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on February 13, 2012
I had read Unbroken first, then received Devil At My Heals as a gift on my IPAD. I decided to go ahead and read this version and was struck by how the first half of both books were basically identical, though more "first person experiences" with Devil than Unbroken. What became more striking with Devil is that the experience in war as a prisoner was really just prologue for his ultimate life's work which was his service to God. You do not get that sense with the Unbroken version. He never claimed to be a hero, claiming rather to be a survivor who got a lot of press. His tale of survival was amazing and his commitment to God after his post war trauma is equally admirable as his ability to survive the war. I would recommend the Devil version over the Unbroken version because it seemed more of a personal story as opposed to just a survival story.
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on April 28, 2017
Was aware of Mr. Zamparini, from what I had seen on TV. However, the strength of these men who were held captive by the Japanese was impressive. Just surviving the crash at sea of their plane was a victory in itself. Then to survive the prison camps was another. Yet another personal look into the impossible odds of war.
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on June 2, 2017
Great book and it really gives you an idea of what went on with Japan in WWII but it was also hard to read of the beatings, starvation, and brutality the POWs experienced. That Louis made it through and made something good come from his life is a testament to the type of man he was.
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on May 31, 2017
This story reveals life in the depression era through 2003. Olympic runner, war hero and brutally abuse POW who floundered after his release until find forgiveness and peace through Jesus. The story of transformation that allowed him to be used to bless thousands. I heartily recommend this autobiography.
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on July 25, 2014
I had previously read the recent biography of Zamperini that has been made into a film by Angelina Jolie. It was excellent and DEVIL AT MY HEELS is just as good if not better... Obviously, the latter book is pretty much a re-write of this one with a good bit of background information and detail added, but this one is special because it's "straight from the horse's mouth," so to speak.

Louis Zamperini's story is nothing short of amazing. A tough street kid who finds himself through athletics, he becomes an Olympian, meets Hitler, serves heroically in the Pacific during WWII, miraculously survives a plane crash at sea and weeks in a life raft only to be captured by the Japanese. The brutal treatment he received in captivity (the rule rather than the exception from the Japanese, sadly) was tempered by acts of kindness from a few of his guards. Postwar, he marries the girl of his dreams but struggles with life until he finally comes to Jesus after hearing Billy Graham speak.

Zamperini's life continues well into his 90's and is nothing short of amazing. Read the book - YOU'LL be amazed as well.
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on December 31, 2014
I just got finished with this book and I really am fascinated by his life!! I can't believe how many times he faced death, it was almost unbelievable! When you read it , you might be thinking did he really almost die..AGAIN?! There is a lot of information about the war, survival, and great facts about history. He mentions that when he returned to Kwajalein the natives swore they seen a blond lady matching the description of Amelia Earhart behind prison bars. "The old timers never heard of Amelia Earhart but that there was a a woman who matched her description just around the time she disappeared. She was tall, blond, slender and had a work suit"
At times, it was a hard read for me, there was a lot of slang and descriptions I did not understand. So if anyone wants to enlighten me, please help me understand this part. When he describes Frank Sinatra, "He's the top singer in America. The bobby soxers are rolling in aisles." So I get he is a singer and bobby soxers are singers but I did not understand what he meant by rolling in the aisles. This is just one example but there were many times I was a little lost. I looked up words, locations and did research to understand what he was saying. I also wished he were more descriptive, I do appreciate that he got straight to the point or this book would be longer. But he never told us what happened to the other survivor in the raft. I was only able to find minimal information about Phil.
Overall, I could not put this book down his life story has greatly affected me! Truly, if he can forgive those soldiers for what they did to him, then I can forgive others as well. I will do my best to live my life to the fullest!! He is such an inspiration and I will hold onto this book when life gets me down. Thanks Lucky Louis for being such an inspiration. You definitely fought the good fight and finished the race!
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on October 4, 2011
Wowee Wow Wow! What a man - what a life.

A story of one man's growth through some horrendous trials and tribulations; of endurance; of forgiveness; and redemption. A very compelling read.

The book has been thoroughly described by others, but I'd like to comment on some of the reviews. Some have panned the book because he converted to Christianity and are upset that he spent "so much time at the end of the book on his faith and Billy Graham." Well, this was an important aspect, actually reflecting back, he considered it THE MOST IMPORTANT aspect of his life. So it is his prerogative to include it and expand on it in HIS BIOGRAPHY. You may not like it, or agree with his faith, but it is a significant part of his life. And I'll tell you, unlike so many wolves in sheep's clothing within the church, he truly lived the faith. His faith made it possible for him to go back to Japan after the war. Geez, deal with it!

If you like this book - there is a similar autobiography and experience during the Vietnam War.... "Hero Found: The Greatest POW Escape of the Vietnam War" the story of Dieter Dengler of which the movie "Rescue Dawn" is based, starring Christian Bale.
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on March 22, 2015
I saw the 2014 movie "Unbroken," and was moved to learn more about the fascinating destiny of this man's life. The movie was very well done, except for this: it stopped short of telling the story of Zamperini's greatest triumph. It wasn't competing in the Olympics. It wasn't finding national celebrity as an American soldier "back from the dead" in 1945. It wasn't public adoration as a war hero, which Zamperini learned to his great dismay was "an empty hero." It was, carefully worded here lest I diminish the ending for future readers, the triumph of love and faith... first by his devoted wife, and then by God Himself, who clearly honored this man who finally, from his heart, honored Him. Five stars and beyond! Read it, and share it with those you love!
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on January 2, 2017
This is a great book, and has been my teenage scholar-athlete daughter's favorite book for four years. I confess to sadness at the relative popularity of, "Unbroken", which to my daughter and I is a much inferior book, as it leaves out the Why's and the How's of his incredible feats and of the two transformations that saved his life. The latter bestseller reads more like a long newspaper article, continually fact-checking and verifying the events Zamperini recorded in "Devil at My Heels". They all check out, so I suggest you just read the more exciting and arguably more motivating book written by the source of this amazing story.
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on February 6, 2015
This is an outstanding story of insurmountable events that were concquered by human spirit. The sheer will to survive. It's also the story of finding the only answer to solve Louis' Drinking, Womanizing, UNforgiveness, & Hatred for those who wronged him. Once Billy Graham appeared with a Godly message of forgiveness and surrender of one's own will to the creator, this allowed Louis to overcome circumstance that would otherwise not be solved without reaching for a higher power. I realize this is a hard pill to swallow for those who reject such notions. HOWEVER, DO NOT AVOID THIS BOOK BECAUSE OF THE LATER RELIGIOUS ASPECTS, AS IT WILL NOT DISAPPOINT YOU. * * * * UPDATE 4/25/15 * * * * tonight I finish the last 5 or 6 pages. This book is better than when I left the earlier review. It's surprisingly honest. I find myself absorbed with this book and hours pass by AND I AM NOT AN AVID READER TYPE. I also found myself looking forward to reading it during the course of the day, as if it were a treat for later that night. Can't say enough. As for religious aspects, not preaching and actually less than i thought there'd be, and what does exist is right to the point.
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