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Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption Hardcover – 1 Nov 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 599 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 473 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st Edition edition (1 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400064163
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400064168
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3.4 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (599 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 806,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for Laura Hillenbrand’s "Seabiscuit: An American Legend"
 
“Captivating . . . a flawless trip, with the detail of good history, the blistering pace of Biscuit himself, and the charm of grand legend.”—"The New York Times Book Review"
 
“Wonderful . . . astounding . . . almost unbearably suspenseful . . . Ideally, you wouldn’t just find Laura Hillenbrand’s "Seabiscuit: An American Legend" in bookstores. It would be next to Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole or Lee Wiley CDs as well—anywhere you’d go to look for love songs.”—Salon
 
“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.”—"The Economist"
 
“Engrossing . . . terrific . . . Hillenbrand not only ties . . . dive

Praise for "Unbroken"

"A master class in narrative storytelling...Extraordinarily moving...A powerfully drawn survival epic.""--The Wall Street Journal
""Will you be able to put ["Unbroken"] down once you poke your nose into it? You will not. ... No one delivers a play-by-play better than Laura Hillenbrand... 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, she'd medal for sure..."--Laura Miller, "Salon
"""Unbroken" is wonderful twice over, for the tale it tells and for the way it's told. A better book than Seabiscuit, it manages maximum velocity with no loss of subtlety. [Hillenbrand has] a jeweler's eye for a detail that makes a story live."--"Newsweek
""Monume

Praise for "Unbroken"
"A master class in narrative storytelling...Extraordinarily moving...A powerfully drawn survival epic.""--The Wall Street Journal
""Will you be able to put ["Unbroken"] down once you poke your nose into it? You will not. ... No one delivers a play-by-play better than Laura Hillenbrand... 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, she'd medal for sure..."--Laura Miller, "Salon
"""Unbroken" is wonderful twice over, for the tale it tells and for the way it's told. A better book than Seabiscuit, it manages maximum velocity with no loss of subtlety. [Hillenbrand has] a jeweler's eye for a detail that makes a story live."--"Newsweek
""Monumental... as mesmerizing as it is gut-wrenching. Hillenbrand's writing is so ferociously cinematic, the events she describes so incredible, you don't dare take your eyes off the page."--"People
""Ambitious and powerful... Hillenbrand is intelligent and restrained, and wise enough to let the story unfold for itself. Her research is thorough, her writing crystalline. "Unbroken "is gripping in an almost cinematic way." "The New York Times Book Review
""Hillenbrand is a muscular, dynamic storyteller... But she happens also to have located a tale full of unforgettable characters, multihanky moments and wild turns...A bang up research job.--"The New York Times
""A one-in-a-billion story... seems designed to wrench from self-respecting critics all the blurby adjectives we normally try to avoidL It is amazing, unforgettable, gripping, harrowing, chilling, and inspiring. It sucked me in and swept me away. It kept me reading late into the night. I could not...(it really hurts me to type this)...put it...(must find the strength to resist)... down."--"New York Magazine
""A warning: after cracking open "Unbroken" you may find yourself dog

"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"

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""

About the Author

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."


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback
`Unbroken' by Laura Hillenbrand brings an amazing story based on real events that describes the fate of a man who was a member of the Olympic team of his country, and a few years later ended up as a prisoner in World War II camp.

Louis Zamperini was a soldier who found himself back in 1943 in an Army Air Forces bomber that crashed into the Pacific Ocean. Beside two colleagues he was the only survivor of this accident, and although what he went through was hard, the hardest thing was there waiting in front of him.

His youth was not ideal, it cannot be said that he was an example with his behavior, which often exceeded the boundaries and even came to the edge of the law - he stole, broke into the houses, brawled and escaped from his hometown in order to ride with train. However, in some ways it helped him to find out that he was extremely talented in sports, especially running which enabled him to quickly progresses and finally comes to what every athlete is considering the highest honor - representing his country in the Olympics, in his case one that took place in Berlin 1936.

And when the Second World War started, Louis like many other young men across America and around the world replaced his freedom with the military life in the struggle against the Axis powers. Survival in the ocean today with top-quality equipment would be a challenge, and we can only imagine how Louis felt in the ocean, far away from anything, almost without hope, hungry and thirsty, exhausted and surrounded by sharks to which he was supposed to become food.
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