I let the people who recommended this book to me know — they have caused me some serious sleep deprivation. I was up until one or two AM several nights in a row. I couldn’t put it down. A book like that doesn’t come along very often.
This true and well documented story is about Louie Zamperini, a juvenile delinquent turned track star who, many thought would be the first man to break the four minute mile barrier. He dreams of winning the Olympics, however his Olympic dream is shattered when World War II begins and the Olympics are cancelled. He joins the war effort as a bombardier and, from there, his amazing story of survival in the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II is told.
Stranded on a raft with two other airmen, he finds himself in that part of the Pacific Ocean controlled by the Japanese. He and his crew mates face starvation, insidious sharks that attack in unimaginable and unexpected ways, a strafing run by a Japanese bomber, capture by the enemy, and a typhoon.
Incredibly, the hard part is yet to come.
Louie Zamperini is such an engaging character that he’s impossible not to like. I found myself rooting for him at every turn. The story line is full of unexpected twists, with one in particular that I never saw coming.
Hillenbrand is masterful.
Unbroken is one of the best books I’ve ever read.
I highly recommend it.
I apologize ahead of time for any loss of sleep.