Title: Unbroken-An extraordinary true story of courage and
By: Laura Hillenbrand
About the Author (From the Book) –
Laura Hillenbrand is the author of
the number-one bestseller Seabiscuit, which
won the William Hill Sports Book of the
Year, was a finalist for the National
Book Critics Award and inspired the Academy Award-nominated film. She lives
in Washington, D.C.
Cover Price: Rs.
Something about the book (from the Book’s cover):
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.
Adrift on the foundering raft, Zamperini
would face sharks, 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.
In her long-awaited new book, Laura
Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed
in Seabiscuit. Telling an
unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body,
I can’t even begin to explain how much
I love reading books set in the 19th century and the early 1900s. Perhaps,
it won’t be wrong to say that I am fascinated and awed by those olden days. I
can’t quite put my finger on it but there is definitely something that attracts
me towards tales set in that era. That is precisely the reason I chose to read Unbroken.
is the true story of a United States Army Air Forces bomber, Louis
Zamperini, set against the back drop of World War II. It is the remarkable saga
of how he survived a crash in the Pacific Ocean, followed by brutal torture as
a Prisoner Of War and then the emotional upheaval of fighting those demons to
start over his life. A man who fought against every
calamity, natural or manmade and lived to tell his tale; undoubtedly that would
probably be the best description of Louis Zamperini.
Laura Hillenbrand takes us through
an amazing journey through her words; a journey that inspires and amazes at
each and every step. It is the chronicle
of a man’s life who lived through a series of catastrophes; a true hero. It is
the tale of a man who remained Unbroken. It is a non-fiction narrative that is no less than an edge of the seat thriller.
Louis Zamperini was a child who could
not be tamed until he fell in love with the track to become the Torrance
Tornado. He was the American Olympic distance runner with a dream to win gold
at the 1940 Olympic 1500 metres track event. But all that changed when World
War II began and he was enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces as a
bomber. It was at that stage in his life that he met Phil; pilot Russel Allen
"Phil" Phillips; without knowing that one day they would together live
through a crash in the fathomless pacific. They drifted in the pacific towards Japanese
territory for 47 days after which they were captured and sent to various POW
Camps. It was in those camps that they were tortured and humiliated by the Japanese.
It was in one such POW camp that Zamperini met a sadistic prison guard
Mutsuhiro Watanabe who assaulted him both physically and emotionally. He was
tortured to such an extent that Watanabe’s thoughts and dreams kept tormenting
him even after he returned home after the war. With the end of World War II,
Zamperini returned but he was a battered soul. He resorted to alcoholism until evangelist
Billy Graham’s crusade came to his rescue.
It is not possible for those living
in this era to comprehend what soldiers during Wars in those times would have
undergone. The agony of being away from family without the ease of connectivity
that we now share was enormous. Added to that, the loss of lives due to less
advanced machinery or lack of technology or due to deficient rescue systems made
matters worse. On top of that the fact that Japan did not abide by the terms of
the Geneva Convention made the situation further more dangerous. Zamperini
lived through all these and more and that is what makes his tale a must read.
Laura Hillenbrand casts a spell
through her words which is backed by sound research. I personally found it
difficult to stay away from this book. I wanted to know what would happen next,
such was the level of interest that it evoked. This was my introduction to Laura
Hillenbrand’s work and frankly now I cannot wait to put my hands on Seabiscuit as well! She takes you along
an incredible journey of one man. The Green Hornet, the enormous pacific ocean ,
the blood thirsty sharks, the deaths and bombs, the rafts, the Japanese
soldiers, the aircrafts, the islands, the prison guards, Watanabe, 1945 Japan,
the Zamperinis, Phil, the Olympics in Germany; everything comes to life as you
read Hillenbrand’s brilliant narrative of Louis’ life. I found myself as the
silent spectator as Louis transformed from the kleptomaniac kid of the neighbourhood
to a resilient human being; such was the power of her words.
Read it and you would treasure the
experience too. Trust me you won’t be able to put it down!
A word about the great people
from mysmartprice.com who
made it possible for me to read this book. I am glad that I am part of their
review program. They don’t just send you any book but the best books out there
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