Read Unbroken PDF by Laura Hillenbrand
Click Here to Download the Book On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and vanished, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the surface of the ocean, a face appeared. It was the face of a young lieutenant, the planeâ€™s bombardier, who was struggling to get to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So commenced one of the most remarkable odysseys of World War Two. In her long-awaited new novel, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and expressive narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Recounting a memorable tale of one manâ€™s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a tribute to the resilience of the mind, body, and spirit.
Reviews First, let me say that I enjoyed this book, to the extent it is possible to "enjoy" tales of deprivation and torture. The most amazing thing part is how strong the will to live can be, even in the face of almost sure death. I admire the ability of the main character, and also the other survivors to endure. All of that said, something troubles me a bit about the writing. It doesn't seem like the author maintained nearly enough objectivity. A few other reviewers have noted the same, and a couple have gone so far as to provide inconsistencies in the technical details as related to the war effort that could have been verified. Also, the author tends to exaggerate a bit (e.g., she repeatedly writes about how any one of the POWs will be 'on the verge of death', then gets sicker, then sicker again....maybe the first time around he wasn't really on the edge of death??). Last, I found the end of the story to be a little too pat, and assume that it fits the narrative that Louis Zamperinni had constructed for himself and works for inspirational speech making (i.e. he finds religion and his PTSD, alcoholism, anger, etc. goes away literally overnight). Therefore, I would probably grade this a 3 1/2 stars, but settled on 4 because in the end, it is an amazing story of resiliency
This is one of those books that is difficult to review because no review could adequately impart how a combination of quality descriptive writing, incredible subject matter, and the stories told, produce a book that is nearly perfect. This is not a book to pick up with the intention of reading in small segments. It sucks you in and you cannot put it down. When you finally do, you can't get it out of your head, your mind needs time to process what you just read. This book adequately conveys stories from the worst and best of humanity. When you read you are emotionally and psychologically engaged. You are in the raft floating around an ocean of shark infested waters and can smell the salt. When the author describes dehydration you suddenly need a drink of water. You are in the
Japanese POW camp and can see and hear "The Bird's" sadistic rants and beatings. You anxiously anticipate what happens next. When the POW's and Japanese captors look to the sky, in awe of the new B-24 bomber fortressing flying overhead Japan, you marvel and rejoice too (the good guys have come to save the day). Finally, the story of Louis Samporini is one of legend. This man is one of the unluckiest and luckiest men to walk this planet... ever. If this book were fiction it would be fantastic. The fact that it is biographical is a true miracle. It would be great reading for high school students because of the historical significance and it's very entertaining. I would count this as one of the greatest books I have ever read!
I suppose the title sums it up fairly accurately. However, for those expecting the story to begin with the plane crash into the Pacific Ocean - far from it. The reader is introduced to a wild and willful young boy of an immigrant family in the US, not sure what to spend his energy on. It is only when somebody finds an activity that will give him a sense of direction, namely athletics, does Zamperini transition from a mixed-up boy into a young man with a focus. His running competitions give him exposure to travel and pre-war Berlin, and grow his will power and determination. Drafted into the air force, one of the missions comes to an abrupt end: whilst searching for lost air men at sea, he himself becomes such a survivor. Adrift in the Pacific, the reader is offered the compelling narrative of survival the book has been so heavily marketed for. And yet, as incredible as those 47 days seem, it's the subsequent incarceration as a POW by the Japanese which is truly daunting. Beaten and humiliated, haunted by dysentery and beri-beri, Zamperini is confronted with the cruelty of an individual who is to mark him for the remainder of his life. The narrative is highly rewarding in that Zamperni is never elevated to an 端ber-Hero. His resilience is indeed heroic, but he retains all the fragility and humanity of a traumatized person after the war, in need of coming to terms with these incredible experiences. The fact that Hillenbrand includes in this narrative the heartbreaking episodes of a POW struggling to escape an inescapable past keeps the reader gripped at every instance. The redeeming activity of his youth, running, was wrung from him due to the injuries he sustained whilst being tortured. Drinking and a downward spiral begins. His hope of a win is transformed into one of loss - he begins to believe that he can only be restored by enacting revenge and killing his former tormentor. Zamperini does gain a form of inner peace towards the end. But the impressions of the post war trauma stick with the reader beyond the last page.
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