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Unbroken Hardcover – 20 Jan 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; First Edition edition (20 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007378017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007378012
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 5.1 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 241,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

‘The pages almost turn themselves. His tale is remarkable and his resilience inspiring.’ Ben Macintyre

‘An instant classic’ Mail on Sunday

‘One of the most remarkable survival tales ever recorded. Do yourself a favour and by the book’ Vanity Fair

‘”Unbroken” is an extraordinarily compelling read, a match for any thriller…a remarkable book.’ Evening Standard

‘More gripping than fiction’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Staggering … mesmerising … Hillenbrand’s writing is so ferociously cinematic, the events she describes so incredible, you don’t dare take your eyes off the page’ People

About the Author

Laura Hillenbrand is the author of the number one bestsellers Unbroken and Seabiscuit, which won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. The film it inspired was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. She served as a consultant on the Universal Pictures feature film based on Unbroken. 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. She and actor Gary Sinise co-founded Operation International Children, a charity that provided school supplies to children through American troops. She lives in Washington, D.C.


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Arheddis Varkenjaab TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 26 Jan 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a fantastic book, one of the most entertaining I've read in years. It's a biography of Louis Zamperini who, judging by the number of schools and airports named after him in the US, is a rather famous individual.

Most British readers, myself included, will not have heard of him. Don't let that put you off though, as Zamperini is one of those individuals who has led both a charmed, lucky, and fascinating life.

We start with his youth, where despite the book making light of his mischief, he was a thug and a thief, destined for a life of dodging the police and jail. He is saved by discovering he has a talent for running. Inspired by his slightly more cunning brother (who is just as much a tearaway as Louis but has the charm to get away with it) he finds himself at the Berlin olympics, running in front of Hitler. His natural talent has him on the verge of a four-minute mile and he appears certain for gold at the 1940 games. Instead, Louis finds himself over the Pacific, manning the bombsight of a B24 bomber, and ultimately fighting for survival in a canvas raft in the middle of the ocean.

And this is just the start of his adventures! Louis Zamperini, as well as being talented, lucky, and brave, is revealed to be pretty much indestructible. I won't summarise any more of the story, as it would spoil it, but this is a great book. A real page turner, written with a wonderfully engaging style that will keep you awake to find out what happens next.

Absolutely first class, highly recommended.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Mark Loughridge VINE VOICE on 21 Feb 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Stunning. That sums this book up in a word.

I had read a brief summary of Louis Zamperini's life in Don Stephens' excellent book War and Grace and was fascinated to see a much longer version. I wasn't disappointed.

Some authors struggle when they are faced with a welter of facts, details, interviews - they either smother you with them, thus losing the storyline, or they ignore them, thus depriving the story of colour, depth and character. Laura Hillenbrand has mastered her homework without it mastering her. She strikes a perfect balance, and delivers an engrossing, engaging read.

From Zamperini's early days as a tearaway, to his success as an athlete, through his American Air Force career, to the POW camps in Japan, to his return from the 'grave', to his even more amazing transformation by God's grace - all is superbly told. It is hard to find a point at which to put the book down.

The story captures the horror of air combat, the sickening losses even before combat, the sheer awfulness of the POW camps and the trauma the men faced on returning to 'normal' life. The characters are very real, their fear, courage, humanity, anger, bitterness are all displayed, rather than hyped up or hidden away. One of the aspects I liked was the balance in which the Japanese camp officials were portrayed - some brutal and sadistic, but some deeply courageous and humane. It would have been easy to create a one sided impression.

But for me the absolute highlight is found in the closing chapters. I dont think a review would be complete without mentioning them - But STOP HERE if you dont want to know the ending!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Ball TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback
Laura Hillenbrand's first book Seabiscuit is one of my favourite reads; I've read it multiple times, which is unusual for me for a non-fiction book. But she is such a wonderful storyteller and her books are as readable as fiction - and this one is no exception.

I couldn't put this down. I started it one day, finished it the next - and that was with working full-time in-between. I have no doubt that someone somewhere is planning the film version of this, because, well, what a story! What a life! From juvenile delinquent to Olympic runner, from Air Force bombardier to castaway, from Japanese prisoner-of-war to inspirational speaker, from officially dead to most definitely alive, Louis Zamperini's story is so incredible you can hardly believe it's true.

Hillenbrand's account of Zamperini's two and a half years in a Japanese prisoner of war is so harrowing it's hard to read, but if Zamperini and men like him survived it then the very least we can do is read about it, learn from it, never forget it. This is an incredible story, tremendously moving and uplifting, and Louis Zamperini - still alive! - is one hell of a man.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Caroline P. VINE VOICE on 1 Feb 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I admit I approached this book with a certain amount of trepidation. I wondered how you could write a book about someone spending weeks on a raft and yet keep it interesting? It turns out that there is so much more to Louie Zamperini's story than that, although I don't want to give too much away.

This is a man I suspect very few Brits will have heard of. And yet his story is utterly astonishing and completely riveting. This was a very hard book to put down and I read it very quickly.

I love the way the author has told this story. No lantern-jawed heroes, fearing nothing, in these pages. Rather, very genuine and very honest, flesh-and-blood people - scared to death at times, traumatised by what has happened to them. The real deal. People like you and me who yet find within themselves a courage to endure that is so astounding, so amazing that you are left in awe. Which is how it should be. Still, I think she did take a certain lick of gloss to Louie's youth and I was left a little curious, suspecting more 'behind the scenes'. But that is a very, very small point and this is someone who earned redemption. This was, ultimately, a man unbroken by what happened to him - but who came, many times, very very close to being destroyed by it.

Ms Hillenbrand is an excellent author and this is a brilliant tale. I cannot recommend it highly enough and I'll certainly be looking out for other books she has written. You won't regret buying this book, I'm certain
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