Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Laura Hillenbrand’s book Unbroken is easily one of the best books I’ve ever experienced. I love biographies, but this one is a stand-out. I first heard about this book years ago but only recently took the time to go through it myself. I just finished it Friday evening.

If you are unfamiliar with the story, the book is about the life and times of Louie Zamperini, a 1936 Olympian and hero of World War II. His story is larger than life, painted on a global canvas, encompassing the heights of human triumph and the depths of human degradation. In short, Zamperini went from juvenile delinquent to Olympian (who met Hitler!) to bombardier to lost at sea to POW to home again. The story is incredible. You will cringe in horror and exult with joy while reading this book. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Many of you have already read the book. Perhaps less of you have heard that Zamperini’s story has been made into a feature length motion picture to be released this December. Angelina Jolie fell in love with Zamperini’s story, pitched the movie herself, and ended up directing it. By a strange coincidence, she and Louie are neighbors but didn’t know one another until the movie was in production. See the story and the trailer below. Yes, Zamperini is still alive today. He’s 97 years old.

I look forward to seeing the story on the big screen, but it is hard to imagine it being better than Hillenbrand’s book. If you haven’t already, read the book. Don’t wait for the movie!

6 Responses to Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

  1. Paula Bolyard June 16, 2014 at 12:42 am #

    You might enjoy this interview with Laura Hillenbrand at the AP Roundtable’s Public Square. Laura reveals a lot of the details behind her research including the fact that she didn’t actually meet the subject of her book until after it was published. http://www.aproundtable.org/tps30guestarchive.cfm?GF=Laura&GL=Hillenbrand

  2. Nick Nowalk June 16, 2014 at 10:46 am #

    Denny, having not read the book yet (but planning to this summer), I’d be interested to know at what age you think it would be appropriate for children to read along with parents?

  3. Greg Dietrich June 16, 2014 at 10:51 am #

    I think this is easily the best non-theological book I have ever read. It is a gripping page turner that is not easily put down.

    I also look forward to the movie at Christmas. I really hope that they do justice to the book.

  4. bobbistowellbrown June 17, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    I found the book to describe explicit violence during the time he was a prisoner of war. I don’t think this would be appropriate for younger children and only those teens who can deal with violence. I found the book long, wordy, and tedious. I wanted to hurry up and get to the part where Louie became a Christian.

  5. Cindy Chang June 17, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    I’m reading his autobiography ‘Devil At My Heels’. Very engaging, and very much in his own voice.

  6. Randall Seale June 18, 2014 at 11:49 pm #

    Thanks for posting Denny. Incredible story in so many ways but for us believers especially of God’s grace in Christ.

    I don’t think 12 or 13 would be too young to read. To be sure, Louie is tortured (as are others) so parents should give this consideration.

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