Saturday, March 10, 2012


The Book: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption

The Writer: Laura Hillenbrand

The Dealio: This true-life tale of Louis Zamperini reads like fiction: as a boy, Louie was the scourge of the neighborhood, scrapping, stealing, smoking and roving the area like an orphaned bear-cub. But an inspired idea from his older brother- running- changed all that, and Louis, forever. As a young man, he represented the US at the Berlin Olympics, signed on for the US Air Force as a bomber, was shot down, survived life on a raft for the longest period of time then recorded only to become a POW at a series of ever worsening facilities and endured being the subject of the particular attentions of a sadistic camp commander. Yet, through all of this, Zamerini remained defiantly unbroken. And still remains so to this day. At the age of 93, Louie continues to live his life with zest, grit and spirit. Now, thanks to Hillenbrand's book- which reads, at times, like a fictional thriller- you can get to meet Louie Zamperini, too.

The Grading Session: 4.99 pengies out of 5. A wildly readable book, at times there seemed a bit too much repetition and detail attached to some scenes. A totally unnecessary gilding of this particular lily, as Louie's story stands strong and proud on its own. I found that I simply could not put this book down. Every time I tried, it kept beaming me signals to just give in and read a few more pages. I so love this in a book!

Lessons Learned: One really big one: the human spirit is an unreasonably, improbably unsquashable thing. Then, too, this one: do not judge a book by its cover, or a person by their physical size: there is just as much room for courage, bravery and defiant spirit in a physically tiny person as in a muscle-bound giant. Lastly this: the desire for respect and dignity can drive a person to endure against all odds, once everything else has been stripped away. It is the hunger for those two things which gives us that extra strength to carry on.

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