Unbroken. Finished 4-24-17, 4.5 stars, YA non-fiction, pub. 2014
On a May afternoon in 1943, an American military plane 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 sagas of the Second World War.
The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. As a boy, he had been a clever delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and stealing. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a supreme talent that carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when war came, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.
Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a sinking raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would respond to desperation with ingenuity, suffering with hope and humor, brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would hang on the fraying wire of his will.
In this captivating young adult edition of her award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller, Laura Hillenbrand tells the story of a man’s breathtaking odyssey and the courage, cunning, and fortitude he found to endure and overcome. from Goodreads
Jason read this and we saw the movie together when it came out. I liked the movie, but he was disappointed and now that I’ve read the book (the YA version, but still) I see why. A word about the YA adaptations of bestsellers…This is the second time I’ve been burned by the YA abridgement. When searching for this title on the library website the first audio that popped up was this one so I put it on hold, only it wasn’t the original. I will be paying better attention next time. Fool me twice and all that.
Louis was an amazing force of nature. He was rebellious, talented, a hard worker, a survivor, a drunk, and ultimately a man of God. His story was so inspirational. The story of he and two of his comrades on the life boats in the middle of the ocean for 46-47 days with no food or water after the first few days. Imagine having to fight of sharks that jump into your raft. Imagine that when found, it’s your enemies not your friends. Amazing.
The book was great, but I wish I had read the full-length book instead of the abridged version. But one plus was that the late, great Edward Hermann read the 8 hour audio. Do yourself a favor and read the book, skip the movie.