Reviews of "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption"
# 1 New York Times bestseller Unbroken has been hailed as the Best Nonfiction Book of the Year by TIME magazine. It is the winner of multiple book of the year awards, including the Los Angeles Times' Book of the Year Award for Nonfiction. It has been acclaimed as one of the best books of the year by numerous book critics, including those at People, Amazon.com (#4), Publisher's Weekly, the Chicago Sun-Times, Maureen Corrigan of NPR's "Fresh Air," and Barnes and Noble. Audible.com chose Unbroken as the Best Audiobook of the Year, biography and memoir. It has been on the New York Times bestseller list for eighty consecutive weeks, thirteen at #1.
"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
"A ONE-IN-A-BILLION STORY ... Zamperini's story seems 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. It sucked me in and swept me away. It kept me reading late into the night. I could not ... (it really hurts me to type this) ... put it ... (must find the strength to resist) ... down." - New York Magazine
"A STUNNER ... MOVING AND INSPIRATIONAL ... Hillenbrand's unforgettable new book ... deserve[s] pride of place alongside the best works of literature that chart the complications and the hard-won triumphs of so-called ordinary Americans and their extraordinary time." - Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air.
"AMBITIOUS AND POWERFUL ... GRIPPING IN AN ALMOST CINEMATIC WAY ... [Zamperini's] is one of the most spectacular odysseys of this or any other war, and 'odyssey' is the right word, for with its tempests and furies and monsters, many of them human, Zamperini's saga is something out of Greek mythology ... Hillenbrand is particularly well suited to tell his inspiring tale ... She is intelligent and restrained ... Her research is thorough, her writing ... crystalline." -New York Times Book Review
"#1 NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR ... Laura Hillenbrand ... tells [this] story with cool elegance, but at a thrilling sprinter's pace." - TIME
"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 meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life." -Washington Post
"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 in extraordinary times." - Dallas Morning News
"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 asSeabiscuit." -Salon
"THRILLING ... STIRRING AND TRIUMPHANT ... IRRESISTIBLE ... Hillenbrand tells [Zamperini's] story as a nearly continuous flow of suspense." -Los Angeles Times
"AMAZING ... Hillenbrand demonstrates a dazzling ability ... to make the tale leap off the page." -ELLE
"HILLENBRAND HAS WRITTEN MUCH MORE THAN A 'GOOD READ.' SHE HAS WRITTEN A WORK OF ART... The selfless conjunction of writer and story is only one element of the narrative power of Hillenbrand's gripping book. Another is her prose. In short, straightforward and plainly true sentences ... she writes so clearly that the reader is there too." - The Oregonian
"GRIPPING ... A SENSITIVE AND RICH PORTRAYAL ... AN ENGAGING, FAST-PACED TALE ... A classic greatest-generation story, one that tracks cinematic in its portrait of a man who was bent but not broken by the trials of war." -Austin-American Statesman
"OUTSTANDING ... Award-winning author Laura Hillenbrand has done it again. After winning hearts and inspiring readers with her New York Times-bestselling book about a horse named Seabiscuit in 2001, she's hit the bullseye again in her new narrative Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption." - Roll Call
"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
"A GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT ... A suspenseful and sometimes uplifting testament to human survival." -Barnes and Noble
"AS EXULTANT AS SEABISCUIT ... a tale full of unforgettable characters, multi-hanky moments and wild turns... Just as she demonstrated in Seabiscuit, Ms. Hillenbrand is a muscular, dynamic storyteller." - New York Times
"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
"The meticulously researched book, seven years in the making, is an enthralling portrait of a complex and utterly human hero." - Men's Journal