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

Overview - #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE - Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more.

In boyhood, Louis Zamperini was an incorrigible delinquent.

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More About Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE - Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more.

In boyhood, Louis Zamperini was an incorrigible delinquent. As a teenager, he channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when World War II began, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to a doomed flight on a May afternoon in 1943. When his Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean, against all odds, Zamperini survived, adrift on a foundering life raft. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, 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.

Appearing in paperback for the first time--with twenty arresting new photos and an extensive Q&A with the author--Unbroken is an unforgettable testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit, brought vividly to life by Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand.

Hailed as the top nonfiction book of the year by Time magazine - Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography and the Indies Choice Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year award

"Extraordinarily moving . . . a powerfully drawn survival epic."--The Wall Street Journal

" A] one-in-a-billion story . . . designed to wrench from self-respecting critics all the blurby adjectives we normally try to avoid: It is amazing, unforgettable, gripping, harrowing, chilling, and inspiring."--New York

"Staggering . . . mesmerizing . . . Hillenbrand's writing is so ferociously cinematic, the events she describes so incredible, you don't dare take your eyes off the page."--People

"A meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life."--The Washington Post

"Ambitious and powerful . . . a startling narrative and an inspirational book."--The New York Times Book Review

"Magnificent . . . incredible . . . Hillenbrand] has crafted another masterful blend of sports, history and overcoming terrific odds; this is biography taken to the nth degree, a chronicle of a remarkable life lived through extraordinary times."--The Dallas Morning News

"An astonishing testament to the superhuman power of tenacity."--Entertainment Weekly

"A tale of triumph and redemption . . . astonishingly detailed."--O: The Oprah Magazine

" A] masterfully told true story . . . nothing less than a marvel."--Washingtonian

" Hillenbrand tells this] story with cool elegance but at a thrilling sprinter's pace."--Time

"Hillenbrand is] 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

  • ISBN-13: 9780812974492
  • ISBN-10: 0812974492
  • Publisher: Random House Trade
  • Publish Date: July 2014
  • Page Count: 500
  • Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds

Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Military
Books > History > Military - World War II
Books > History > Military - United States

BookPage Reviews

New paperback releases for reading groups

At the Bottom of Everything
, Ben Dolnick’s impressive third novel, tells the story of two friends and the divergent paths their lives take as they grow older. Adam and Thomas become buddies in prep school. Thomas is a quirky brainiac; Adam, meanwhile, possesses the social skills his friend lacks. When Thomas bails on college and goes to India, his mother turns to Adam for help. But Adam is too busy sorting out his own troubles to get involved. Haunted by his ex-girlfriend and dissatisfied with his work as a tutor, he isn’t sure where his life is going. Yet he and Thomas are bound by a dark incident from their schooldays that had terrible repercussions for everyone involved. When Adam finally heads to India to locate Thomas, the two friends come to terms with the past. Dolnick has created a pair of multilayered, complex characters, each with his own idiosyncratic personality. This insightful tale of old friends in search of themselves will resonate with readers of all ages.

Brian Payton’s compelling book, The Wind Is Not a River, is a powerful historical novel about secrets, survival and love. Journalist John Easley is struggling to make sense of World War II, which has claimed the life of his brother. Leaving his wife, Helen, in Seattle, he travels to Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, which have been invaded by the Japanese. Although the invasion has been kept under wraps by the U.S. government, John is determined to find out what he can about it. But when he joins a crew of American flyers for a bombing mission and their plane is shot down, he winds up stranded on the island of Attu. Heartbroken over John’s disappearance and resolved to find him, Helen signs on with a U.S.O. troupe headed for Alaska. Payton writes about Helen’s search and John’s fight for survival with compassion, detail and insight. Bringing a little-known chapter in military history to vivid life, he has written a classic wartime narrative that’s deeply personal and masterfully crafted.

More than three years after it was originally published, Laura Hillenbrand’s terrific second book, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, is available in paperback. In this acclaimed bestseller, Hillenbrand tells the true story of Louis Zamperini, a track star from California who excels at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and endures incredible hardship during World War II. In May 1943, Zamperini’s bomber takes a plunge into the Pacific Ocean. After the crash, along with two other survivors, he hoists himself onto a life raft and begins a long fight to stay alive. He pulls through, only to be taken prisoner by the Japanese. Hillenbrand recounts Zamperini’s incredible trials with the same narrative aplomb she demonstrated in Seabiscuit. Zamperini is an unforgettable character, and in Hillenbrand’s hands, his story takes on timeless proportions. A movie adaptation of the book is set to hit screens this Christmas.


This article was originally published in the September 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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