Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption is a 2010 non-fiction book by Laura Hillenbrand, author of the best-selling book Seabiscuit: An American Legend.
I would say this is one of the best non-fiction books I have read in the past couple of years.
And it is coming out as a movie at the end of next year.
I really hope the story is told well under the direction of director Angelina Jolie and the screenplay written by Ethan and Joel Coen.
Here is a synopsis of the story:
On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber 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 odysseys of the Second World War.
The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become 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 foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.
In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.
The last line of this description is what made this story so gripping for me...... because it is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.
After reading this book, it showed me how much the human spirit can take and keep on living, if the will to live is there. And what can happen if that will is not there.
Yes, there is unpleasantness in this book. Part of the atrocities of being a prisoner of war. But that isn't the main story. The main story is how Zamperini lived through and survived and what happened on the other side of the war.
The other interesting part of this book is the author Laura Hillenbrand's story while she wrote this book. If you read this Washington Post article here, you can see what she went through while writing "Unbroken".
If you want to read an incredible story, I highly recommend "Unbroken".