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The new book from the author of the bestselling and much-loved Seabiscuit.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 channelled 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 humour; 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.
About the Author
Though Laura Hillenbrand had been writing about thoroughbred racing since 1988 as a contributing writer/editor for Equus magazine and other publications, it was her riveting 2001 retelling of the super-inspirational Seabiscuit saga that captured the nation's attention.
Unbroken chosen as one of Publisher’s Weekly’s TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE
“INSPIRING … EVOCATIVE … ALMOST TOO INCREDIBLE TO BE BELIEVED … a tale that will keep you glued to the pages, eagerly awaiting the next twist in the story … You’ll cheer … and you’ll want to share this book with everyone you know.” —Amazon.com, Spotlight selection, Book of the Month, November 2010, #4 on list of Ten Best Books of the Year.
“STAGGERING … MESMERIZING … Any one of the threads in Hillenbrand’s monumental new book could be a page-turner all its own… Hillenbrand’s writing is so ferociously cinematic, the events she describes so incredible, you don’t dare take your eyes off the page.” --People, four star review
“EXTRAORDINARILY MOVING … Beautifully paced … gripping … a powerfully drawn survival epic … Ms. Hillenbrand has a gift for dusting off history and presenting it as compelling drama”. –Wall Street Journal
“It takes only a few pages of Unbroken, Hillenbrand’s marvelous account of Zamperini’s adventures…to see why his story so captured her imagination—and to see how well her seven years of work have paid off. Unbroken is wonderful twice over, for the tale it tells and for the way it’s told. A better book than Seabiscuit, it manages maximum velocity with no loss of subtlety. With a jeweler’s eye for a detail that makes a story live, Hillenbrand compresses pages of explanation into a paragraph and sometimes just a line. Even the planes come alive… [Her] prose, transparent and understated, is no less compelling.” -Newsweek
“UNBROKEN IS TOO MUCH BOOK TO HOPE FOR: A HELLRIDE OF A STORY IN THE GRIP OF THE ONE WRITER WHO CAN HANDLE IT. Killing sharks with his bare hands…outracing Olympic runners…outwitting one of the most notorious fiends to stalk Japan’s POW camps — when it comes to courage, charisma, and impossible adventure, few will ever match “the boy terror of Torrance,” and few but the author of Seabiscuit could tell his tale with such humanity and dexterity. Laura Hillenbrand has given us a new national treasure.” —Christopher McDougall, author of the bestseller Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super Athletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
“RIVETING … AN EXCEPTIONAL PORTRAIT … So haunting and beautifully written, those who fall under its spell with never again feel the same way about World War II and one of its previously unsung heroes.” – Columbus Dispatch
“A MONSTER — HYPNOTIC AND DEVASTATING.” Lev Grossman, TIME magazine [Tweet]
“A WARNING: After cracking DC writer Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, you may find yourself dog tired the next day, having spent much of the night fending off sleep with coffee refills, eager to find out whether the story of Louis Zamperini, Olympic runner turned World War II POW, ends in redemption or despair … A masterfully told true story … nothing less than a marvel—a book worth losing sleep over.” —Washingtonian
“AN EXTRAORDINARY TALE OF PERSEVERANCE … Will you be able to put the thing down once you poke your nose into it? You will not… No one delivers a play-by-play better than Laura Hillenbrand, author of the bestselling Seabiscuit, in which she conveyed the split-second thrills of horse racing to even the most unsporting of readers. No other author of narrative nonfiction chooses her subjects with greater discrimination or renders them with more discipline and commitment. If storytelling were an Olympic event, she’d medal for sure, assuming her rightful spot next to Stephen King and J.K. Rowling… [Unbroken is] likely to be as big a hit as Seabiscuit.” –Salon
“The author of Seabiscuit returns with another dynamic, well-researched story of guts overcoming odds…Alternately stomach-wrenching, anger-arousing and spirit-lifting—and always gripping.” —Kirkus Reviews
“ENTHRALLING … the author’s skills are as polished as ever, and like its predecessor, this book has an impossible-to-put-down quality that one commonly associates with good thrillers.” —Roland Green, Booklist
“Hillenbrand is undoubtedly a terrific reporter and storyteller, with an eye for details that make each page sing. But her greatest gift may be her innate respect for her subjects…Unbroken is a spellbinding celebration of resilience, forgiveness and the human capacity for finding beauty in the unlikeliest of places.” —Bookpage, Top Pick
“World-class writers, like world-class runners, must have tremendous stamina, resilience, and power. Laura Hillenbrand has all of that, and she’s put every bit of it into resurrecting the story of Olympic runner Louie Zamperini and his incredible struggle for survival during World War II. It’s an inspiring match between writer and subject. Hillenbrand has once again brought to life the true story of a forgotten hero, and reminded us how lucky we are to have her, one of our best writers of narrative history. You don’t have to be a sports fan or a war history buff to devour this book — you just have to love great storytelling.” —Rebecca Skloot, author of the bestseller The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
“From the 1936 Olympics to WWII Japan’s most brutal POW camps, Hillenbrand’s heart-wrenching new book is thousands of miles and a world away from the racing circuit of her bestselling Seabiscuit. But it’s just as much a page-turner, and its hero, Louie Zamperini, is just as loveable … It is impossible to condense the rich, granular detail of Hillenbrand’s narrative … She restores to our collective memory this tale of heroism, cruelty, life, death, joy, suffering, remorselessness, and redemption.” —Sarah F. Gold, Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review
“AN AMAZING TALE … INSPIRATIONAL.” –Washington Examiner
“THIS BOOK IS NOT JUST FOR BOYS…The author of Seabiscuit has picked a real dark horse this time. Olympic runner, World War II hero, POW and petty thief Louie Zamperini has the ambitious heart of a Thoroughbred. Hillenbrand recounts his feats and torments with such brio, you’ll be lucky to catch your breath.” —More Magazine
“One might wonder whether Unbroken matches the incredible Seabiscuit. Readers needn’t worry. By the end of the first chapter, they will be hooked.” – St. Louis Post-Dispatch
'Hillenbrand has once again brought to life the true story of a forgotten hero, and reminded us how lucky we are to have her, one of our best writers of narrative history. You don't have to be a sports fan or a war-history buff to devour this book -- you just have to love great storytelling.' Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Praise for Seabiscuit 'A rip-roaring narrative from a cobwebbed chapter of the Depression' Sunday Times 'Hillenbrand tells the story of the triumphs and tribulations of her cast of misfits with flair and skill, relishing the larger than life characters who inhabited this forgotten demimonde.' Sunday Times 'Most readable!a wonderful tale' Daily Mail 'This season's literary sensation' Financial Times A classic tale.' Sunday Times' 'Great horse, great name, great story, very good book!this one could run and run' Observer
Published: 7th December 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 15.4 x 3.6
Weight (kg): 0.552