Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Book Review: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand is an interesting book.  It is technically a fiction book based on the true story of Louis Zamperini.  The story starts out with his life as a kid getting into trouble.  That trouble gets channeled into running which puts Zamperini into the 1936 Berlin Olympics.  He becomes an airman when World War II breaks out and gets shot down in the Pacific.  Zamperini and a couple crew members find the survival raft and end up adrift until being captured by the Japanese.  Their capture was both a blessing and a curse – a blessing because they would have died before much longer and a curse because they were POWs held by the Japanese.  Most of the rest of the story is about Zamperini’s time in the Japanese POW camps.

I really found this story to be fascinating.  Hillenbrand did her research in finding original sources that documented the true story of Zamperini’s life.  The writing was pretty good for the most part, though I would have edited a few things differently as there were a few spots that felt somewhat tedious.  In the end, it is a fictional account of this piece of history.  One cannot forget that aspect.  Do not expect a completely true story as that is not what this book is.  But, don’t pass it up.  It is still a good book in the end.

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