I can’t believe it’s January and I haven’t seen this movie yet. (It came out in December.) I’m excited and a bit hesitant to see all the scenes from the book. I’m sure it won’t be easy to watch, but I know that the story is worth it!
You’d never know that this was a biography if you just picked it up and started reading. It’s written so well and feels like a well plotted story. It’s intriguing and heartbreaking, but an incredible tale of courage and enduring the unendurable.
So, I said you wouldn’t know this was a biography and at first, I didn’t. For me, the characters all felt very real and authentic, probably because they’re based on real people and Hillenbrand spent a lot of time researching them. I really admire his strength and the way he kept going, even when his past haunted him.
Beautiful. Intriguing. Enigmatic. Yeah, that’s right. ENIGMATIC. It’s just amazing how Hillenbrand tells this story. You’ll just have to read it and chew through a few knuckles, and then you’ll know what I mean.
They made it a movie for a reason. It’s part coming of age, part war story, part adventure, part friendship, part love, part forgiveness, all good, good, good.
The Goodreads Description
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.
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Did you read it or see the movie? What did you think?
4 thoughts on “Book Review: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand”
So this sounds like a fairly winning endorsement. My dad read the book last year and loved it and I keep staring at it in bookstores but then keep passing it by without buying a copy for no logical reason. How criminal would it be for me, as a writer, to sneak off and see this in the theater before I actually read it? Hmmmmm. Joe
Noooo! Resist the urge! Resist, resist! ;) The book was so good, I’d hate to see it ruined for you by the movie! Especially without knowing if the movie is good or not. Let me know if you do see it, though!
It is an excellent book by a great writer. I doubt anyone else could have told Loui’s story with such much passion and grit. Being an avid fan of World War Two, it’s definitely one of my top five favorite works.
She is a great writer! It’s among my favs, too.