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Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

196 out of 220 people found this review helpful.

EXCELLENT! EXCELLENT! EXCELLENT!

I couldn't tear myself away from this long book once I started! Louis Zamperini was an average little boy until he became a teenager. It was then that he learned to run. He went to the Berlin Olympics to represent the USA. But this isn't what this book is about. It's ra...
I couldn't tear myself away from this long book once I started! Louis Zamperini was an average little boy until he became a teenager. It was then that he learned to run. He went to the Berlin Olympics to represent the USA. But this isn't what this book is about. It's raw, exciting and gripping, about salvation, survival, fighting inner and outer demons, suffering horrific pain. The trouble began when he was called into service, like so many young American men, to fight the Japanese. His greatest feat was his survival of an Air force plane crash in the Pacific during WWII, then somehow surviving being a prisoner of war, the torture, starvation, beatings. As painful as it was to read the POW camp accounts, the remarkable, miraculous thing is that Zamperini and the others managed to persevere and survive. The book continued after this horrific experience to detail the after effects fighting the inner demons to get back to a place of peace. This is an excellent story, an excellent account, excellent writing and an excellent lesson. I big time recommend!

posted by nancymitchell on December 21, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

62 out of 71 people found this review helpful.

Download Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand For Free

Download Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand For Free From Here goo.gl/NUHfV

posted by 9804259 on October 3, 2011

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  • Posted December 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    EXCELLENT! EXCELLENT! EXCELLENT!

    I couldn't tear myself away from this long book once I started! Louis Zamperini was an average little boy until he became a teenager. It was then that he learned to run. He went to the Berlin Olympics to represent the USA. But this isn't what this book is about. It's raw, exciting and gripping, about salvation, survival, fighting inner and outer demons, suffering horrific pain. The trouble began when he was called into service, like so many young American men, to fight the Japanese. His greatest feat was his survival of an Air force plane crash in the Pacific during WWII, then somehow surviving being a prisoner of war, the torture, starvation, beatings. As painful as it was to read the POW camp accounts, the remarkable, miraculous thing is that Zamperini and the others managed to persevere and survive. The book continued after this horrific experience to detail the after effects fighting the inner demons to get back to a place of peace. This is an excellent story, an excellent account, excellent writing and an excellent lesson. I big time recommend!

    196 out of 220 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2010

    Chariots of Fire, Forrest Gump and Bridge Over the River Kwai wrapped up in one blockbuster biography !

    I have just finished an advanced copy of Unbroken, the true story of Louis Zamperini and realized I have read the next New York Times Bestseller and looked up to see if it had already been optioned for a movie, because that is what I saw when I was reading it; an Oscar Award film playing from the pages of an incredible but absolutely true story. Ms. Hillenbrand is the award winning, #1 New York times Bestselling Author of Seabiscuit and it took seven years to research and write this book. The cover sheet in the advance reader copy a publishing executive writes to readers that she is humbled to write about this book, the author and its subject. I was certainly humbled to read it. Ms. Hillenbrand very successfully brings Louie's life, from his mischievous childhood, through his Olympic experiences, and the extremes of his military service to the reader with such detail as to be physically palpable. My father served in the Navy in the Pacific and I have always been partial to the history of that theater of World War II so I was drawn by the book jacket to read this. Being from the East coast, I had not heard of Mr. Zamperini, so I have completely consumed by this incredible journey of a book and the life of the man. It carried me through every emotion and I found myself laughing out loud, reaching for tissues, and holding my breath in suspense. Sometimes I was afraid to turn a page and then at the same time afraid not to. From cover to cover, I could not put it down. As we have just past the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II and come close to the end of 2010 with Veterans Day, I would like to thank Mr. Zamperini for his service and sacrifice (along with my father and those who suffered and gave their lives for our country) and sincere and heartfelt appreciation to Laura Hillenbrand for bringing his story to all and especially to those of us descended from the greatest generation. Don't miss this book. Seabiscuit was a wonderful book. This one is even better !

    109 out of 117 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2010

    Unbroken, a story of resilience, faith and determination

    On June 23, 1943 three American soldiers had been drifting in the Pacific Ocean for twenty seven days. The rafts were deteriorating, their bodies were covered in salt sores, and they didn't know it at the time, but there would be another twenty days of drifting ahead for them. Only two of the three would survive. One of them was former Olympic runner Louis Zamperini whose life would never be the same.


    Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken is an amazing study in resilience, defiance and strength that takes you on the journey of one man's lifetime. Zamperini was an incorrigible child, a natural runner, and a man who would not be broken. He survived unspeakable torture and deprivation at the hands of his Japanese captors only to find himself being tortured by his memories after returning home at the end of the war.


    Being over taken with the reoccurring tortures that resided in his mind, Zamperini turned to alcohol. He reclaimed his life after hearing an inspiring speaker in a tent on a street corner in Los Angeles. That speaker was Billy Graham. Graham taught him about total forgiveness. It was then and there that Louie was able to release the hatred and take hold of his own life and destiny.


    Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit, brought the story of depression era wonder horse to us all. Now she brings us the story of Louis Zamperini, who as of this writing is ninety-three years old and residing in Los Angeles. Hillenbrand said that she came across an article about Louis Zamperini while doing research for Seabiscuit and set it aside. I'm glad she went back to Zamperini's story. In one of her countless interviews with Mr. Zamperini spanning seven years, he assured Hillenbrand that "I'll be an easier subject than Seabiscuit, because I can talk." Although Unbroken is over 450 pages in length, but there's never a dull or lagging moment, just the opposite. The story flows quickly and the suspense keeps you turning the pages.


    Zamperini's struggle to reclaim his life is beautifully told by Hillenbrand. In Unbroken, Hillenbrand captures the spark of a man determined to survive what he had to and to come out the winner he'd always been.


    I received this book as an advance readers copy upon my request to the publisher. I like it so much, I'll be at the brick and mortar book store Tuesday to buy a copy to add to my own library.

    69 out of 79 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2011

    Amazing Man

    I am proud to say this man is a member of my family and I grew up hearing his story. This book is a beautiful tribute!

    54 out of 68 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Ugh. Only for war buffs

    Bought this because I loved Seabiscuit. Part I of this book is interesting. But then the rest is about the dangers of war and death and mutilation. Then it moves on to the horrors inflicted upon POWs. Then the nightmares the returning soldier must live with. It probably ended triumphantly because the hero truly was a unique character; but I was getting so depressed I had to stop reading. So depressed that I hard-deleted this book from my Nook library. The one good thing I got from the book was a deeper appreciation for the men who are sacrificing today for me, an American. And that if we don't wake up to the changes happening in society (multiculturalaism) then America will be so changed that the soldiers' sacrifices will have been fruitless. It will be a long time before I bless this author again with my money.

    45 out of 258 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2010

    Incredible story, compelling writing

    As difficult and complex as this story is, it's easy to read. And don't be stopped because it's a WWII story. It's not so much about combat as all sides of human nature.

    45 out of 55 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Gripping and Diligently Researched

    "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand (Website | Facebook)is the amazing non-fiction story of Loius Zamperini (Website| Wikipedia) and American athlete, World War II Air Corp bombardier who survived a crash and interment in a Japanese POW camp.
    The book is divided into five parts:
    Part I - where we meet the juvenile delinquent Louis Zamperini and his family. Always getting in trouble for breaking & entering, fighting and stealing, Louis finally finds his calling on the track and becomes a prodigy in short distance running.

    Part II - After a commanding performance in the Berlin Olympics, Louis' dreams of a medal get tarnished with the events leading to World War II. The athlete becomes an airman. Louis' crew mates and buddies train for bombing missions on their B-24 and even have several successful runs. Feeling lucky to be alive they rejoice everyday until they are forced to go on a rescue mission (the plane they were given was not air worthy) and crash into the Pacific.

    Part III - Adrift at sea Louie', Phil and Mac survive and astounding 47 fighting sharks, hunger, thirst, heat and cold. They drift 2,000 miles only to become POWs.

    Part IV - The survives are sent to the dreadful island of Kwajalein, known as "Execution Island" and unexpectedly sent to Yokohama, a POW camp. Louie meets his share of sadistic POW guards, disease, starvation and slave labor. However the stubborn man lives through the ordeal to the end of the war, all the way home.

    Part V - Louie's home, but the war leaves its scars, both physical and emotional.

    Epilogue - What happened to the those mentioned in the story. A wrap up.

    Acknowledgment- well worth reading. The author tells of her research, interviews and more.

    Notes - Certainly worth a glance.

    "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand is a gripping, well written and diligently researched book. It is hard to decide what's more amazing, Louis Zamperini's story or Ms. Hillenbrand's telling of it.
    OK, Mr. Zamperini wins - but by a small margin.

    The story is amazing, but the prose is brilliant. Ms. Hillenbrand uses a straightforward narrative without testing the reader's knowledge of the English language. Each sentence is plain, clear and understandable, which to me only shows that it was labored on rigorously. The account is so descriptive one can almost feel themselves floating in the shark infest waters for a 1,000 miles with Zamperini and his friends.

    But "Unbroken" is not only the story of Zamperini, but also of World War II from the vantage point a POW who was uncertain when the sun rose, whether he'll get to see it set again. The confusi0n which the men felt during their time as POWs only expatiated after the war, when they realized the political games being played by the world's leader at their expense.

    For more book reviews please visit ManOfLaBook dot com

    35 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2012

    Great read! Beautifully written

    I tore through this book and found myself staying up late and paying far too much attention to the book instead of getting sleep. Hillenbrand is an excellent writer; her chapters end in a way that I found I couldn't tear myself away and I kept saying to myself "one more chapter." Great work; this book is exhaustingly well researched and written. What an amazing man, and an amazing book. Bravo!

    26 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2011

    ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I'VE EVER READ...AMAZING STORY AND VERY WELL WRITTEN!!!!(Only for war buffs?!)

    I loved this book! I am a 24 year old female and am not usually drawn to war stories in particular, but this is an amazing story and it was so well written. Laura did an tremendous job researching to create this book and it shows not only in the finite details of the stories, but in the documentations in the back of the book. I cannot phathem how someone thought this would only be for war buffs or how it was depressing. It was reality! I am now intrigued to read more war books but I am also convinced any book written by Laura would be a recommended read.

    22 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    A Masterpiece!

    Reviewed by Hana Gabrielle Packard Unbroken is the biography of an incredible man, Louie Zamperini. Hard to imagine anyone living through the tortured existence that Zamperini endured of unfathomable circumstances and unimaginable physical and emotional pain. The author had 75 different interviews with Louie Zamperini. It's an unsettling account of man's inhumanity to man but also of hope and heart that shines through in Hillenbrand's exquisite writing. Zamperini lived his life well from pre World War One through and beyond World War two and he continues in good health today at the age of 94. This is a truly worthwhile read. It's a masterpiece!

    20 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly recommended

    A beautifully written and captivating story. It took me a while to adjust to the nature of the writing because she has a unique style, but it is very descriptive and definitely takes you into a new world where you are completely invested in the characters. It is highly emotional and evocative and I would recommend it to anyone.

    15 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2010

    A Terrific Account of Louie Zamperini's Epic Saga

    "Unbroken" is a wonderful book, studiously researched and evocatively written. Props to Laura for an excellent, wide-ranging, outside-looking-in retelling of Louie's life. Given her illness, Laura is herself heroic. Many congratulations to her on her book's success.

    For those also interested in the first person version, please seek out Louie's autobiography, "Devil at My Heels: A WWII Hero's Epic Saga of Torment, Survival, and Forgiveness," published in 2003. (A very different version was originally written in 1957, but is long out of print and missing much. The current softcover has the same title, but a different subtitle.)

    Full disclosure: I helped Louie write "Devil at My Heels" after his late wife, Cynthia Applewhite -- a long-time friend -- called me to suggest that I watch Louie's story on "48 Hours." She said the call was "accidental," but knowing Cynthia, I suspect she was up to something. I watched. I called her immediately and asked about Louie doing a book. He'd simultaneously been contacted by an agent. Cynthia put us all together. I knew of Louie, of course, but actually working with him for two years -- and remaining friends ever since -- has immeasurably enhanced my life, then and now.

    Taken together these two books tell an unforgettable story.

    14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Terrific in all ways!

    This book is extremely well written; I purchased the audio version and the narration by Edward Herrmann was perfect. I wish all books were so well narrated.
    The author researched this story very well and her writing is straight forward and clear---there is not one wasted word in this book. I wish I could say the same for all authors!
    This non-fiction account had me with the first sentence and then I could not stop listening. I am old enough remember that war. I had 2 uncles in the Pacific: one was killed and one was badly wounded. I have never been happy (as I am sure no one is) about using the A-Bomb. This story reminded me why we felt it was necessary to do so.

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

    Recommend

    Loved this book. Could hardly put it down. Makes a person appreciate (even more) what our Vets have gone through for us.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    Stop giving synopsis of the books in your review!!!!

    i would like to read reviews without all you prople spoiling actually reading the book.
    If you liked it fine, if you did not fine, but for the love stop telling every detail of the book. You are spoiling it for the rest of us.

    10 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    a A TRUE American tale of heroism

    I am so proud to be an American, and this book showcases why. I must admit that I was becoming overrun with anger at the attrocities that our brave POWs had to endure, but the forgiveness showcased at the end truly is the climax of the story.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    Excellant Book

    This is an amazing true story and as I read it on my Nook I could not put it down. Louis was brought to the brink of deaf more than once during the war & somehow managed to receive an incredible inner strengh that would not let him die. More than once I was on the edge of my seat reading till late at night cause I wanted to know what was going happened next. Stories of these brave men should be taught in school what an amazing story of survival.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2010

    Amazing

    This book was captivating; I read it from cover to cover in two days, and when I wasn't reading it I was thinking about it. I found the entire book intriguing. Hillenbrand did an amazing job; the way the book is written only adds to this unbelievable true story. Reading it near the anniversary of Pearl Harbor only added to the weight of the story; this unforgettable reminder of the thousands of lives that were lost during World War II is, in my opinion, a must-read.

    9 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    Amazing

    Hands down, best book ive ever read!

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2011

    Excellent!

    What an incredible story. Well worth reading.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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