Saturday, May 26, 2012


by Laura Hillenbrand

About 10 years ago my SIL recommended Seabiscuit. Even though I couldn't imagine liking a book about a race horse, I not only enjoyed it, I recommended it to others! Now I am recommending another book by the same author, Unbroken, a WWII survival story. The main thing that differentiates this World War II story from so many others is that it recounts the lesser told Pacific encounter.

Once again, Hillenbrand tells the story of a "racehorse", Louis Zamperini, who ran in the Berlin Olympics and even shook hands with the Fuhrer! Louie was on track to be the first person to break the 4-minute mile when he was drafted by the Air Force as a bombardier and assigned to the Green Hornet, a B24. When Louie's plane went down somewhere over the Pacific, he and two of his crewmates spent over 47 days adrift before being captured by the Japanese. Louie then spent the next 2 1/2 years surviving horrific circumstances and torture until his release at the war's end. While the focus of the book is clearly Zamperini, Hillenbrand also gives honor to other war heroes who suffered alongside him. The book details Zamperini's life from childhood through post-war life, and at times I found it a bit long-winded. The author tends toward the dramatic- Hollywood style, but tells a riveting and heart-wrenching tale.

Since I listened to this book on my ipod over several weeks, my review may be a little different than a reader's. I'd recommend this book if you like war stories, history, biography or stories of overcoming. Well done and sure to be coming to a theater near you. 

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