On a spring afternoon in 1943, a US Army Air Forces bomber crash landed and disappeared into the Pacific Ocean, leaving only fragments of the plane visible on the surface, along with gasoline, oil and blood.
Then, a man appeared among the debris. It was the plane's bombardier, a young lieutenant, struggling to pull himself aboard a life raft. One of the most remarkable journeys of World War II was about to begin.
The bombardier was Louis Zamperini. As a boy, he had been a crafty and unapologetic hooligan, burglarizing houses, and leaving home to ride the rails. When he harnessed his energy into running, he discovered a dormant talent that took him all the way to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. With the arrival of World War II, he became a pilot and began the journey that would lead him to his ill-fated flight and set him adrift at sea on a tiny life raft.
In the open ocean, Lt. Zamperini faced starvation, thirst, enemy aircraft and jumping sharks. Pushed to the limit of his considerable endurance, he met desperation with resourcefulness, brutality with defiance, hardship with brave determination. His very survival depended on his eroding resolve.
In Time's top book of 2010 and #1 New York Times bestseller, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand employs the same eye jeweler's eye for detail and vivid, rich narrative voice that she displayed in her acclaimed 2001 bestseller, Seabiscuit. Unbroken tells the extraordinary tale of a man's odyssey into extremity, and stands testament to the power of human resilience.
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.
Made into an award-winning Oscar-nominated film in 2014 by director Angelina Jolie, Unbroken is an unforgettable testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit, brought vividly to life by author Laura Hillenbrand. Download and start listening now!