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I'm a Minnesota Girl, living in the south. I tell my friends I try not to talk and think like a Yankee, but sometimes I slip up!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


I don't often post book reviews here, because I generally post them to Amazon. However, I am fairly certain that this may be the best book I'll read this year, and wanted readers to know!

There is no doubt for me that Laura Hillenbrand's sophomore non-fiction book, "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption" is the finest book I've read in 2011, and my suspicions are that it will remain so, for the rest of this year.

The product of unceasing and excellent research, coupled with Hillenbrand's one on one relationship with hero Louie Zamperini and her ability to drawn in, to absorb her readers, much the same way she did with her first book "Seabiscuit"; all of that is in the background when you begin to read, and, when you do, you cannot put her story down.

Moving from pre-war (WWII) California, where Louie was a local high school and college athlete with international track aspirations, to the schism that was the pre-war Olympics in Nazi Germany, from the Honolulu that existed post Pearl Harbor, to the terrors of flying a plane in the early part of the war, Hillenbrand gives you the resilient backbone of former hellraiser and lifelong comic Zamperini.

The landscape abruptly changes when Louie's plane is downed in the Pacific, and he and his fellows go through an agonizing and frightening experience adrift for a record-breaking 47 days in the shark-infested Pacific, only to be washed ashore and imprisoned by the Japanese. The account of his daily life with the Japanese, with torture and deprivation leading finally to rescue, is one that is inspirational, raw and leaves you with a breathless tale of heroism that will stay with you a long, long time, after you leave this book.

Having purchased the book for several friends, who had much the same response, I can say with confidence that I can highly recommend this book, and celebrate the career of the author, who will, hopefully, present us with more of her work in the decades to come.


Kelly said...

I read an excerpt from this book (along with an interview of the author, I think) in Guideposts Magazine awhile back. At the time I thought it would be something I would enjoy (my husband, too). You've convinced me I'm gonna have to read it at some point!

Marion said...

I have this one requested at the library. I have like 20 books requested, waiting patiently. NOT! ;-)

Great review, Q!


Pam said...

Sounds very interesting. I'll have to check it out.

I have soooooooooooo many to-read book in my bookshelves at the moment that I would have to live to be 200 to get to them all. :)

Valerie said...

I loved this book, also -- and have long been a fan of Hillebrand's Seabiscuit (even though I'm not a horsey person).

When Unbroken came out, I learned that Zamperini had a memoir of his own co-written some time back with someone else. This just reminded me that I still have to look that one up!

Bob said...

LOVED this book! What an incredible story and what a story teller! Her attention to detail is amazing. Great review too.

Debby said...

When I am done reading what I have to, I'll read this.

Thanks, Quid~