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Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

4.7 out of 5 stars 195 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD: 11 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Unabridged edition (Nov. 16 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739319698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739319697
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.9 x 15.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 195 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #143,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert P. Brown TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 19 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This beautifully crafted biography of Louie Zamperini by Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit: An American Legend, ("I`ll be an easier subject than Seabiscuit", Louie told Laura, " because I can talk") tells the remarkable story of a man who underwent unbelievable hardship and while maybe an easier subject, it is not easier to fathom or forget.

Louie, through hard discipline and training, became a long distance runner, competing in the 1936 Olympics.

When war broke out, he joined the Army Air Corps, training as a bombardier on the B-24 Liberator, dubbed "the Flying Coffin". ( It is incredible to learn that stateside accidents over the course of the War, killed more fliers than combat missions. Most were trainees.)

In May of 1943, while on a search mission for a missing plane, Louie`s plane, The Green Hornet, was brought down over the Pacific. Only he and two companions survived, and then began a forty-six day ordeal, drifting in an open raft, during which time one of them died, until finally reaching land, only to be captured by the Japanese.

What followed was even worse, the remainder of the War spent in Japanese prison camps; daily beatings, exposure, starvation, conditions too terrible to imagine. Through it all, Louie endured. (37 percent of Americans held in Japanese prison camps died, compared to 1 percent in German and Italian.)

As Japan began losing the War, mass murders of prisoners were carried out, rather than allow them to fall into Allied hands. For years there has been some controversy over whether the U.S. should have invaded rather than drop the Atomic bombs. The book makes clear that had they invaded, thousands of POW`s and civilian internees would have been massacred. Orders to do so had gone out just days before the bombs were dropped.

A story of the resilience of the human spirit, upsetting at times, but uplifting at the end.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would like to say something clever and articulate about this book, but very little I could say would do justice to either the style or content of the story contained therein. Before I was even finished reading, I ordered a copy for my grandson and harangued just about everyone I know to go out , purchase a copy and read it. So the best I can do in the current format is to say, whether you have to beg, borrow or steal a copy of "Unbroken", it's worth the begging, borrowing or stealing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am not sure I will see the movie after reading this very well written story. The descriptions are very vivid and clear, supported by well chosen photographs of that time, and I guess the movie will not fit my own imagination. Louie Zamperini, after winning a medal in the 1500m in the 1936 Berlin olympics for the USA, serves in the US Air Force as a bomber in the Pacific. He is very fortunate to have a very skilled pilot at the helm. After some very serious scrapes including one where their airplane comes back so damaged that it is a write-off, their new plane goes down and crashes in the sea, while on a rescue mission. He and his captain pilot are eventually picked up by the Japanese, and then starts their second ordeal as POWs, then their liberation after the Japanese surrender, and their home coming marred by PTSD. Louie was famous from his athletic wins and got far more limelight than Phil, his pilot, after their return. There is a last twist in the tale too.
I was not sure to buy it at first when I tried a sample of the book, but it got better and better. I thoroughly recommend it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Absolutely Amazing. It was a page-turner, and beautifully written. I couldn't put it down, and I'm really glad that I had the opportunity of reading it. This man's story was really a testimony to the power of God in a person's life, whether or not we acknowledge Him. This book is not just a one-time read; it is the real McCoy.
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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A finely told, highly detailed story of atrocities and brotherhood, belief and courage. It takes the reader trough three stages of battling for survival: against forces outside, then fighting degradation and dehumanizing violence, and finally fighting one's own grief and rage. Perhaps the last of these three is the hardest for everyone.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book. It was extremely well written and I could not put it down. Their is so much detail in the writing that it feels like you are there watching Louie's experiences in person. Much better than the movie (which was also great!).
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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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