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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Unbroken" is almost Flawless, December 27, 2010
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This review is from: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (Hardcover)
There are already many reviews of this book available, so I'll limit my comments to a very hearty 'thumbs-up' and a minor quibble. Few historical narratives are realized with the pathos and detail of "Unbroken" without the pacing of the story suffering in consequence. Not so this tale: even castaway-bombardier-become-POW Louie Zamperini's childhood struggles and and track exploits are related with such zest and intrigue that they never seem mere elements of back-story drudgery. Every page of the book is as interesting as the next, and the book often manages to be both fascinating and heart-breaking at the same time. Laura Hillenbrand is definitely the author anyone would want to tell their life story.

My only criticism of the book is that she gives short-shrift to US post-war political compromises with Japan. In spinning out the book's conclusion she mentions (as she must) the bare essentials of our government's scandalous hypocrisy in doling out war-crime amnesties and other 'diplomatic' miscarriages of justice in the interest of turning Japan into an ally against the rising specter of communism, but she does so without the indignation, the interest, or the eye to detail with which she engaged the rest of the story. The result is an ending in which the author (for the only time in almost 500 pages) fails to anticipate or answer to the expectations of her reader--all the more surprising since it is her passionate identification with Zamperini and his fellow POWs that helps engender those very expectations. But maybe readers less acquainted with WWII history will find this failing less noticeable. And with that qualification aside, the book is simply stunning.
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