#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER hailed by TIME magazine as the best nonfiction book of the year. One of the longest-running New York Times bestsellers of all time, Unbroken spent more than four years on the Times list in hardcover, fifteen weeks at number one. Released in paperback, Unbroken debuted at #1 and remained there for dozens of weeks. The book is the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book of the Year Award for Biography. The young reader edition, released in November, 2014, is also a New York Times bestseller.
“STAGGERING … MESMERIZING … Any one of the threads in Hillenbrand’s monumental new book could be a page-turner all its own… Hillenbrand’s writing is so ferociously cinematic, the events she describes so incredible, you don’t dare take your eyes off the page.”–People
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, seven years in the making, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in her blockbuster bestseller, 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.
Click to hear an excerpt from the audio book.