The book: The true story of Louie Zamperini who started out as a wild, thieving, bullying, juvenile delinquent living in small-town California. With the support of his family he turned his life around to become an Olympic runner. During WW2, in a routine search mission over the Pacific, Louie's plane crashes into the ocean. For two weeks he is stranded in a life raft with two others, battling sharks and catching birds and fish to eat with his bare hands. Captured by the Japanese, he is held prisoner and tortured for the next two years.
Ellen hosted at her townhouse in the Presidio and served pizza, as Louie was Italian.
What we thought:
Ken: Unbroken is a great book, full of hopes, glory, tragedy and perseverance. It’s always amazing when people survive pure mental and physical brutality. I also found the book very informative. We focus on Hitler and his entourage of evil sidekicks, but all the while Japan had it's own version of the Third Reich.
Amy: A truly amazing story of survival. Zamperini had an incredible ability to persevere, both physically and emotionally--first in a raft in the ocean for many days, and then under brutal POW conditions. I was particularly interested in the way he deliberately performed mental exercises (and forced his fellow survivors to do so) to keep from completely losing it.
Ellen: This story is about patriotism, human endurance and humility. Zamperini lived his life at both ends of the spectrum. This is not a philosophical read about existentialism, not a Victor Frank POW experience at all, Zamperini explores the meaning of life through adventure.