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


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

ISBN13: 9781400064168
ISBN10: 1400064163
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Average customer rating based on 135 comments:

dallard, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by dallard)
This is the best book I've ever read. Ms. Hillenbrand captures the events so well that I felt as though I was there with the most incredible man. He has set a standard of conquering my fears and dreams to an all time high. It's a must for people that want to read about true gut wrenching stories. I could not put the book down.
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(3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
damonp3, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by damonp3)
The true World War II story of Louis Zamperini should be an inspiration to every red-blooded American. A tough and sometimes troubled young man and a brilliant world-class athlete, Louis volunteered to fight for his country, became a bombardier in the difficult-to-fly B-24 Liberator, crashed at sea and became a prisoner of the cruel Japanese. The portrayal of his grit and courage by Laura Hillenbrand read like a novel and kept me glued to every page.
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(3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
adawson, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by adawson)
Mesmerizing - couldn't put it down. True tale of an unbelievable life, courage, and redemption.
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(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
finnread, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by finnread)
" Unbroken", by Laura Hillenbrand, gives a stirring account of WWII Army Air Force crew and their fate of being shot down and surviving in a life raft in the Pacific ocean, later to be placed in a Japanese POW camp (s). Unbroken was written through the eyes of the main character Louis Zamperini. (Olympic track hopeful) The brutality of the prison camps was difficult to read, and I found myself skimming through the repeated brutal situations. Not a book to go to bed on and have pleasant dreams. But, what war story is? The life of Louis Zamperini, prior to the war, was interesting and revealed that he was not always the most upstanding fellow growing up. But, the cunning cleverness of his youth, and physical substance, was what helped him deal with the tragic situations of the Japanese POW Camps.

The writing felt a bit disjointed, and the story might have been condensed? One gets the picture of the brutal life in the POW camps, without repeating the same brutality situations. But, the story line kept one interested enough to reach the conclusion.
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Barbara Wetzell, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by Barbara Wetzell)
If this was fiction, it would be "too far fetched" to be a good story. All the coincidences. The fact that it is NON FICTION makes it truly amazing!!! Everyone in my Book Group loved it! It is the first book I have given my 89 year old mother that even she LOVED! This book appeals to all ages. Those like my mom who grew up during WWII, the youth of today - good INTERSTING history lesson - and everyone in between!
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Product Details

A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Hillenbrand, Laura
Random House
Military - World War II
Military - United States
General Biography
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
9 x 6 in 1.13 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 496 pages Random House - English 9781400064168 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "From the 1936 Olympics to WWII Japan's most brutal POW camps, Hillenbrand's heart-wrenching new book is thousands of miles and a world away from the racing circuit of her bestselling Seabiscuit. But it's just as much a page-turner, and its hero, Louie Zamperini, is just as loveable: a disciplined champion racer who ran in the Berlin Olympics, he's a wit, a prankster, and a reformed juvenile delinquent who put his thieving skills to good use in the POW camps, In other words, Louie is a total charmer, a lover of life--whose will to live is cruelly tested when he becomes an Army Air Corps bombardier in 1941. The young Italian-American from Torrance, Calif., was expected to be the first to run a four-minute mile. After an astonishing but losing race at the 1936 Olympics, Louie was hoping for gold in the 1940 games. But war ended those dreams forever. In May 1943 his B-24 crashed into the Pacific. After a record-breaking 47 days adrift on a shark-encircled life raft with his pal and pilot, Russell Allen 'Phil' Phillips, they were captured by the Japanese. In the 'theater of cruelty' that was the Japanese POW camp network, Louie landed in the cruelest theaters of all: Omori and Naoetsu, under the control of Corp. Mutsuhiro Watanabe, a pathologically brutal sadist (called the Bird by camp inmates) who never killed his victims outright--his pleasure came from their slow, unending torment. After one beating, as Watanabe left Louie's cell, Louie saw on his face a 'soft languor.... It was an expression of sexual rapture.' And Louie, with his defiant and unbreakable spirit, was Watanabe's victim of choice. By war's end, Louie was near death. When Naoetsu was liberated in mid-August 1945, a depleted Louie's only thought was 'I'm free! I'm free! I'm free!' But as Hillenbrand shows, Louie was not yet free. Even as, returning stateside, he impulsively married the beautiful Cynthia Applewhite and tried to build a life, Louie remained in the Bird's clutches, haunted in his dreams, drinking to forget, and obsessed with vengeance. In one of several sections where Hillenbrand steps back for a larger view, she writes movingly of the thousands of postwar Pacific PTSD sufferers. With no help for their as yet unrecognized illness, Hillenbrand says, 'there was no one right way to peace; each man had to find his own path....' The book's final section is the story of how, with Cynthia's help, Louie found his path. It is impossible to condense the rich, granular detail of Hillenbrand's narrative of the atrocities committed (one man was exhibited naked in a Tokyo zoo for the Japanese to 'gawk at his filthy, sore-encrusted body') against American POWs in Japan, and the courage of Louie and his fellow POWs, who made attempts on Watanabe's life, committed sabotage, and risked their own lives to save others. Hillenbrand's triumph is that in telling Louie's story (he's now in his 90s), she tells the stories of thousands whose suffering has been mostly forgotten. She restores to our collective memory this tale of heroism, cruelty, life, death, joy, suffering, remorselessness, and redemption. (Nov.) -Reviewed by Sarah F. Gold" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Review" by , "It is hugely refreshing when [a book] as fine as this one comes along. The research is meticulous, the writing elegant and concise, so that every page transports you back to the period....This is a remarkable tale well told."
"Review" by , “Extraordinarily moving...a powerfully drawn survival epic.”
"Review" by , “[A] one-in-a-billion story...designed to wrench from self-respecting critics all the blurby adjectives we normally try to avoid: It is amazing, unforgettable, gripping, harrowing, chilling, and inspiring.”
"Review" by , “A meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life.”
"Review" by , “Ambitious and powerful...a startling narrative and an inspirational book.”
"Synopsis" by , In her long-awaited new book, Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a young lieutenant's journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.
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