I had heard that this book was an "epic" about a man who was stranded at sea during WWII. I guess I was expecting something more Robinson Crusoe... It does have a few chapters like that, but they do not define the book--not even close. If they'd told me it was about an Olympian, I'd never have started it, which would nave made for an unknown regret because it is worth reading. That made it hard to gauge the "expectations" stars.
One of the strong points is that this is a life-long biography and not a just-the-war-years story. It has an underlying message that shows how families work, and/or don't work but overcome because they are committed to making it work. The dots get connected. For example, Louis was not saved when he was an Olympian, but since the story hangs around long enough to get perspective, one can see that God prepared him with a "what it took to be a winner" way of thinking that was crucial to his survival when the prison camps were designed to demoralize the prisoners as "losers." And then, having had two big public victories, Olympics & War Hero, we see that in the aftermath he had a private battle with finances and alcohol, which became self-inflicted demons just as bent on destruction as the foreign enemy had been.
It also captures an era of history that is very different from today. I'm not sure Louis could have become a champion in today's culture. His school would have wanted him on Ritalin and CPS would likely have thrown his mom in jail for allowing him to be a "free range kid."
Louis Zamperini's story, as told in Unbroken, is more about looking at values than it is about entertaining, although it does both. Would I recommend it to a friend? Maybe, if he/she really liked to read; but the people I'd WANT to recommend it to are the flaky politicians who can't seem to see the people (trees) for the policy (forest)! That is the perspective found in Unbroken.
This is one of the most gripping and touching stories I have ever read. The book is much better than the movie. How Mr. Zamperini suffered. Only the Lord working in his life could have taken all that pain, anger and even hatred towards his Japanese captors and turn it into true forgiveness and love for these poor pagans.
Lauren Hillenrand is a fabulous writer.
I highly recommend this book. What a testament to God's grace and faithfulness it is!
My husband read it and loved it. I filled this out on his behalf. He is a man of few words, so sorry I can't had more. He served in the military in Germany and is very faith-filled. He enjoyed the book very much and thought it excellent.
An excellent book. Should be used in U.S. history classes. Wow. Incredible. Unbelievable. Zamperini truly is unbroken. All that was endured during WWII, the pain, suffering, torture & through God's help persevered. He never once gave up though it was rough! Chapter 38 & 39 were the turning points where Louie realizes God was with him the whole time! Love it.
As a child, Louis (Louie) Zamperini could not sit still. He was destructive, rebellious, daring, and a thief. His father was always having to apologize, or make amends for something Louis had said or done or stolen. Louis was a very fast runner, maybe from all those times he ran away after stealing something.
Because he was a fast runner, his brother Pete started to train him in track and field. Louie soon realized running was something he really enjoyed, and something he did well. In fact, he started training for the 1936 Olympics, which would be held in Berlin. Even though he was fast, he wasnt fast enough.
In the late 1930s, Hitler was planning to conquer Europe, and Japan invaded China. Louie joined the Army Air Corps in 1941. In June 1943, the plane carrying Louie and other airmen crashed in the Pacific. He and two other crewmen managed to get the life raft afloat. After 27 days, a plane spotted them. It was not an American rescue plane. It was a Japanese bomber.
Louie and the other prisoners of war were subjected to such brutal, sadist cruelty, its a wonder any of them survived. This is a story of surviving in the worst of conditions that would break most men. Its a story about Louie and the other prisoners of war who did not give up, and did not give in to those who did everything they could to destroy both the body and the spirit of these brave men in uniform.