I’ve been hearing about Unbroken for years now. It’s been recommended to me and I’ve wanted to read it ever since I heard about it. Well, this year, I sat down and read it. Today, I will share my review of this dramatic, heart-wrenching story.
By Laura Hillenbrand
Summary: The story of Louie Zamperini, an Olympic runner, WWII Bombardier, Plane crash and raft drifting survivor, Japanese POW and Witness for Christ. A story of overcoming hatred and using your pain to help others, offering forgiveness to those who have wronged you. Also, it tells just how badly the Japs treated their prisoners.
My Review: Okay, so this book was different than what I expected. I thought it was going to be solely about Louie, but it turned out to be more like a documentary, with Louie as the main character. I was a little miffed by that at first, but as the story progressed, I found I really enjoyed the extra insights from the experiences of others. I also learned enough about Wake Island in this story to spark my curiosity. Whole ‘nother story, but oh! So heart-breaking!
I personally was a little disappointed that there was no clear announcement of Louie’s getting saved, though he most certainly did. It was more alluded to than anything else. I felt that in some way, his Faith was down played, but in other ways, I was surprised at how much the author included in the story.
There was some language in this book, which I had been forewarned about. There is also quite a bit of talk about the sadistic behavior of the guards (one in particular) that was a bit disturbing. I DO NOT recommend this book for children or young adults. It is hard to read and brutally honest about what the Japanese soldiers did to our troops, as well as giving rather disturbing details about the diseases and tortures these brave men endured while in captivity. It also talks about alcohol, smoking and other things of that nature, which though they are accurate depictions of military life, I cannot and will not condone or pronounce as acceptable behavior, even for unsaved individuals.
There is a Young Adult version of this book, which I skimmed through and it appeared that the language had been removed. I also have a copy of this version and plan to review it when I read it.
For younger readers, I recommend Louis Zamperini by Janet and Geoff Benge. While still a hard read, it is more suitable for younger audiences and emphasizes Louie’s Faith very well.
What I Loved: I loved hearing about R.A. Philips, Louie’s friend and pilot. He survived the same torture as Louie and more of a different kind. I didn’t enjoy reading about the POW camps, but it gave me a deeper appreciation of our guys in khaki. And of course, seeing Louie’s life change was the best part!
What I didn’t Like: In addition to what was mentioned in the review, the guard known as the Bird was the most disturbing part of this book. *shivers* I will never understand how some people think treating their fellow human beings the way he did was acceptable. And Louie’s letter to him after the war? Oh, it takes a strong Christian indeed to be able to forgive a man like the Bird!
Overall, this book was eye opening, heart-wrenching and thought-provoking. It’s a type of book that makes you pray, “Lord, please, never again!” I truly hope that people will read it, get help and seek what Louie found to be the answer to all his problems: A personal Relationship with Jesus Christ!
Have a Blessed Day!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.