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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
5,298371833 (4.46)399
  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 399 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 370 (next | show all)
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 |
Tremendous story.

Starts out with the main character as a boy. He was frequently getting into trouble. He loved stealing pies from neighbors and was fairly delinquent. His older brother got him to run. He badgered him and took him out and timed him and he started to win races. Soon he gave up the juvenile delinquency for running. He trained hard and became a premier runner. Ending up in the Olympics in Germany and getting a scholarship into a good college. A great true story about the value of mentoring and of the possible positive influence of sports.

He joined up and started flying the B-24 and participating in some hair raising mission. It was on a routine flight looking for a lost plane however, when his plane went down due to mechanical failure. He and several other crew members survived a rough landing and ended up floating adrift for 46 days with only a bit of rations and sharks circling. If the story ended with this adventure it would be pretty full and amazing. But then, the couple survivors washed ashore on an island and were captured by the Japanese. Transported to Japan. Moved from several camps. Watched and endured torture and mistreatment. An incredible saga of survival.

One of the interesting things dealt with in this book I have not seen in many other stories is dealing with post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) after this type of survival. He almost let his terrible experience ruin a happy marriage and the rest of his life. The story of his friends and his dealing with their PTSD and managing not to allow a terrible terrible experience define the rest of his life was really the icing on the cake of a great book.

( )
  Chris_El | Mar 19, 2015 |
Wow! what a life he had - it's a longish read - but I think like most…we keep on reading, on and on we read knowing that every word before your eyes is true and so therefore for that reason alone you find you must read on. I did I read all the way to the end but even so there were parts of it along the way when I thought oh come on move along move along - but no the pace stays at the same rate as fact after fact trips out. I seldom read these kind of story's but in this case I was glad I did - I learned more about WW2 about the background of the Japanese and why they were the way they were and most of all I learned to admire any person who survived ( )
  nikon | Mar 18, 2015 |
Inspiring story of overcoming the odds as a young man and then survival. This was such an amazing story. ( )
  hoosgracie | Mar 16, 2015 |
Like almost everyone who has reviewed this book, I add my own words of praise. The amazing story of Olympic athlete, war hero and prisoner of war survivor Louis Zamperini is presented through the skilled writing of Laura Hillenbrand whose perfect pacing made me resent every moment in which I was compelled to put this book down before finishing it. Exhilarating, heart-breaking, and informative throughout, Zamperini's victory over hate and suffering through the gospel provided the perfect ending to this incredible story. Even though there were some minor mistakes -- B-24's do not dive bomb -- and at times I had a difficult time believing some of the action, I cannot imagine a more engaging account of a life which deserved to be so well told and so well received by so many. ( )
  HowHop | Mar 15, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 370 (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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(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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