Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Version: Unabridged
Author: Laura Hillenbrand
Narrator: Edward Herrmann
Genres: History, Biography & Memoir, Military
Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
Published In: November 2014
# of Units: 11 CDs
Length: 14 hours
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The incredible true story of survival and salvation that is the basis for two major motion pictures: 2014’s Unbroken and the upcoming Unbroken: Path to Redemption.

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 channeled 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 humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

Praise for Unbroken
“Extraordinarily moving . . . a powerfully drawn survival epic.”—The Wall Street Journal
“[A] one-in-a-billion story . . . designed to wrench from self-respecting critics all the blurby adjectives we normally try to avoid: It is amazing, unforgettable, gripping, harrowing, chilling, and inspiring.”—New York
“Staggering . . . mesmerizing . . . Hillenbrand’s writing is so ferociously cinematic, the events she describes so incredible, you don’t dare take your eyes off the page.”—People
“A meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life.”—The Washington Post
“Ambitious and powerful . . . a startling narrative and an inspirational book.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Marvelous . . . Unbroken is wonderful twice over, for the tale it tells and for the way it’s told. . . . It manages maximum velocity with no loss of subtlety.”—Newsweek
“Moving and, yes, inspirational . . . [Laura] Hillenbrand’s unforgettable book . . . deserve[s] pride of place alongside the best works of literature that chart the complications and the hard-won triumphs of so-called ordinary Americans and their extraordinary time.”—Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air
“Hillenbrand . . . tells [this] story with cool elegance but at a thrilling sprinter’s pace.”—Time

“Unbroken is too much book to hope for: a hellride of a story in the grip of the one writer who can handle it.”—Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run

Reviews (76)

Written by Jade C. on June 13th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 4/5

very good book sure I will play it again & again over the years


Written by Anonymous on July 18th, 2019

  • Book Rating: 5/5

The book was exhilarating but the narrator was a little slow.

Written by Emily S. on April 23rd, 2019

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I couldn't get through this book. I tried on a few occasions but I was worried I would fall asleep while driving. The story itself if quite interesting but the writing drags on.

Written by Martin T. on March 23rd, 2019

  • Book Rating: 5/5

An awesome and unbelievably great read! I couldn’t stop listening to it! Edward Hermann is a perfect narrator!

Written by Don C. on January 22nd, 2019

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This may be the best book I have listened to on Audio Books. The details and the narrator were fantastic.


Written by Elisabeth H on January 13th, 2018

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I’ve recently had eye surgery, so I chose to try audio books. I’m thoroughly impressed with both the format and the book. I thought this would last me about three weeks. I finished listening to it in five days. Amazing story!

Written by Tasya B on August 3rd, 2017

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Bored me, not into unbelievable feelgood stories I guess or classic Americana

Written by Lisa Carnes on February 22nd, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Louie Zamperini has been a personal hero of mine after reading this book. The book itself was wonderfully written, the story one of the most inspiring things I've heard.

Written by Analie Leatherman on January 12th, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

An amazing book! An amazing story! I could hardly quit listening to it.


Written by Sammy Travis Jr on November 15th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Words can\'t describe this. It was an absolutely amazing book. It was not what I was expecting at all.

Author Details

Author Details

Hillenbrand, Laura

Laura Hillenbrand has been writing about Thoroughbred racing since 1988 and has been a contributing writer/editor for "Equus" magazine since 1989. Her work has also appeared in "American Heritage, ABC Sports Online, The Blood-Horse, Thoroughbred Times, The Backstretch, Turf "and "Sport Digest" and many other publications. Her 1998 "American Heritage" article on Seabiscuit won the Eclipse Award for Magazine Writing, the highest award for Thoroughbred racing. She is currently serving as a consultant on a Universal Studios movie based on this book. Born in Fairfax, Virginia, Laura lives in Washin