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Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival,…

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (original 2010; edition 2014)

by Laura Hillenbrand

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,164505630 (4.45)468
Title:Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Authors:Laura Hillenbrand
Info:Random House Trade Paperbacks (2014), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 528 pages
Collections:JulyAugustSept, 2014

Work details

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (2010)

  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 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.
  3. 30
    The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom by Slavomir Rawicz (clif_hiker)
  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: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance 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 by Louis Zamperini (Stbalbach)
    Stbalbach: Louis Zamperini's autobiography published in 2003, with intro by John McCain.
  10. 11
    So Close to Home: A True Story of an American Family's Fight for Survival During World War II by Michael J. Tougias (Othemts)
  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
    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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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 468 mentions

English (504)  Indonesian (1)  All languages (505)
Showing 1-5 of 504 (next | show all)
An absolutely amazing story about family, friendship, survival and forgiveness. This is one book I will definitely read again and again. ( )
  socialsmith | Mar 2, 2019 |
Wow, what fantastic nonfiction storytelling. I didn't know a thing about the subjects, and was both horrified by the depth of human depravity experienced by so many men, and also amazed at the final-final act of the story (this one has at least 5 acts, and would have been a great book after the traditional 3rd act).

Very worthwhile in audiobook form also.

I won't say more, because the story builds so well that it should be experienced, even if I'm way too late to spoil it. ( )
  patl | Feb 18, 2019 |
I HIGHLY recommend the audiobook as it is narrated by Edward Herrmann. But even if you aren't into audiobooks, this one is definitely worth the read. ( )
  tntbeckyford | Feb 16, 2019 |
Relates the story of a U.S. airman who survived when his bomber crashed into the sea during World War II, spent forty-seven days adrift in the ocean before being rescued by the Japanese Navy, and was held as a prisoner until the end of the war. hard
  JRCornell | Jan 29, 2019 |
(58) I am late reading this account of a former Olympian runner drafted to serve in WW2 on a bomber - the son of Italian immigrants - Louie Zamperini. This is some about Louie's young life and his running career but mostly about his incredible story of survival first adrift at sea on a life raft after his plane goes down, and second as a POW in a prison camp in Japan.

I most enjoyed his early years in the War and the initial crash and survival story on the raft. This was gripping stuff - the sharks! really? The prison camps details were also well done - just horrible; and the pictures of dead and dying prisoners - how emaciated they were. It does seem like this part of history was a bit white-washed. I am not even sure I knew that many Japanese military personnel were tried and even executed for violating the Geneva convention.

I can't give a much higher rating because I found the book very rambling and repetitive. Certainly, it is non-fiction so you need to be true to your subject matter and not take poetic license that would make a story more even - but nevertheless, it was herky-jerky. I also found the aftermath quite lukewarm and honestly didn't care to have all the details about 'the Bird' - it seemed like filler.

Anyway, I cannot remember 'Seabiscuit' although I remember enjoying. This was quite good, though I am not entirely sure a different story-teller could have made it even better. ( )
  jhowell | Dec 27, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 504 (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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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.
First words
All he could see, in every direction, was water.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Do not combine with Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation): An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive.
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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)

(summary from another edition)

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