During a recent trip I was able to finish one the most compelling books I have listened to/read in a long time. Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken is a true story that reads like a thriller. Angelina Jolie directs the movie version due out in December 2014. With the recent 70th anniversary of D-Day, this reading experience was all the more meaningful.
Unbroken is the story of Louis Zamperini – a budding delinquent as a child and a star runner as a young adult. Zamperini ran in the 1934 Berlin Olympics and by all accounts was on his way to breaking the 4 minute mile. And then the war began.
Zampirini became an Army bombadier and flew over vast Pacific waterways trying to secure tiny islands for Allied advantage. The descriptions of the flights are harrowing and even the startling statistics lend drama to the story. Louis eventually crashes and survives 47 days adrift on the ocean until he is captured by the Japanese. What follows isn’t pretty, but it’s important to know and remember.
The story tells how Louis’s disappearance impacted his family, and how the other men in capativity faired as well. There is a chillingly cruel character called Wantanabe who may keep you up at night.
Louis Zampirini is still living and is slated to be the Grand Marshall in the 2015 Parade of Roses. I admire these “Greatest Generation” guys and am amazed by their resiliency. This is a wonderful story about humans and their capacity for good and ill. You won’t be disappointed.
Terri Gibbs


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