Saturday, March 9, 2013

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Oh wow.  This is one of the best stories I have read in a long time.  I'm not normally one for much nonfiction, but this was amazing and I just can't believe it is true.  Louie Zamperini, an Olympic runner, is stranded in the Pacific Ocean during WW2 only to be rescued by the Japanese.  He becomes a P.O.W. and endures so much.  I learned so much about WW2 (I mainly knew about the German side of the war, not the Japanese side).  This is an amazing reminder of the heroes who sacrificed everything for our freedom.  I highly recommend it!

From Amazon:

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.  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.

Read: February 2013 via CD from the library

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