BookBrowse Reviews Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

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A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

by Laura Hillenbrand

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  • First Published:
    Nov 2010, 496 pages
    Jul 2014, 528 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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About this Book



An unforgettable story of a man's journey into extremity by the author of Sea Biscuit

Rated Best Book of 2011 by BookBrowse Members
When a book generates as much pre-publication buzz as Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken, I tend to be a bit prejudiced against it from the start. I've found that rarely do books live up to the expectations I've developed for them based on the press they've generated. I was delighted to find, though, that Unbroken not only lives up to its hype, but far surpasses it. I can honestly say that I can't remember the last time a non-fiction book held my attention as well as this one did, from start to finish. It's the first book I've read in a very long time that I've wanted to force on all my friends. Yes, it's that good.

Unbroken is a biography of Louis Zamperini, son of Italian immigrants, born January 26, 1917 in New York. Although the book's jacket focuses on Zamperini's unbelievable adventure in a tiny life raft floating thousands of...

Louis Zamperini
If you'd like to know more about Louis Zamperini you might wish to view this documentary which appears to be compiled in part from a 1954 episode of This is Your Life together with more recent footage; but if you'd prefer not to know too much about his life before reading Unbroken, I suggest you limit yourself to just the first seven to eight minutes, which provides a good picture of Louis Zamperini as a young man without revealing his war and post war experiences.

You could also check out Devil at My Heels - Zamperini's autobiography, first published in 1956 and reissued in 2011. Those who have read both say that the books cover much the same ground in terms of Zamperini's wartime experiences, although Unbroken is arguably the better written, but that the earlier bio covers Zamperini's experiences as a born-again Christian and follower of Billy Graham in much ...

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