The author of the 2001 best seller Seabiscuit returns with the remarkable story of Louie Zamperini. Laura Hillenbrand once again proves she is gifted writer who manages to strike the perfect balance of solid research and wonderful storytelling. Unbroken examines the life of Louie from his wild days as a neighborhood prankster and petty thief to his transformation into an Olympic runner in the 1936 games. In 1942 Louie became a crewman aboard a B-24 that eventually crashed into the Pacific ocean. After surviving a record 47 days in a life raft he was picked up by the Japanese and sent to a series of POW camps. Portions of this story are very difficult to read as Hillenbrand describes how thirst, starvation and fear of shark attacks plagued the men. During the two years that Louie spent in the POW camps he and the other prisoners were starved, brutalized and dehumanized by their Japanese captors. When Louie finally returns home he continues to face battles as he is tormented in his thoughts and dreams by memories from his war time experiences. With the help of his wife and a young Billy Graham, he eventually discovers the path which leads him from despair and eventually enables him to forgive. As the subtitle suggests, Unbroken is a true tale of “survival, resilience and redemption” that will appeal to a wide range of readers.
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