Saturday, November 30, 2013

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and RedemptionUnbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, yes, I am giving this book 5 stars, but not because the events depicted in the book were amazing (which they were.) I am giving this book 5 stars due to the way it was put together. Hillenbrand must have done an exhaustive amount of research to tell a story so completely, and from so many viewpoints. Add on top of that the fact it all happened close to a century ago, and I think that it can't be anything less than 5-stars.

Again, I have decided to forego summarizing the books I read (there are plenty of summaries out there), and instead give my pros and cons. You've heard the pros, so I'm obliged to share the dark side. While the author did a fantastic job of pulling random accounts, articles and "data" together into one cohesive whole, I feel that she missed the climax of the story. The after-war part of the books dragged quite a bit, and not for Hillenbrand's lack of talent. You just can't replace the end of WWII with an internal climax. It doesn't work. Everything built up to the end of the war and when it happened, the climax was over and from then on the reader was looking for closure. That closure took a long time in coming, and was hampered by an attempt at a second climax. I'm not arguing that those weren't important events, nor am I arguing that Louie didn't experience his own climactic conclusion well after the war was over, but I don't think it worked to try to bring the reader through all of those experiences, with that level of detail and then have them focus on something outside of the war. Sorry.

It still gets the 5 stars though:)

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