Monday, February 03, 2014

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

If you have read Ms. Hillenbrand's previous book, "Seabiscuit," then you know she has a real talent for taking an historical figure and painting a well-researched and interesting story of that life.  In the earlier instance, it was of a remarkable horse and the people around him.  In "Unbroken" she once again takes an historical figure and presents a story of a man with tremendous courage and tenacity who most people today have never heard of but can never forget once they are introduced.

He is Louis Zamperini, a man who started out as a troublesome kid and eventually settled into becoming one of the premier distance runners just prior to WWII.  He was so good he went to Berlin for the 1936 Olympics and was on pace to break the 4 minute mile by the time of the 1940 games when war broke out and thoughts of international games were put on hold.

He became a flier and his plane crashed in the Pacific.  The story thereafter was of his long voyage in a raft, followed by being captured by the Japanese, which in turn spiraled downward into a different long distance story of torture and survival.  It takes nothing away from the story to know that he lived through that and his subsequent struggle to adjust once he returned to civilian life.  The tale is well told and compelling, one of those books that is read in long sittings.  It makes you marvel at Zamperini's accomplishments and endurance and at Hillenbrand's skill to tell the story so well.  It should be a heck of a movie when it comes out this year.

1 comment:

Becky said...

This is a great review!!! Thank you for getting it up here. I honestly loved this book so much that I consider it one of the best books I've ever read. And that's tough competition (Tori Spelling). Seriously, though, EVERYONE should read this book. Everyone. Thanks, dad!