Monday, February 03, 2014
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
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.