Library Blog

Alex McIlvaine '14 Reviews Hillenbrand's Unbroken

Monday, March 25, 2013

While succeeding her beloved best seller Seabiscuit seemed impossible, author Laura Hillenbrand miraculously produced a comparably remarkable masterpiece in Unbroken. The reader’s comprehension of the incredible life of Louie Zamperini is threefold. First, Hillenbrand illustrates how his restless youth translated into an olympic running career that was cut short when Pearl Harbor was bombed and America was drawn into the second World War. Next the majority of Hillenbrand’s focus is placed on Louie’s thrilling experience as a soldier, and later as a POW. From his record setting survival floating on a raft, fending off sharks in the pacific to enduring some of the most brutal POW camps and infamous, psychotic officers, Louie’s story is unprecedented. However, when the war ends, Louie’s pain has only just begun. The terror that strikes in the years after the war shadow his true self and send his life into turmoil. This seemingly permanent trance is broken by a religious calling. Louie regains his feet through the power of forgiveness. He faces his captors once last time, yet with an attitude that is as difficult for the reader to digest as the horrifying details of Louie’s captivity. Deeming Unbroken “powerful” is an understatement. The entire way through this gripping recount of an extraordinary hero, the reader will not be able to put the book down. Louie’s Zamperini’s eye popping story is one of resilience and outrageous courage. Needless to say, a must read that the reader will never forget.

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