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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
5,110353874 (4.46)392
  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. 10
    The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom by Slavomir Rawicz (clif_hiker)
  5. 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.
  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
    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.
  8. 00
    We die alone by David Howarth (srdr)
    srdr: Jan Baalsrud's incredible survival and escape from Nazi-occupied arctic Norway.
  9. 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.
  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
    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)
  12. 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.
  13. 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.

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» See also 392 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 351 (next | show all)
One for the ages. A definition of why their's was "the greatest generation." ( )
  Jacobflaws | Jan 20, 2015 |
Great book. Very descriptive which helps you really understand the circumstances of the war and the challenges that the prisoners faced during that time.
The book was much better than the movie *** ( )
  Colleen.OP | Jan 15, 2015 |
Excellent, well-written book about Japanese prisoner of war experience of Louis Zamperini. Very inspiring. ( )
  cindyb29 | Jan 12, 2015 |
The amazing true life story of Louis Zamperini, a brave, courageous, determined young man who somehow survived the discipline and hard work required to become an Olympic runner after a wayward childhood. This background is no doubt what enabled him as a young lieutenant in WWII to also survive the plane crash that landed him in the middle of the Pacific Ocean where he survived for 47 days on a small inflatable raft with two others. When they landed in a Japanese prison camp Louie was immediately singled out for special attention and torture by a sadistic guard who knew of his Olympic fame. His lengthy survival in various prison camps through years of little or no food, mistreatment, and personal anguish is nothing short of miraculous. At the war's end it is clear Louis entered a period of the same sort of suffering today's returning veterans face--it is now called PTSD. This is a story of a rare kind of endurance and Hillenbrand has told it well and in great detail. ( )
  suztales | Jan 2, 2015 |
Every once in awhile a book comes along that resonates with me deeply. This is just that kind of book. So inspiring and amazing is the biography of Louis Zamperini. Laura Hillenbrand aka Seabiscuit bring this Olympian, WWII veteran and POW survivor's story to life in such a way that it overwhelms ones mind to believe it's true.

Louis was born to Italian immigrants and grew up in Torrence, California. As a restless teenager he was often in trouble and made a name and reputation for himself. His older brother Pete gets him involved in running track and his life takes a turn for the good. Breaking and setting new records he heads to the 1936 Olympics in Germany and brings pride to his family. Although he doesnt come home with a medal he sets his sights to do so in 1940.

When he returns home and Pearl Harbor is bombed he enlists to serve his country. As part of the Army Air Corps he is part of a bombardier squad dropping bombs on targets. On a mission and flying in a substandard plane his troop crashes in the Pacific Ocean where he and only two others of his group survive. The detailed account of this experience is nearly inconceivable but astonishingly he survives.

He is finally rescued by the Japanese and held in a POW camp where he treated horribly. The officer Watanabe has it in for him from the very beginning and takes pleasure in his cruelty. By this time the Zamperini family believes Louis is dead until they hear of a radio broadcast where he claims he alive and well. This of course was staged by the Japanese to make the world think they were not mistreating the POW's.

Once the war is over and Louis returns home all is well for awhile. He meets a woman, they marry and have a child but eventually his demons catch up to him. Coming to terms with the nightmare of his past you learn how he meets this final challenge in order to go on with his life and thus see how this man is truly remarkable.

This book left me beyond impressed with how much extensive and painstaking research Hillenbrand underwent to share the story of this extraordinary man to the world. ( )
  missjomarch | Jan 1, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 351 (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.
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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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