#CBR6 Review #105: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

My book club is big into nonfiction. I’m not myself, but I *did* really like Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit. So I was definitely willing to give Unbroken a try. Hillenbrand is an excellent writer, and she really ups her game with this book.

This is the true story of Louis Zamperini’s experience in World War II as a bomber, when his plane crashes in the Pacific Ocean. He and two other men survive at sea, where they endure panic, sickness, starvation, and attacks from all sorts of factors. I won’t say what, but there was a truly scary scene that had me squealing in bed. I can’t wait to see how the movie depicts it. And then, their raft is picked up by a Japanese boat, and they are taken to a POW camp. And that’s where the real crisis of the story hits.

Like I said, I’m not super into nonfiction, mostly because I read more for pleasure than information. But the way Hillenbrand tells a story, presents facts and ideas with evocative details–that’s a true pleasure to read. She is imaginative and detailed, plus she plots the narrative so that it’s not a dry chronology. *Also, if you know her personal story, you will be struck by how she battles her own chronic diseases to create such intriguing narratives.* If you’re into nonfiction, especially World War II, you must give it a shot. If you’re not, I still recommend this book highly, because it is interesting and powerfully rendered. I learned a lot more about POW camps and the sorts of lives of the airmen than I ever knew possible. I’m really interested to see how this film is going to play out.


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