I vividly remember reading this post by Scott Johnson on Power Line in Nov. 2010 about Unbroken, Lauren Hillenbrand’s book on the life of Olympic athlete/WW II bombadier/shark fighter/Japanese POW camp survivor Louis Zamperini. As Johnson wrote:
Reading Janet Maslin’s review of the book last week, I felt bad not even to have heard of Zamperini previously. But, as Oney and Journal reviewer James Hornfischer point out, Hillenbrand hadn’t heard of him either before she undertook the research for Seabiscuit…Zamperini’s story should be common knowledge, especially while we can still express our gratitude to him for his sacrifice.
So I downloaded the Audible version so I could listen to Unbroken during an overnight flight to Sweden, on Nov. 30, 2010. As I started to mutter about my discomfort and inability to sleep on a cramped airplane, I was chastened as I listened to the narrator tell the story of Zamperini’s 47-day ordeal on a life raft floating in the Pacific and his two years of torment in the POW camp. I was astounded at his strength and resolve, and like Johnson I wondered how it was possible that I hadn’t heard of him. I also couldn’t believe his story hadn’t been made into a movie.
Finally, it has. Lisa and I went to the matinee today, and it was excellent. Director Angelina Jolie didn’t shrink from portraying the brutality Louis endured. It was a faithful representation of the book and his life. Here’s the trailer:
I highly recommend both the book (it’s in paperback now) and the movie. I’m grateful to have been introduced to Louis’ story, and glad to encourage you to get to know more about him, too.