Saturday, June 4, 2011

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Louis Zamperini was a delinquent teen.  He was encouraged to channel all his energy into running and excelled.  He was Olympic material and was on his way to breaking the four minute mile. 
Then WW II intervened.  Louis became a lieutenant in the Army Air Force.  In May of 1943 the bomber Louis was in crashed in the Pacific.  He and two others spent 47 days at sea, barely surviving hunger and the elements, only to be captured by the Japanese.
The experiences Louis had in Japanese POW camps are nearly indescribable.  It is amazing that anyone survived the horrible conditions and treatment from those over them.
But survive Louis did, unbroken.  He had been listed as deceased, missing for over two years and unlisted as a POW.  His family always kept up their hope they would see Louis again.
When Louis finally returned to the U.S. he was plagued with nightmares and flashbacks.  His life was still one of mental torture, until his wife dragged him to a Billy Graham crusade.
What an amazing story!  I am amazed at the stamina of the human body and mind.  I am distressed by the cruelty one man, the Bird, gave to another.  I am awed by the change Louis experienced when he encountered God.
Hillenbrand has crafted Louis' story in such a way that I felt like I was there with Louis, experiencing the pain and anguish.  This is a page turning story of an era in country's history that should not be forgotten.
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Random House, 328 pages.

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