Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book Review: "Unbroken"

It’s not often that I write book reviews. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ve written a book review since my 8th grade English class with Mrs. Olson. Then again, it’s not often that I read a book that is so good, I feel the need to tell the whole world about it. That changed this last week when I finished reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, the same woman who wrote the tale Seabiscuit: An American Legend. In the acknowledgments chapter of Unbroken, Laura writes, “I felt certain that I would never again find a subject that fascinated me as did the Depression-era racehorse and the team of men who campaigned him. When I had my first conversation with the infectiously effervescent and apparently immortal Louie Zamperini, I changed my mind.” I’m glad she did, because the story of Louie Zamperini is one for the history books.

Unbroken is an amazing tale of survival, resilience, and redemption. Louie Zamperini, an Olympic class runner, is thrown into World War II as a bombardier in the Army Air Corps. After mechanical failure forces his B-24 crew to ditch in the Pacific, he finds himself with two other men, floating alone on sixty-four million square miles of ocean. Given up for dead, the once world class runner’s body had wasted away to less than 100 pounds. After floating for twenty-seven days, they anxiously set off flares when they saw what they were sure was a rescue plane. As bullets pierced their rubber raft, they quickly learned that what they thought was a rescue plane, was actually a Japanese bomber. Their only choice was to jump into the water. The same water that, for twenty-seven days, had been swarming with sharks. What happens next will forever change your definition of a “man.”

As I read through Unbroken, I kept saying to myself, “This is unbelievable.” The struggles Louie Zamperini went through will give you an idea of who the true hero’s of the world are. I still can’t understand how anyone could withstand the punishment Louie’s body, mind, and soul underwent. Seven years of research, writing so eloquent you loose track of time as you read, and an amazing story easily makes this one of my favorite books of all time. You would be doing yourself a great disservice if you don’t read Unbroken, for it could forever change your life.

1 comment:

crewskedgirl said...

This book, plus "Empire of The Summer Moon" by S.C. Gwynne, were my two favorite books of the year! So glad someone else was blown away by a life story almost too amazing to be believed.