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Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption Hardcover – Nov 16 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st Edition edition (Nov. 16 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400064163
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400064168
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.4 x 24.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 862 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2010: From Laura Hillenbrand, the bestselling author of Seabiscuit, comes Unbroken, the inspiring true story of a man who lived through a series of catastrophes almost too incredible to be believed. In evocative, immediate descriptions, Hillenbrand unfurls the story of Louie Zamperini--a juvenile delinquent-turned-Olympic runner-turned-Army hero. During a routine search mission over the Pacific, Louie’s plane crashed into the ocean, and what happened to him over the next three years of his life is a story that will keep you glued to the pages, eagerly awaiting the next turn in the story and fearing it at the same time. You’ll cheer for the man who somehow maintained his selfhood and humanity despite the monumental degradations he suffered, and you’ll want to share this book with everyone you know. --Juliet Disparte

Review

“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. . . . When it comes to courage, charisma, and impossible adventure, few will ever match ‘the boy terror of Torrance,’ and few but the author of Seabiscuit could tell his tale with such humanity and dexterity. Hillenbrand has given us a new national treasure.”—Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run
 
“Riveting . . . an exceptional portrait . . . So haunting and so beautifully written, those who fall under its spell will never again feel the same way about World War II and one of its previously unsung heroes.”—The Columbus Dispatch
 
“Magnificent . . . incredible . . . [Hillenbrand] has crafted another masterful blend of sports, history and overcoming terrific odds; this is biography taken to the nth degree, a chronicle of a remarkable life lived through extraordinary times.”—The Dallas Morning News
 
“No other author of narrative nonfiction chooses her subjects with greater discrimination or renders them with more discipline and commitment. If storytelling were an Olympic event, [Hillenbrand would] medal for sure.”Salon

“A celebration of gargantuan fortitude . . . full of unforgettable characters, multi-hanky moments and wild turns . . . Hillenbrand is a muscular, dynamic storyteller.”The New York Times

“[A] masterfully told true story . . . nothing less than a marvel.”Washingtonian

“Zamperini’s story is certainly one of the most remarkable survival tales ever recorded. What happened after that is equally remarkable.”—Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair

“Irresistible . . . Hillenbrand demonstrates a dazzling ability—one Seabiscuit only hinted at—to make the tale leap off the page.”Elle

“A tale of triumph and redemption . . . astonishingly detailed.”O: The Oprah Magazine

“An astonishing testament to the superhuman power of tenacity.”Entertainment Weekly

“Intense . . . You better hold onto the reins.”The Boston Globe

“Incredible . . . Zamperini’s life is one of courage, heroism, humility and unflagging endurance.”St. Louis Post Dispatch

“Hillenbrand has once again brought to life the true story of a forgotten hero, and reminded us how lucky we are to have her, one of our best writers of narrative history. You don’t have to be a sports fan or a war-history buff to devour this book—you just have to love great storytelling.”—Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Macontario on May 24 2011
Format: Hardcover
A truly outstanding book, beautifully written and that leaves you unable to put the book down. Louis Zamperini's courage and determination not to give in to one of mankind's worst periods of abuse is a tribute not only to him but does justice to the many men mentioned within his account who despite being beaten,tortured and abused did not lose their desire to survive and fight back no matter how small the victory. This should be required reading for young people to appreciate how power and cultural pressures if not curtailed can lead to atrocities and abuses of power. A sad book in many ways but ultimately also one that demonstrates the power of the human spirit to rise above hatred and find new paths to forgiveness. A book I will pass to my friends and children to read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By JD on July 28 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Absolutely incredible book. Laura Hillenbrand is an amazing writer. She makes you feel as if you were right there experiencing everything the main character, Louie, went through. The book should be mandatory reading for all school age kids from grade 6 and up and all adults too. We often whine about stuff which is insignificant when you read this book. What Louie and all the men and women who went through WWII went through was insane. It's so incredible how Louie never gave up despite what at times seemed like insurmountable challenges. This is definitely a book that makes you gain an appreciation for what we have and for all men and women who fought in WWII. The only thing I would have liked is if Laura spent some more time discussing Louie's life after the war and after he found God. Other than that, this book is a treasure.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By jacksprat TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Dec 3 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Laura Hillenbrand will absolutely WOW the reader. This is a real page turner of a well researched true story. It reads like the finest of novels and it really makes you stop and think...this really happened. This is the first book by Laura that I have read and I will now look up Secretariat. Keep writing Laura, you are one fine writer. Other than the publisher's notes I will not give the story away other than to say read it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Carruthers on April 23 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book reads like a fiction thriller. I have to admit, for me,most non fiction books tend to be very dry and boring. This book raises the bar for non fiction books everywhere. The fact that these events actually happened to this man is astounding. The resilience of Louis can only provide inspiration to anyone that reads this book. I highly recommend this to anyone that is interested in a spell binding,engrossing,suspenseful book. You will not be disappointed!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Norma Bandler on July 31 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The lifetime of Zamperini was scarred with challenge from his youth until his redemption through the influence of a Christian Church. The story is one of overcoming these challenges as a renegade, a prisoner of war, an alcoholic and eventually a leader.
It is remarkable but the violence and terror as a POw is a difficult read. I would recommend this book to those who have an interest in World War !! as well as those who enjoy reading biographies of resilience and survival
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 12 2011
Format: Hardcover
Reason for Reading: This book dealt with many topics that interest me: World War II, especially the war with Japan, the Japanese war atrocities and survival stories, especially those at sea.

What an amazing book! I would give it 10/10 if I could and two thumbs up if it were a movie. I'd be very surprised if it wasn't made into a movie either, unless telling about the relatively unknown Japanese atrocities is too much for Hollywood to handle.

Louis Zamperini was a boy with humble beginnings, who grew up to have a shot at Olympic stardom, which was torn away from him by WWII and instead replaced by one of the most horrific survival stories you will ever hear. Seven years in the writing Hillenbrand has brought a book and a story that will not be forgotten by time. This is a story that everyone need read to see what despicable, horrific things human beings are capable of doing to others and how the spirit of other human beings are capable of surviving even the most degrading and self-demeaning tasks placed on top of daily torture of the most extreme kind. This book is hard to read in many places, but is also full of many moments of pathos. The POWs managed to find little ways to brighten their days at the expense of their prison keepers to help keep their morale up.

Louis started life as a thief and a thug, until his older brother took his energy and placed it into something more constructive. Track. Louis was a natural, but didn't take to it kindly at first, since he easily won without trying, until he saw that with real effort he could actually break efforts and his dream for the Olympics took over and he became a changed youth, participating in the Berlin Olympics. The War came along, and the draft changed Louis's life forever.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rodge TOP 50 REVIEWER on April 1 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those books you can't praise highly enough. The character at its centre, Louie Zamperini, had enough experiences for 3 or 4 people's lives. Hard to believe it, but this isn't a novel, this is a real man's life. From his time as a world class runner and Olympian to being lost at sea to the horrors of a Japanese POW camp this story will blow your mind - this time that's not an exaggeration. Abandon that epic novel you were about to pick up and read this instead.
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