Monday, June 13, 2011

Unbroken but maybe bent a bit

What are the limits of human endurance? And what gives people the strength to persevere? "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption" opens with a riveting glimpse of men adrift for weeks on a bathtub-sized raft in the Pacific, stalked by sharks hurling themselves onto the raft, then strafed by a Japanese plane. I was hooked immediately. Author Laura Hillenbrand (Sea Biscuit) next takes us back to the beginning, tracing the life of Louis Zamporini, troublemaker kid, thief, Olympic miler and WW II airman missing in the Pacific. As his ordeal unfolds, one cannot imagine what will come next. Readers learn about competitive running, the war in the Pacific, human endurance, frailty and redemption. We see yet again what men in war are subjected to, how they rise to the occasion, and the price they pay. Tough, headstrong Louie Zamporini in particular was well equipped to persevere. This biography is a great read.

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