Wed 11 Jul 2012
I know I have been accused of hyperbole in the past, and I plead guilty. However, this week’s Read is one of the best books I have ever read: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. It really is that good!
I had purchased this book a while back when it first came out. I was attracted by its subject matter (an epic true tale of World War II) and its author, Laura Hillenbrand, who had written one of my favorite books of the past decade, Seabiscuit. But Unbroken remained unread until recently when I picked it up and was drawn in from the very beginning.
About Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand: “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.”
Before I say anything else about my experience reading this book, I want to say that having read about Mr. Zamperini’s ordeal, I will never again complain about the relatively petty things I have to deal with in my life.
Unbroken is an amazing book surrounding the unbelievably true story of Mr. Zamperini and his peers‘ experiences in the Pacific theater of the second World War. The story of Mr. Zamperini’s Olympic career is interesting enough, but add to it his stint in the Air Force and subsequent crash, and experience at the hands of Japanese captors is so compelling and expertly researched and told by Ms. Hillenbrand, I am sure you will be as captivate as I was.
Mr. Zamperini’s tale was fairly well known back in the day. However, in the gifted hands of Ms. Hillenbrand, it is retold with amazing new details for a new generation. I am so happy that these stories of the “Greatest Generation” are still being told and appreciated.