Random House NY, 2010
Reviewed by Marian Zaunbrecher.
I DON’T usually like war books, especially ones where there is a “hero”.
But, travelling overseas, armed with no more than my ebook reader in the laptop and not the usual half suitcase I pack when travelling, I decided to give it a go.
Unbroken is the biography of Louis Zamperini, born in 1917 to parents of poor Italian heritage, who grew up as what we might today call a juvenile delinquent.
Mr Zamperini was probably saved from a lifetime in and out of goal by discovering he could run, and run fast.
He became the” Torrance Tornado”, named after his home town in California, to be chosen for the 1936 US Olympic team, whom many believed would inevitably break the four minute mark for the mile had it not been for the intervention of the Second World War.
Mr Zamperini ended up in the war in the Pacific becoming a bombardier in the United States Army Air Forces.
The tales that follows of his bombing raids, his incredible survival at sea, and then as a prisoner of war in Japan make for harrowing reading.
Tortured by his experiences, he returns as a lost soul after the war, like so many other lost souls after wartime experiences.
And it was as a lost soul that he found God, or was it that God found him?
An extraordinary tale, which never glorifies war or its myriads of victims, this book needs to be read. It reveals the hope that lies within us all.
I could not put the book down which is hard when it is on your laptop!