The book is a very heart rendering read. Louie Zamperini's dreams are chattered through agonizing torture which he is forced to endure through his capture by the Japanese during WWII. He does not get rescued by any drummed up parade of soldiers. Not when he is stranded in the middle of the Pacific, not when he is taken prisoner by the Japanese and not while he is a POW. Why one human race can be so extreme cruel is beyond comprehension. Yet the book does not radiate hate or racism. The story does not provoke pity towards the protagonist or any other character of the book. I questioned myself: why am I reading this? It is because I had to know if he/they survive. I had to find out if they are taken out of the struggle to live. It was soothing to realize families really can stick together and believe. Throughout the book Louie knew and trusted his faith in his family and his family had faith in Louie.
Knowing that this novel is true was mind -boggling. If it was fiction it would seem that the author was exaggerating a story. It would probably be deemed that the protagonist should be named John Wayne and the whole episode was dreamed up in Hollywood. But exactly the opposite is true. The protagonist Louie Zamperini was not anything like Wayne he was like you and me (a mensch) and the setting was nothing close to Hollywood. I kept asking myself how much one human being can be made to suffer. I haven't felt so touched by a war novel since Irwin Shaw's "The Young Lions"; and that was fiction.
Diese englische Originalversion hat mir sehr gut gefallen. Sie ist so spannend, lebhaft und gut erzählt, dass man immer weiter und weiter lesen möchte. Sie zeigt die Lebensumstände und gibt einen kurzen Einblick in die umhüllende Weltgeschichte, aber wohl dosiert, sodass man nicht von der Historie gelangweilt wird. Sehr empfehlenswert. Egal wie gut der Film sein wird, ich kann mir nicht vorstellen, dass er all die interessanten Details wieder gibt.
I found this book extremely suspenseful and interesting. Hard to believe that one human being could survive so many ordeals and live to tell about it. An amazing account of human perseverance and strength and also quite interesting in regard to the history of the Pacific Theater of WWII.
Jeder, der sich für die Welt im Schatten des 2. Weltkriegs interessiert, für die Leistungen eher unbekannter Protagonisten oder einfach nur eines der sprachliche besten Bücher der letzten Jahre lesen will, ist hier mehr als gut aufgehoben. Ein Muss für alle, der der englischen Sprache näher kommen wollen.
Strongly recommend. A must read book. An incredible story of WWll POWs how they managed to survive in rubber boat in the middle of Pacific ocean for over a month without food and water. Then to be captured by the Japanese. Sent to POWs camps in Japan. It was a shocking story how they survived the conditions and the kind of treatment in the camps. It's the WWll's untold story of the survival of POWs.
`Unbroken' by Laura Hillenbrand brings an amazing story based on real events that describes the fate of a man who was a member of the Olympic team of his country, and a few years later ended up as a prisoner in World War II camp.
Louis Zamperini was a soldier who found himself back in 1943 in an Army Air Forces bomber that crashed into the Pacific Ocean. Beside two colleagues he was the only survivor of this accident, and although what he went through was hard, the hardest thing was there waiting in front of him.
His youth was not ideal, it cannot be said that he was an example with his behavior, which often exceeded the boundaries and even came to the edge of the law - he stole, broke into the houses, brawled and escaped from his hometown in order to ride with train. However, in some ways it helped him to find out that he was extremely talented in sports, especially running which enabled him to quickly progresses and finally comes to what every athlete is considering the highest honor - representing his country in the Olympics, in his case one that took place in Berlin 1936.
And when the Second World War started, Louis like many other young men across America and around the world replaced his freedom with the military life in the struggle against the Axis powers. Survival in the ocean today with top-quality equipment would be a challenge, and we can only imagine how Louis felt in the ocean, far away from anything, almost without hope, hungry and thirsty, exhausted and surrounded by sharks to which he was supposed to become food.
Still he managed to survive this incredible test, but the nightmare was still far from being over - he was captured by the Japanese and sent to the camp for its brutality comparable to the Nazi ones, and in some ways it was even worse. For Louis even that was not strong enough to break his robust spirit that led him to sport success; he did not give up next three years of his life even in the most difficult days and this book is story of his hope and dreams about freedom, about suffering, about all that seen from today's perspective is difficult to conceive.
What is particularly interesting is that the story does not end with his release from the camp, but continues by describing the continuation of his life, which could not become perfect like using magic wand after all he went through. Laura Hillenbrand with `Unbroken' managed to once again deliver a powerful piece of non-fiction that speaks about incredible journey of a man who refused to give up, who did not want to surrender, who fought against himself, but finally succeeded.
Therefore her book is dedication to the human spirit that can be measured by force with anything, which is sometimes almost impossible to break as was the case with Louis Zamperini. For this reason `Unbroken' can certainly be recommended to everyone as a lesson and an inspiration for all the battles, large and small, that we fight every day in our lives.
Louis Zamperini ist ein junger talentierter Leichtathlet, der 1936 bei den Olympischen Spielen in Berlin teilnimmt. Noch zu jung, um in die große Weltspitze vorzudringen, will er dies 1940 erreichen. Doch dann kommt der 2.WK dazwischen und Zamperini geht zur amerikanischen Luftwaffe und wird mit Kameraden über dem Pazifik abgeschossen. Es beginnt eine jahrelange Odyssee... Ein sachliches, packendes und emotionales Buch zugleich, welches eine wahre Geschichte verarbeitet und einen Teil des 2.WK beleuchtet, der Europäern eher unbekannt sein dürfte. Fünf Sterne von mir, da es ein Pageturner ist. Gleichzeitig bin ich auf die bevorstehende (9/13) Verfilmung gespannt, denn das Buch hat alles für einen Oscar-Kandidaten und Blockbuster...
"Unbroken" is the almost incredible story of Louis Zamperini, Olympian, Air Force Veteran, prisoner of war and inspirational speaker. Normally I tell a lot of the facts of a history or biography, but this book reads so much like a novel that I want you to have the thrill of suspense that I did.
To give you a few details, Zamperini grew up in California, became an Olympic runner who was expected to medal at the 1940 Tokyo Summer Olympics that were cancelled due to World War II. Joining the Army Air Force, Zamperini was shot down over the Pacific, floated in a raft for 47 days after which they were captured by Japanese. Author Laura Hillenbrand tells of the unspeakable cruelties inflicted on the prisoners until their liberation by Allied Forces. Upon return to the States Zamperini struggled from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder until, well I better stop here.
Suffice it to say, "Unbroken" is a well written tale of courage that truly could not be broken. It tells a of a tragedy of war that is often overlooked, the sufferings of the POW. Whether you are student of World War II or just looking for an inspiration "Unbroken" is the choice for you.