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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
4,852342953 (4.46)376
  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 376 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 342 (next | show all)
My blog post about this book is at this link ( )
  SuziQoregon | Dec 16, 2014 |
soon” category, Ron mentioned Unbroken, movie release date 12.24.14. Hillenbrand tells the story of Louie Zamperini, who ran in the Berlin Olympics, joined the Army Air Corps as a bombardier, and survived Japan’s harshest POW camp. Hillenbrand covers not only Louie’s treatment at the hands of the sadist camp commander, but also his issues with PTSD and attempting to recover after being freed and coming back to the US. Louie’s is a story of courage, fortitude, suffering, survival, death, triumph, and redemption.
  ktoonen | Dec 14, 2014 |
Unbroken, the movie, is coming out December 25, 2014. I rarely go to the movies, but I will see this one because the book was amazing! It’s what we now call narrative non-fiction, meaning it’s a non-fiction account that reads like a fiction novel. It’s a great novel—one of the best I’ve read this year!

This novel tells about the life of Louis Zamperini. He was quite an interesting man who did not follow the rules often, making him a disobedient kid (and adult). He became interested in running and was such a gifted runner, that he participated in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, where he actually met Hitler. World War II began in 1939 in Europe; when America entered the war after the attack on Pearl Harbor, many men immediately joined the military to fight. Louis joined as well.

In the military, Louis was the bombardier, dropping bombs from planes onto targets. He had a great crew who were very talented; perhaps the most talented was the pilot, Phil. When they are ordered to fly a defective plane by a dumb superior, seven of the eight men die when the plane crashed into the Pacific. For 47 days, Louis, Phil, and Mac try to survive without food or water. When “rescued” by the Japanese about drifting 2000 miles, they are sent to POW camps until the war ends two years later. The Japanese treated the POWs horribly. Seeing how mankind can treat others is disturbing.

Once the war ends, Louis returns to the US, but he is plagued by memories. It’s this stage of his life where he truly learns how to overcome trials that will allow him to lead a productive life.

I listened to this novel (both the audio and e-book are available from the Lubbock Public Library) and thought the reader was excellent. The book is so engaging that you want to listen all day long. There is a young adult version that I have on ordered because this novel is rather long, so I think many will find the condensed version more suitable to your needs. Louis Zamperini is an interesting man who survived what would have destroyed most. His luck and genetics make him one of the most intriguing men from World War II. If you read this novel, you will be amazed. If you choose to skip this novel, you will have missed a great book. ( )
  acargile | Dec 12, 2014 |
Italian American Louis Zamperini grew up as a troubled youth in 1930’s Torrance California. Stealing and generally causing a great deal of trouble, Louis seemed a born delinquent. Louis had three things going in his favor, the unfailing support of his family, and iron will and amazing athleticism. With the encouragement of his older brother Peter, Louis trained into a world class runner. He even competed in the Berlin Olympics.
During the onset of World War II Louis Zamperini enlisted in the military, serving in the Air Corps. On a search mission his plane crashed landed in the Pacific, eventually landing him the hands of the Japanese as a prisoner of war. What followed was two years of unrelenting torture, humiliation and starvation. Even more amazing is his eventual freedom and adjustment back into civilian life. Unbreakable is an unforgettable story of the suffering a person can not only endure, but come back from. ( )
  queencersei | Dec 12, 2014 |
If this were fiction, it would be unbelievable. However, Unbroken is a true story - and a fantastic one at that. Fantastic, horrifying, funny, brutal, enlightening, depressing and inspirational. That someone could pack so much into one life makes this an amazing read. Hillenbrand does an exceptional job of getting the pacing just right and keeping the reader fully engaged for the entire 400 page journey. This is one of the best biographies I have ever read. I enjoyed every moment and highly recommend it. ( )
  csayban | Dec 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 342 (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.


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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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