This is a book that doesn’t need much description. The book is a best seller and was made into a movie which I haven’t seen yet. It’s the story of Louis Zamperini who competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He then served in World War 2, was lost at sea for over a month in an inflatable raft with two others and then was tortured as a prisoner of war by the Japanese. Louis went on to find God and overcome his PTSD.

The story of Louis Zamperini is amazing as I was reading it I found myself thinking that this story is unbelievable. You hear what they have to do to survive at sea then the story of survival in the prison camps. Even before that you here Louis’s story of growing up as an outcast and then becoming a world class athlete. If I saw the movie before knowing about the man I never would have believed it to be true. For instance when they are being shot at by a Japanese fighter plane in their raft and then having to deal with sharks trying to jump out of the water to eat them it seems unreal but to here Laura Hildebrand describe it you believe it. Also thanks to Shark week on TV I did know that in some areas sharks do that.

What drew me to this book was I wanted to hear how someone can survive what Louis went through and go on to become a man of God. You have to wait til the end of the book to find out how he does it but it’s worth the wait. I enjoyed how the author analyzes the Japanese prison guards in the story, describing how their culture shaped what they became. I also liked hearing how the war prisoners found small ways to reclaim their dignity against their captors.

Another thing I found interesting in the story is how the POWs had to steal food to survive. The prison guards kept food delivered to prisoners by the Red Cross and sold it to the public. The prisoners had to steal to get enough food to survive but as they found out how the Japanese civilians were suffering due to the war they stopped stealing because they felt bad for them. The Japanese people suffered greatly due to their government and it was interesting to hear their story as much as it was to hear about the prisoners.

If I had any complaint about this book it would be that I wanted to hear more about Louis’s life after he found God. I think you could have another good book covering how he started a camp and helped kids find their purpose. This is an amazing book and the best part was hearing how one man survived something horrible and became a better person.


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