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Inspiration from Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption - Review

Unbroken, based on a true story by Laura Hillenbrand (author of Seabisquit)

 This story, which I finished as an audiobook, was one of the most engaging stories I have ever read in my life. The inspiration was in the fortitude, courage, and creativity of Louis Zamperini.

“A meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life.” (The Washington Post)

Zamperini went from a delinquent childhood to becoming a world record-breaking marathon runner, only to be drafted into the army and sent on missions as a bomber in the Pacific in World War II. 

The incredible but true story starts from there when he struggled to survive for 36 days on a raft against sharks, hunger and thirst, sun and storms, only to end up landing on an island and being taken to a POW camp.

What he endured there and in other camps was brutality that targeted him among others and he needed to survive this if he could. 

" 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." - Audible  


As an audiobook, it was an extraordinary experience to listen to the story narrated masterfully by Edward Hermann. It's no surprise that on Audible there are 49,470 reviews with an average rating of 4.6out of 5 stars. 


Unbroken is an inspiration and testimony to the resilience of the human mind, body, heart, and spirit that we all have to some degree within us.

Critic's Rave Reviews

"Unbroken is wonderful twice over, for the tale it tells and for the way it’s told. A better book than Seabiscuit, it manages maximum velocity with no loss of subtlety. [Hillenbrand has] a jeweler’s eye for a detail that makes a story live." (Newsweek)

"A master class in narrative storytelling.... Extraordinarily moving...A powerfully drawn survival epic." (The Wall Street Journal)

"Ambitious and powerful.... Hillenbrand is intelligent and restrained, and wise enough to let the story unfold for itself. Her research is thorough, her writing crystalline. Unbroken is gripping in an almost cinematic way." (The New York Times Book Review)

“[A] one-in-a-billion story...designed to wrench from self-respecting critics all the blurby adjectives we normally try to avoid: It is amazing, unforgettable, gripping, harrowing, chilling, and inspiring.” (New York)

“Staggering...mesmerizing...Hillenbrand’s writing is so ferociously cinematic, the events she describes so incredible, you don’t dare take your eyes off the page.” (People

“A meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life.” (The Washington Post)

“Hillenbrand...tells [this] story with cool elegance but at a thrilling sprinter’s pace.” (Time)

Unbroken is too much book to hope for: a hellride of a story in the grip of the one writer who can handle it.” (Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run


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