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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Narrative of a Great Hero
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...
Published on Dec 3 2010 by jacksprat

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heroic, Violent and Commemorative
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...
Published 8 months ago by Norma Bandler


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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Narrative of a Great Hero, Dec 3 2010
By 
jacksprat "read more guy" (Kingston ON, Can) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (Hardcover)
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Book, July 28 2011
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This review is from: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (Hardcover)
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly outstanding book, May 24 2011
This review is from: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (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 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the most horrific survival stories you will ever hear, Feb. 12 2011
By 
Nicola Manning-Mansfield (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (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. As a bombardier of a B-29 he survived a crash into the Pacific Ocean and floating aboard a life raft for a record breaking 47 days with two other crew members only to be "rescued" in the end by the Japanese. Where he then spent the rest of the war with Japan as a POW in their Geneva Convention breaking camps. As one officer is quoted as saying "This is not Geneva. This is Japan."

The rags to riches story of Louis' childhood truly endears him to the reader as a character one really cares for. He is a sharp, intelligent man-youth, witty and with a sense of fun, that one cannot help but fall for him. Making his life story all that more horrific. Hillenbrand has done a good job of bringing Zamperini to life as a human being with his character strengths, quirks and flaws. The survival in the Pacific makes for absolutely riveting, unbearable and compelling reading. Hillenbrand, while writing of the POW experience, also manages to reveal some information on why the Japanese atrocities are so little known today and why their war criminals were given amnesty, while German war criminals are still hunted down to this day. (Though I believe what they presume to be the last living war criminal was extradited in just the recent past.) It certainly had nothing to do with the Japanese being any less inhumane during the war. In Hillenbrand's "Acknowledgements" she notes that the war is still a controversial topic in Japan and some of her Japanese sources asked not to be named. A MUST READ BOOK!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, April 23 2011
By 
Lisa Carruthers (Morin Heights, Quebec Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing life and a biography to do it justice, April 1 2011
By 
Rodge (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heroic, Violent and Commemorative, July 31 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (Hardcover)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, Aug. 4 2011
By 
air.bear "YVR" (British Columbia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (Hardcover)
What a great story! I would read this book again. I went through it so quickly. It's really well written and very captivating. I absolutely recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about the hardships of a war, the insanity and lack of logic during a war. This is a fantastic story. Two thumbs up!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and timeless tale of an individual's will to survive, Aug. 1 2011
This review is from: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (Hardcover)
Since surviving Vietnam I complain less. However anyone reading this book -- about an individual surviving a plane crash, then more than forty days at sea in an inflatable life raft, then years of brutal treatment as a prisoner of war -- would feel little reason to complain about anything at all. The author does an excellent job at telling this story. This is an inspiring and timeless tale of an individual's will to survive, while remaining positive -- extraordinary.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbroken hard to put down!, July 12 2011
This review is from: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (Hardcover)
I bought this book for my husband, a casual reader. He has not been able to put it down, claims it is a book that draws you in quickly, a tragic story that tells of war they way it must have been for many young men. Well worth a read.
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Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (Hardcover - Nov. 16 2010)
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