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Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival,…

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (2010)

by Laura Hillenbrand

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,203None1,181 (4.46)320
2011 (70) 2012 (27) American History (18) audio (25) audiobook (34) biography (340) book club (37) ebook (51) forgiveness (21) history (249) Japan (151) Kindle (63) Louis Zamperini (55) memoir (36) military (27) military history (21) non-fiction (406) Olympics (62) Pacific (36) POW (139) prisoners of war (69) read (38) read in 2011 (49) redemption (20) resilience (22) running (40) survival (150) to-read (92) war (67) WWII (570)
  1. 50
    Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides (phm)
    phm: Nonfiction but reads like fiction and tells of a heroic plot by US Rangers to rescue Allied soldiers from a Japanese POW camp.
  2. 20
    Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath by Michael Norman (TooBusyReading)
    TooBusyReading: Another remarkable story about survival during WWII, about what humans can do to one another.
  3. 10
    Flyboys: A True Story of Courage by James Bradley (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: both examine prisoners of the Pacific islands
  4. 00
    Once Upon a Town by Bob Greene (cransell)
    cransell: An uplifting true story about World War II. Perhaps a good read after the harsh experiences in Unbroken.
  5. 00
    Road to Valor: A True Story of WWII Italy, the Nazis, and the Cyclist Who Inspired a Nation by Aili McConnon (sboyte)
    sboyte: Athletes and their experiences in the second World War.
  6. 00
    The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown (terran)
    terran: Both books deal with participants in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin and with personal stories of individuals growing up in that time period. Both are incredible true stories that read like fiction.
  7. 00
    The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom by Slavomir Rawicz (clif_hiker)
  8. 00
    The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II by Gregory A. Freeman (HistoryNutToo)
  9. 00
    Devil at My Heels: A Heroic Olympian's Astonishing Story of Survival as a Japanese POW in World War II by Louis Zamperini (Stbalbach)
    Stbalbach: Louis Zamperini's autobiography published in 2003, with intro by John McCain.
  10. 00
    What It Is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes (TooBusyReading)
    TooBusyReading: Based on the author's experiences, starting with the Vietnam war. Gave me lots of insight into war and warriors.

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» See also 320 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 299 (next | show all)
This book was difficult to put down, the grit and honesty was compelling, ending was a complete surprise.
For those going through adversity it is uplifting. ( )
  2400 | Apr 10, 2014 |
A powerful story about the sheer strength of the human spirit! Very few books I've read compare to this one. Highly recommended! ( )
  RGirl | Mar 29, 2014 |
A must read! ( )
  wallerdc | Mar 26, 2014 |
Very good story, very we'll researched and well written. An inspiring account of an incredible life. Hard to believe the human capacity to endure misery and deprivation, and also the capacity for people to mete it out. ( )
  jvgravy | Mar 18, 2014 |
Unbroken tells the remarkable story of Louie Zamperini, a man who ran in the 1936 Olympics, who was a bombardier on a warplane fighting over the small islands and atolls of the Pacific, who survived shipwreck and being lost at sea, who survived in Japanese POW camps and who had to find a way to be an ordinary civilian again after the war.

Author Laura Hillenbrand does a workmanlike job of telling the story. She certainly did her research and her writing does not get in the way of Zamperini's story. But nor does she make this remarkable story sing. The reader is told about amazing feats of survival, without ever feeling as though they were there. It's as though the very eventfulness of Zamperini's life reduces the force of any one of them. This is a page-turner of a book, but only because of the facts; the story-telling, while thorough, never brings any of the facts to life. Maybe it doesn't need to, maybe in the hands of a story-teller this book would be too intense to make for comfortable reading and maybe the sheer amount of things that happened to Zamperini meant that there was simply no room for amplification, but I the lack did leave a hole in the heart of what is an amazing story about the human spirit. ( )
1 vote RidgewayGirl | Mar 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 299 (next | show all)
The ideal way to read “Unbroken” would be with absolutely no knowledge of how Mr. Zamperini’s life unfolded. Ms. Hillenbrand has written her book so breathlessly, and with such tight focus, that she makes it difficult to guess what will happen to him from one moment to the next, let alone how long he was able to survive under extreme duress...So “Unbroken” is a celebration of gargantuan fortitude, that of both Ms. Hillenbrand (whose prose shatters any hint of her debilitating fatigue) and Mr. Zamperini’s. It manages to be as exultant as “Seabiscuit” as it tells a much more harrowing, less heart-warming story.


» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laura Hillenbrandprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Herrmann, EdwardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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What stays with you latest and deepest? of curious panics,
Of hard-fought engagements or sieges tremendous what deepest remains?
--Walt Whitman, "The Wound-Dresser"
For the wounded and the lost.
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All he could see, in every direction, was water.
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Book description
This book is an eye-opening and awe-inspiring tale told about the horror of war and the challenges that some of the men had to endure. Featuring Louis Zamperini, this book describes some of the terror he had to experience as a POW to the Japanese in WWII. This book is higher up on my list because of the redemption that Louis experiences at the end of the story. I really enjoyed this book and it seemed to be well-written and well paced.
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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--Lt. Louis Zamperini. Captured by the Japanese and driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor.… (more)

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