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Unbroken : a World War II story of survival,…
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Unbroken : a World War II story of survival, resilience, and redemption (2010)

by Laura Hillenbrand

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,353374819 (4.46)401
  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
    The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom by Slavomir Rawicz (clif_hiker)
  3. 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.
  4. 10
    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.
  5. 10
    Flyboys: A True Story of Courage by James Bradley (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: both examine prisoners of the Pacific islands
  6. 00
    A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France by Caroline Moorehead (srdr)
    srdr: A well-told story with similar themes…WW II survival, friendship under difficult conditions.
  7. 00
    We die alone by David Howarth (srdr)
    srdr: Jan Baalsrud's incredible survival and escape from Nazi-occupied arctic Norway.
  8. 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.
  9. 00
    Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff (srdr)
    srdr: A gripping, non-fiction story of a WW II airplane crash on Greenland.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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)
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» See also 401 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 374 (next | show all)
Unbroken is not a scientific book, but it has such a great weight of importance to it, especially in its account of the dropping of the Atomic Bomb. I feel like this book would shed light on the vast importance of that break through in nuclear science.
  ogroft | Apr 14, 2015 |
As wonderful as everyone says it is. Hillenbrand is a great storyteller and should be a leading voice in narrative non-fiction. Even five years later, this book is all over the airport bookstores. I learned more about war from this book than anything by Hemingway or Vonnegut. When you learn about WWII, it's mostly the European theater. The atrocities committed by the Third Reich have no comparison. But after reading this, it makes me think we owe Japan a few more bombings.

I feel like there should be a 1920's Barnum & Bailey poster for this book that says "You will not BELIEVE a man can go through all this and still live to ninety-seven". The man's story writes itself. The true test of any narrative is making the main character suffer, and this man suffered more than most fiction characters. And the story matches star for star. ( )
  theWallflower | Apr 14, 2015 |
Really enjoyed this. I liked Seabiscuit and generally appreciate the way Hillenbrand brings history to life. I kept thinking about how I may have read all these statistics about plane/pilot casualties and the facts about the Pacific theater and POWs, but she really brings to the history to life in a very visceral and powerful way. I cannot understand how these men survived these experiences and it really underscores the complex feelings people in America and Japan must have about our post-WWII relationship as countries. I also kept thinking about Pap being a really young man in the Army in Japan and experiencing the war crimes trials. I want to go back and see if I can find the interview I did with him in college. ( )
  WELaws | Apr 3, 2015 |
Intense, nerve-wracking in parts. Louis Zamperini was no saint. Just really, really stubborn. Makes you wonder how anyone survived. Makes you wonder how most of the Japanese survived with their souls or integrity intact. The true miracle is the reclamation of his soul from the aftereffects after the war and the unending love of his wife. ( )
  bgknighton | Mar 30, 2015 |
This was a book club book but also on my never ending list. [Laura Hillenbrand] has a masterful way of telling a story that few authors possess. in [Unbroken] she introduces us to Louie Zamperini and takes us through the joy and trails of his life as a precocious child throughbeing an Olympic runner and of course his capture and imprisonment by the Japanese in World Way II. This is a story of strength, courage, doubt, and redemption that I encourage all to read. ( )
  MsHooker | Mar 23, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 374 (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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Epigraph
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"
Dedication
For the wounded and the lost.
First words
All he could see, in every direction, was water.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.
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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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