Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption  -     By: Laura Hillenbrand
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Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Random House, Inc / 2010 / Hardcover

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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. 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.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 473
Vendor: Random House, Inc
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 9.4 X 6.3 (inches)
ISBN-13: 9781400064168
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • Hailed as the top nonfiction book of the year by Time magazine • Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography and the Indies Choice Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year award

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.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

Praise for Unbroken
 
"Extraordinarily moving . . . a powerfully drawn survival epic."The Wall Street Journal
 
"[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."—New York
 
"Staggering . . . mesmerizing . . . Hillenbrand’s writing is so ferociously cinematic, the events she describes so incredible, you don’t dare take your eyes off the page."People
 
"A meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life."—The Washington Post
 
"Ambitious and powerful . . . a startling narrative and an inspirational book."—The New York Times Book Review
 
"Marvelous . . . Unbroken is wonderful twice over, for the tale it tells and for the way it’s told. . . . It manages maximum velocity with no loss of subtlety."Newsweek
 
"Moving and, yes, inspirational . . . [Laura] Hillenbrand’s unforgettable book . . . deserve[s] pride of place alongside the best works of literature that chart the complications and the hard-won triumphs of so-called ordinary Americans and their extraordinary time."—Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air
 
"Hillenbrand . . . tells [this] story with cool elegance but at a thrilling sprinter’s pace."Time

"Unbroken is too much book to hope for: a hellride of a story in the grip of the one writer who can handle it."—Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run

Author Bio

Laura Hillenbrand is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Seabiscuit: An American Legend, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, won the Book Sense Book of the Year Award and the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award, landed on more than fifteen best-of-the-year lists, and inspired the film Seabiscuit, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Hillenbrand’s New Yorker article, "A Sudden Illness," won the 2004 National Magazine Award, and she is a two-time winner of the Eclipse Award, the highest journalistic honor in Thoroughbred racing. She and actor Gary Sinise are the co-founders of Operation International Children, a charity that provides school supplies to children through American troops. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Discussion Questions

Reader’s Guide: Unbroken: A WWII Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand

Editorial Reviews

"Extraordinarily moving . . . a powerfully drawn survival epic."The Wall Street Journal
 
"[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."—New York
 
"Staggering . . . mesmerizing . . . Hillenbrand’s writing is so ferociously cinematic, the events she describes so incredible, you don’t dare take your eyes off the page."People

"A meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life."—The Washington Post
 
"Ambitious and powerful . . . a startling narrative and an inspirational book."—The New York Times Book Review
 
"Marvelous . . . Unbroken is wonderful twice over, for the tale it tells and for the way it’s told. . . . It manages maximum velocity with no loss of subtlety."Newsweek
 
"Moving and, yes, inspirational . . . [Laura] Hillenbrand’s unforgettable book . . . deserve[s] pride of place alongside the best works of literature that chart the complications and the hard-won triumphs of so-called ordinary Americans and their extraordinary time."—Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air
 
"Hillenbrand . . . tells [this] story with cool elegance but at a thrilling sprinter’s pace."Time
 
"Unbroken is too much book to hope for: a hellride of a story in the grip of the one writer who can handle it. . . . When it comes to courage, charisma, and impossible adventure, few will ever match ’the boy terror of Torrance,’ and few but the author of Seabiscuit could tell his tale with such humanity and dexterity. Hillenbrand has given us a new national treasure."—Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run
 
"Riveting . . . an exceptional portrait . . . So haunting and so beautifully written, those who fall under its spell will never again feel the same way about World War II and one of its previously unsung heroes."—The Columbus Dispatch
 
"Magnificent . . . incredible . . . [Hillenbrand] has crafted another masterful blend of sports, history and overcoming terrific odds; this is biography taken to the nth degree, a chronicle of a remarkable life lived through extraordinary times."—The Dallas Morning News
 
"No other author of narrative nonfiction chooses her subjects with greater discrimination or renders them with more discipline and commitment. If storytelling were an Olympic event, [Hillenbrand would] medal for sure."Salon

"A celebration of gargantuan fortitude . . . full of unforgettable characters, multi-hanky moments and wild turns . . . Hillenbrand is a muscular, dynamic storyteller."The New York Times

"[A] masterfully told true story . . . nothing less than a marvel."Washingtonian

"Zamperini’s story is certainly one of the most remarkable survival tales ever recorded. What happened after that is equally remarkable."—Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair

"Irresistible . . . Hillenbrand demonstrates a dazzling ability—one Seabiscuit only hinted at—to make the tale leap off the page."Elle

"A tale of triumph and redemption . . . astonishingly detailed."O: The Oprah Magazine

"An astonishing testament to the superhuman power of tenacity."Entertainment Weekly

"Intense . . . You better hold onto the reins."The Boston Globe

"Incredible . . . Zamperini’s life is one of courage, heroism, humility and unflagging endurance."St. Louis Post Dispatch

"Hillenbrand has once again brought to life the true story of a forgotten hero, and reminded us how lucky we are to have her, one of our best writers of narrative history. You don’t have to be a sports fan or a war-history buff to devour this book—you just have to love great storytelling."—Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

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  1. Southern CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Stellar Book
    June 25, 2015
    mary jemison
    Southern CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is one of the most gripping and touching stories I have ever read. The book is much better than the movie. How Mr. Zamperini suffered. Only the Lord working in his life could have taken all that pain, anger and even hatred towards his Japanese captors and turn it into true forgiveness and love for these poor pagans.

    Lauren Hillenrand is a fabulous writer.

    I highly recommend this book. What a testament to God's grace and faithfulness it is!
  2. Kasota, MN
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
    June 23, 2015
    Linda K
    Kasota, MN
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    My husband read it and loved it. I filled this out on his behalf. He is a man of few words, so sorry I can't had more. He served in the military in Germany and is very faith-filled. He enjoyed the book very much and thought it excellent.
  3. California
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Unbroken Through God's Grace and Love
    March 28, 2015
    gbautista72
    California
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    An excellent book. Should be used in U.S. history classes. Wow. Incredible. Unbelievable. Zamperini truly is unbroken. All that was endured during WWII, the pain, suffering, torture & through God's help persevered. He never once gave up though it was rough! Chapter 38 & 39 were the turning points where Louie realizes God was with him the whole time! Love it.
  4. maryville, tn
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Survivng Extreme Conditions
    February 18, 2015
    nonna
    maryville, tn
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    As a child, Louis (Louie) Zamperini could not sit still. He was destructive, rebellious, daring, and a thief. His father was always having to apologize, or make amends for something Louis had said or done or stolen. Louis was a very fast runner, maybe from all those times he ran away after stealing something.

    Because he was a fast runner, his brother Pete started to train him in track and field. Louie soon realized running was something he really enjoyed, and something he did well. In fact, he started training for the 1936 Olympics, which would be held in Berlin. Even though he was fast, he wasnt fast enough.

    In the late 1930s, Hitler was planning to conquer Europe, and Japan invaded China. Louie joined the Army Air Corps in 1941. In June 1943, the plane carrying Louie and other airmen crashed in the Pacific. He and two other crewmen managed to get the life raft afloat. After 27 days, a plane spotted them. It was not an American rescue plane. It was a Japanese bomber.

    Louie and the other prisoners of war were subjected to such brutal, sadist cruelty, its a wonder any of them survived. This is a story of surviving in the worst of conditions that would break most men. Its a story about Louie and the other prisoners of war who did not give up, and did not give in to those who did everything they could to destroy both the body and the spirit of these brave men in uniform.
  5. Australia
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Amazing
    February 12, 2015
    Missymoo3
    Australia
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Loved this book, read it in 2 days! It makes me sick that human beings are capable of such horrendous cruelty. But after suffering all that evil Louis still turned to God. It certainly puts your own problems into perspective. If I'm having a bad day I now think of Louis and know that if God helped him through all of that He will come through for me too. Such a powerful story, I highly recommend it.
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