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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
6,224445652 (4.45)423
  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. 30
    The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom by Slavomir Rawicz (clif_hiker)
  3. 20
    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.
  4. 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.
  5. 10
    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.
  6. 10
    We die alone by David Howarth (srdr)
    srdr: Jan Baalsrud's incredible survival and escape from Nazi-occupied arctic Norway.
  7. 10
    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)
  8. 10
    Flyboys: A True Story of Courage by James Bradley (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: both examine prisoners of the Pacific islands
  9. 10
    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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
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» See also 423 mentions

English (443)  Indonesian (1)  All languages (444)
Showing 1-5 of 443 (next | show all)
An unforgettable story about the resilience of the human spirit - people at their best (e.g., sacrifice for others, forgiveness, redemption, etc.) and people at their worst (e.g., cruelty, sadism, etc.) An excellent narrative by Laura Hillenbrand and an amazing collection of photos from the late Louis Zamperini. Highly recommended for those with an interest in history and general readers. A young adult adaptation is also available, and if your local public library subscribes to Overdrive, you can borrow downloadable audio and ebook versions. ( )
  Kyle_Winward | Apr 8, 2016 |
First off this book has been on my to be read pile for quite some time and have watched it stay in the top 10 of must reads for book clubs. Needless to say I was glad when our local library's new book club picked it for their first book. Hillenbrand did a fantastic job telling not only Louie Zamperini's story but that of the POW's who suffered, survived and died under the hands of Japanese soldiers and guards in the camps. Horrific, it is a wonder that those that returned from that experience were able to not only live but to forgive their captors. Memories may falter after fifty years, but surviving these events would forever be etched into their memories even if they had not kept diaries. The accounts were also substantiated by the War Crimes tribunal and their captors. One thing I did learn that I was not aware of, that as part of turning Japan into a democracy to avoid them getting caught up in the rising tide of communism, our government agreed to a Christmas Amnesty in 1948 as part of the Peace Treaty to make Japan our ally. It also stopped in further reparations to POW's. Very well written and researched beyond the personal interviews of Zamperini and other family members.

Book clubs will have many subjects to discuss with the differences in the cultures, treatment of the POW's, the Geneva Convention, War Crimes, Technology during the War, Louie younger self vs Louie's older and wiser self. ( )
  yvonne.sevignykaiser | Apr 2, 2016 |
There comes a point at which, while Louis might not have been broken, the reader is. And I neared that point several times in the middle of this text.

Hillenbrand’s style is a no-nonsense deliver-the-facts kind of narrative. She’s meticulous with the details, but I missed the internal details that would have brought depth to Zamperini’s experiences. Perhaps that wasn’t possible , given the nature of the genre. Still, I missed it. Despite knowing every single thing that happened to Louis, I still felt like I didn’t know him very well.
( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Mar 25, 2016 |
Perhaps one of the best books I have ever read. Non-fiction about World War II is one of my favorite areas, so I have read many books about that era. Many of the time period books talk about tactics, numbers and geographies, so it was refreshing to read a book that dealt with the human side in such an extraordinary manner - although other time period books deal with the human side of the war, this was one of only a few that grabbed me so completely from the very beginning. I found myself anxiously awaiting for what would happen next when opening and reading its pages…it had become like a friend in its storytelling. Many have written about the details of Louis Zamperini’s experiences, so no need to further discuss those details here. What I found so amazing was his ability to withstand what he went through and come out of it afterward with the direction that he took. And to eventually find the resolve to forgive his tormentors. The other information that affected me was the fact the author and Louis never met face to face prior to publication of the book, due to the author’s illness. The book is an amazing testament to the author’s ability to convey someone’s story without the benefit of seeing facial expressions. ( )
  highlander6022 | Mar 16, 2016 |
Incredible story! ( )
  holtkevin | Mar 11, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 443 (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
Hillenbrand, Lauraprimary 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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