Guys. This book. Wow. When I would start reading, I struggled to put it down. It caused all kinds of emotions.
It follows the life of Louis Zamperini from childhood to an adult. As a child he was a little "problem child" and his family were able to shift his focus on running to keep him out of trouble. He been participating in track and breaking records which later led him to the Olympics.
Around that time, the World War 2 was going on and he enlisted in the Air Force. He was a bombardier. During a search for missing soldiers, the unfortunate happened, their plane was shot down over the Pacific Ocean during an air fight with Japanese fighters. Three survived that ordeal and floated on a raft for weeks. That alone could drive any one to insanity.
As if that wasn't enough, when they finally begin to see land, they are captured by Japanese. This is where things begin to get serious in the story. The treatment of the POW's during this war in POW camps was just heartbreaking. The living conditions, lack of food and clean drinking water, the abuse... There were so many times I literally just cringed as I read the words. I would just read thinking "when is this all going to end?". Well, it does at some point, right? War officially is over. The POWs that survived go back home. But the torture continues in their dreams. The statistics about this were startling.
Oh, and might I add that the majority of these guys were in their early 20s?? There are photos throughout the book and seriously, babies!
Reading this book and the horrendous stories of all the hardships that POW's had to endure is so humbling. You take for granted the freedom we have and those who sacrifice their lives for us. It's no stroll in the park, folks.
I couldn't recommend this book enough. Amazing job. So much so, that the movie came out during this past holiday season. May still be out. I plan on watching it and seeing their interpretation of the book. I already know that it's not as good as the book because there are just so many details that can't be captured in some two hours. Still heard it was good overall.
Here is a little clip...
After reading this, I'm on the search for a more light-hearted easy read. Any recommendations??