Thursday, June 26, 2014

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken follows the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, an Army pilot whose plane crashed in the Pacific Ocean in 1943, stranding him and two fellow soldiers in the middle of the water with little in the way of supplies.  And yet, his time spent drifting in the ocean (an incredible 47 days), is only part of his amazing story of strength, survival, and hope.

The book begins with Zamperini’s early life in California.  An incorrigible troublemaker in his youth, Louis discovered a talent for running that would help set his life on a track (if you’ll forgive the pun) that took him to the 1936 Berlin Olympics.  After college, he joined the Army Air Corps and became a pilot.  On a mission to search for a missing plane, his bomber crashed – of the 11 people on board, only Zamperini and two other survived. 

Carried by a raft that would drift some 2,000 miles, the men faced harrowing days of little water and food, as well as the constant threat of shark attacks, unsure if they’d ever be found.  After 47 days adrift in the Pacific, they were picked up by Japanese soldiers, and would spend the next two years as prisoners of war, facing harrowing conditions that would haunt Zamperini long after the war had ended.

Zamperini’s story is incredible in its own right, and Hillenbrand’s skill as a writer brings this story to life – I couldn’t put the book down.   It’s rich and vivid with detail, focused on one man’s incredible journey of resilience and strength.  Soon to be featured on the big screen (it’s set to reach theaters in December 2014), I highly recommend reading the book first.  The audiobook version (narrated by Edward Herrmann) was particularly well done – in honor of Audiobook Month, check out the audiobook, or download the eAudio through PinDigital.  It’s most definitely a story worth listening to!

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