Review: I thought I was reading about a person’s experience as a Japanese prisoner of war, and it was that for the most part. The retelling of Louis Zamperini’s experience as a Japanese prisoner of war was compelling and kept me reading. This book was more detailed than I was prepared for however. The first 175 pages were back story. While interesting, it was lot of detail that seemed nonessential for the story. While telling about Louis’s experiences many other prisoners are introduced often including a lot of details about their lives. All of this was interesting, but made it difficult to maintain a good flow in the story. The book continued with a lot of detail about Louis’s life after the war. Again, it was interesting. Quite honestly I think it is important to tell the full story. Nonetheless I was not prepared for the story to be so expansive.
In short, the first and last sections of the story were slow to get through. The middle held my attention fully.
Thanks Amanda for this review.
Published: Published November 16th 2010 by Random House
Page Count: 473
Quick Review: 3 out 5 stars –
Why I Read this Title: A friend recommended this book to me.
Synopsis: #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • SOON TO BE 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.
Author Information: Laura Hillenbrand (born 1967) is the author of the acclaimed Seabiscuit: An American Legend, a non-fiction account of the career of the great racehorse Seabiscuit, for which she won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 2001. The book later became the basis of the 2003 movie Seabiscuit. Her essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Equus magazine, American Heritage, The Blood-Horse, Thoroughbred Times, The Backstretch, Turf and Sport Digest, and many other publications. Her 1998 American Heritage article on the horse Seabiscuit won the Eclipse Award for Magazine Writing.
Born in Fairfax, Virginia, Hillenbrand studied at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, but was forced to leave before graduation when she contracted chronic fatigue syndrome, which she has struggled with ever since. She now lives in Washington, D.C.