#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The incredible true story of survival and salvation that is the basis for two major motion pictures: 2014’s Unbroken and the upcoming Unbroken: Path to Redemption.
On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces 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 of the Second World War.
The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.
Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.
In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.
Praise for Unbroken
“Extraordinarily moving . . . a powerfully drawn survival epic.”—The Wall Street Journal
“[A] one-in-a-billion story . . . designed to wrench from self-respecting critics all the blurby adjectives we normally try to avoid: It is amazing, unforgettable, gripping, harrowing, chilling, and inspiring.”—New York
“Staggering . . . mesmerizing . . . Hillenbrand’s writing is so ferociously cinematic, the events she describes so incredible, you don’t dare take your eyes off the page.”—People
“A meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life.”—The Washington Post
“Ambitious and powerful . . . a startling narrative and an inspirational book.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Marvelous . . . Unbroken is wonderful twice over, for the tale it tells and for the way it’s told. . . . It manages maximum velocity with no loss of subtlety.”—Newsweek
“Moving and, yes, inspirational . . . [Laura] Hillenbrand’s unforgettable book . . . deserve[s] pride of place alongside the best works of literature that chart the complications and the hard-won triumphs of so-called ordinary Americans and their extraordinary time.”—Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air
“Hillenbrand . . . tells [this] story with cool elegance but at a thrilling sprinter’s pace.”—Time
“Unbroken is too much book to hope for: a hellride of a story in the grip of the one writer who can handle it.”—Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
There are many tales of selfless heroism from World War II, but you’ve never heard one quite like this. Before becoming a bombardier, Louis Zamperini was a rebellious runaway who rode the rails and a top-level runner who competed at the Berlin Olympics. During the war in the Pacific, Zamperini’s B-24 crashed into the ocean, where he survived in the water for 47 days before being taken prisoner and tortured by the Japanese. Laura Hillenbrand tells this incredible tale with the perfect balance of flourish and restraint, letting the jaw-dropping events speak for themselves. We love how the narrative shifts between Zamperini’s pulse-pounding account of these events and his thoughtful reflections from decades later about everything from the psychology of revenge to how his ordeal made his later life seem that much sweeter. Actor Edward Herrmann’s narration lets the optimistic power of Zamperini’s spirit shine through. Unbroken—which was adapted for the screen by Angelina Jolie—is a life-changing testament to the human spirit.
Incredible story. Heart wrenching, heart warming and heart felt. You won't be disappointed. We couldn't catch our breath for two straight days of driving, came home and had to finish the book before unloading the car.
I don't usually pay much attention to books that receive 5 stars on itunes because sometimes they are handed out like water to very mediocre audiobooks. In this case the 5 star evaluators are right, this was a very good audiobook one of the best I've heard.
An exceptional story!
By far one of the best books I have ever read or listened to. The length was at first concerning, but after the first chapter I did not want the story to end.