A well-thumbed book curls at the edges… This book has been my constant companion till I turned the last page, hence the attempt to control its errant cover.
This amazing book is based on the real life story of olympian Louis Zamperini, his childhood (a part that I enjoyed immensely), his personality (he would’ve made my hair turn gray way before its time, if I were his mother!), his career with the Army Air Force (very interesting), his plane crash into the Pacific Ocean with his crew and surviving the ordeal during World War II (simply awe-inspiring and quite unbelievable).
Through all these chapters of his life, that have been immaculately researched by Laura Hillenbrand, it was his imprisonment in Japan as a POW that really shook me to the core. It placed me in the middle of the war and made me imagine things that I have only seen in some historical movies made on the Second World War.
The face of hate in the time of war has been unveiled with alacrity and chilling realism. It’s aftermath on human lives and the struggle to move on seems like a distant and unreachable reality for thousands of war survivors.
However, Zamperini does move on, against all odds… And as a reader, one cheers him on, much as the packed stadiums did when he broke all records in his favourite race, the one miler.
There are many things that stand out in this book. One is the uniqueness of a personality such as Zamperini and his brother, Pete. The other is the incredible details of reconstruction of events as they happened…. Piece together like a million – piece jigsaw puzzle by the author. They will leave you breathless.
No matter what one does or doesn’t take away from a book like this, one thing is certain, one will develop a new respect for the ordinary beauty of everyday life, lived in peace…
I turned to the internet to learn more about Louis Zamperini and was flooded with interesting information.
I missed the movie, but am glad his story has been captured to great acclaim.
There are some lives that the world needs to know about… His is one of them, as are those of his fellow survivors.