Unbroken

Laura Hillenbrand

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War. The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channelled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, 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 humour; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will. The long-awaited new book from Laura Hillenbrand Unbroken is a gripping account of human endurance and the resilience of one remarkable individual.

Reviews of Unbroken

    • ‘The pages almost turn themselves. His tale is remarkable and his resilience inspiring.’ Ben Macintyre
    • ‘An instant classic’ Mail on Sunday
    • ‘One of the most remarkable survival tales ever recorded. Do yourself a favour and by the book’ Vanity Fair
    • ‘”Unbroken” is an extraordinarily compelling read, a match for any thriller…a remarkable book.’ Evening Standard
    • ‘More gripping than fiction’ Sunday Telegraph
    • ‘Staggering … mesmerising … Hillenbrand’s writing is so ferociously cinematic, the events she describes so incredible, you don’t dare take your eyes off the page’ People