get out of bed. It was only recently that she was able to meet the subject of her book face to face. Louis and Laura's friendship as depicted in the interview was extremely touching. It is clear that they hold each other in the highest regard.

I learned so many things from this book. I only knew the part of the story where Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. I was very surprised to learn how the Japanese culture influenced their treatment of prisoners. Of course I knew that we dropped the atomic bomb on Japan but this was the first that I heard that there were kill orders in place for our troops. If the bomb hadn't been dropped, all of the prisoners that the Japanese held would have been executed. When you think of WWII, you think of the brutality of the Nazi's but this book really opened my eyes to a part of history that seems to have been swept under the rug. I would never have known about the Rape of Nanking or the Baatan Death March if I hadn't read this book. The thing that I will most take away from this book is the absolute selflessness of that generation of Americans. The way they put their lives on the line without thinking twice about it is something that I find extraordinary. Louis Zamperini and the men and women he served with are shining examples of that courage. Thankfully we have a gifted author like Hillenbrand to remind us of the sacrifices they made so we could have the freedom that we enjoy today.
29 likes · flag

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

Reading Progress

June 29, 2012 – Shelved
July 2, 2012 – Started Reading
July 5, 2012 –
page 134
July 6, 2012 –
page 134
28.33% "So far I've learned about the Rape of Nanking and the wreck of the Mignonette. Who needs fake heroes like the avengers when you have Louis Zamperini, a real American hero."
July 6, 2012 –
page 200
42.28% "The prison guard in Japan is Louis's college friend from California! No freaking way. Truth is really stranger than fiction."
July 8, 2012 –
page 309
July 9, 2012 – Shelved as: biography
July 9, 2012 – Shelved as: favorites
July 9, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Ellen Ariel, thanks for the 60 minutes interview. I read your review after reading the book. Watching that interview was a great way to celebrate the end of the story. An amazing man, Louis, as was that generation. I only wish my dad was still alive to share the story of Louis. My dad fought in wwll in the Philippines, but he would never talk about the war. All he would say is that he would never consider going camping as he had his fill of tents. He died young at 54' probably due to the two bouts of malaria that he had while fighting in the pacific. I will never know his stories, but thanks to Louis I have a much better idea about what his experience might have been. I am grateful to that brave generation as well as all the brave men and women in the service that have made it possible for us to live the wonderful lives that we have.

Ariel Ellen,
Thanks for your comment. I enjoyed reading about your dad. He was a true American hero just like Louis. You must be so proud of him. They are "The Greatest Generation." Unbroken was a story that had everything and was true on top of it. One of the best books I have read this year. Glad you enjoyed the interview.
Best Regards,

Ariel Glad you enjoyed it.

Ling Thank you for posting that interview link! Good review too. What an amazing man... I cant believe he's still alive! Read that Angelina Jolie is directing a movie version...hope it does the book justice.

Michele Thank you for posting the link! Our family will be listening to Unbroken on our long trip this summer

Ariel That's a great idea. I think I am going to get it on CD for my daughter too! It's important to educate the next generation about the sacrifices made for them.

So sad today. I really wanted to see pictures of him enjoying his movie premier. A true hero, rest in peace Louis!

back to top