All he could see, in every direction, was water. It was June 23, 1943. Somewhere on the endless expanse of the Pacific Ocean, Army Air Forces bombardier and Olympic runner Louie Zamperini lay across a small raft, drifting westward. Slumped alongside him was a sergeant, one of his plane’s gunners. On a separate raft, tethered to the first, lay another crewman a gash zigzagging across his forehead. Their bodies, burned by the sun and stained yellow from the raft dye, had winnowed down to skeletons. Sharks glided in lazy loops around them dragging their backs along the rafts, waiting.”

The words above are from the preface of Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand.


The book is loaded with details of Zamperini’s days as an Olympic athlete, to his flying days, his ordeal of over 40 days adrift in a raft in the Pacific ocean, and the horrors of his days as a POW in Japan. Upon his return to the US, Zamperini struggled greatly with anger, alcoholism, and the subsequent marriage issues.

Then, in the late fall of 1949, God used a well-known preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ to completely change Louie’s life. Unfortunately, this portion of the book receives just a few pages, yet it is a testament to the power of the gospel in the life of the sinner.

Hillenbrand’s writing is easy to read and flows at a good pace. A great read, especially if you enjoy WWII history.

This is the first in a number of book reviews that will be posted in the days and weeks ahead. The books will cover a variety of topics and genres and I trust the reader will be challenged to pickup the book and read.

Below you can view the publisher’s promotional video for the book.


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