Unbroken: a World War II story of survival, resilience, and redemption - Laura Hillenbrand

Title: Unbroken : a World War II story of a survival, resilience, and redemption
Author: Laura Hillenbrand
Pages: 496
Published: 2010
Genre: Non-fiction, Biography, History
Rating: 5/5

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.  It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard.  So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini.  In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails.  As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile.  But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater.  Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion.  His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

Thoughts: I really, really, really liked it and it really lived up to the hype that I have heard about this book.  It was also a book that was very much an emotional journey and the emotions that I experienced were very much unexpected.  While there were times that the book felt a little dry, like the description of a B-24 bomber, the story always had a point and it was building to something that was going to be written later on in the book.  I am not going to spoil the book for those of you who are planning are reading the book, but I will say its an amazing journey, especially emotionally.  Highly recommended. 

2141 / 15000 pages. 14% done!


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