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184 of 189 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A REAL SURVIVOR!, February 27, 2003
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This review is from: Devil at My Heels: A WW II Hero's Epic Saga of Torment, Survival, and Forgiveness (Hardcover)
All of these television personalities who fancy themselves "survivors" for having undergone challenges of one kind or another on the various survival programs now popular might have a different perspective on survival if they read this book. Lou Zamperini is the "ultimate survivor."

To Zamperini, surviving meant starving and thirsting while confined to a life raft for 47 days. That ordeal included fighting off sharks while enemy planes shot at him. Surviving meant living with the tryanny, torture, and torment of his captors, including the threat of decapitation. It meant living through two cold winters as a prisoner of war, his body weight dropping to as low as 66 pound.

Zamperini was forced to survive in the rigid domain of despair, beyond the reach of help, or rest, or pity. Survival meantmeant living from day to day with the heart tearing itself between hope and fear, merely subsisting under a cloud of doom with no end in sight.

Yet, Zamperini was able to call upon the inner strength that had been nurtured in his days as an Olympic runner, and to endure.

Some of Zamperini's greatest challenges came after the war was over, the biggest one being overcoming the anger and hate he felt for this Japanese captors.
With God's help, "Lucky Louie" succeeded in every one of his challenges. It's a fascinating story, a story of real survival.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 19, 2010 11:30:38 AM PST
What do you mean "God's help." The man was nearly beaten to death every day of his life and was physically fit is what saved him. The countless others who starved and were worked to death, will haunt people using god in this way.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2010 11:44:55 AM PST
Joan,

Those were really his words, not mine. However, I understand what he means. You would have to understand what life is all about to grasp the meaning of his words and philosophy, and I don't think I can relate that all in a paragraph or two here.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 27, 2011 3:11:37 PM PST
Java Dude says:
LOL - you're questioning the very words of Zamperini himself.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2011 10:36:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 6, 2013 4:25:09 PM PDT
Rainer Rocks says:
Why are you Atheist so upset with people who have/want God in their life.

You are a miserable ,lonely and angry person and this is coming from a non believer . I don't choose to rile believers up or call them names . People like you do this ,because you think you are better than them. You think you have all the answers and therefore they are beneath you.

People like you are the socialist libs of this planet ,who sit around and decide what's
best for everyone..get lost !

If it brings them peace / strength and joy ,who am I to deny them that, or you for that matter.

Your kind of Atheist have the balls to demean Christians and Jews but don't have the balls to say that to a Muslim ,just like the hollywood POS .

Punk Dictator Hypocrites !

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2011 2:50:06 PM PDT
MEG says:
I don't understand STFU nor POS but I do understand that you resorted to name calling in this discussion. Too bad-it negates your points you made.
All I can read is the anger.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 27, 2011 7:18:41 PM PDT
Wow, are you related to any of those dead POWs, Joan? You question Zamperini, who endured more than you can ever fathom? You're a real class act. And to all of you who are slamming the slammers, think about the comparison. WWII vet, POW, torture victim being scolded by someone who's had the cush life and hasn't had any challenge remotely close to Zamperini- grew up in poverty in Souther Cal- 1920s (much different than now), ran in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, tortured and degraded by the Empire of Japan, suffered PTSD..... wow, is all I can say. How dare you sneer at this man and his generation.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2011 6:06:10 PM PDT
Peter Hyatt says:
Perhaps Zamperini credited God Himself, with making him so fit when he was young; therefore, the survival credited to God. Others did not survive. This does not negate what Zamperini said.

Great book review of a great book.

Posted on Oct 12, 2011 7:29:32 AM PDT
R. Ramsey says:
Great Review. It's good that people like Zamperini are telling their stories. Must be hard to re-live such painful experiences. People like him are real heroes.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2013 4:51:45 PM PDT
Greg says:
Belief in a higher power can emotionally help you get through things. I know. Not bragging but I know, not as bad Zamparini knows however.

Posted on Jul 23, 2013 8:22:36 PM PDT
Greg says:
I read the sister book "Unbroken" by Laura Hildenbrand. Will be buying this one as well. I hate survival shows they glorify people doing things that others may do frequently to survive. Let those people go and visit some impoverished countries they will learn what survival means and courage as well.
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Location: Kailua, Hawaii

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