book by: Laura Hillenbrand; report by: Rebekah Larson

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“It was absolutely dark and absolutely silent, save for the chattering of Phil's teeth. The ocean was a flat calm. A rough, rasping tremor ran through the men. The sharks were rubbing their backs along the raft bottoms...” This was the daily reality that Louis Zamperini and his two comrades lived for 46 days on a raft in the middle of the ocean during World War II. Louis Zamperini grew up in Torrance, California. He was a very rebellious child, always causing trouble and fighting with other children. His brother Pete was a talented athlete and began training Louis to run with him. Louis found that he was a very talented runner as well. He broke many records and even made it to the Olympics placing 7th. After the Olympics he decided to join the air force and became a bombardier. During one of the missions they got attacked by Japanese and the plane crashed. Only Louis, Phil and Mac survived and they were stranded in the middle of the ocean with nothing but two life rafts and a limited supply of food. They survived on the raft for 46 days before they reached land. Little did they know there had landed on Japanese territory. They were captured and put into prisoner of war camp. They were transported through different camps and tortured by many guards. They were held in these horrible conditions until the war ended. When they were finally rescued he returned home to his family and marries his love, Cynthia and has a daughter. He struggles with a drinking problem for a while until he remembers a promise he had made to God on the raft. He devoted his life to God and eventually forgave all the men who wronged him. He returned to Japan carrying the Olympic torch past where he was once tortured.

What did I enjoy about the book?

I enjoyed the educational factor behind this book. It was interesting to learn more about world war II. It was hard to read at times, because of the terrible situations that the men were put through but it is good to have a bigger perspective of what has happened in this world.

If the book as written well, what made it that way?

This book as written very well. It captured so many emotions. You could relate so closely to the characters and truly got to know them through the words of the book. It described everything in great detail which really added to the overall affect of the book.

What was the tone of the booK?

The tone of this book was quite depressing yet inspiring. It was very hard to read and comprehend how an individual can go through the amount of torture these men went through. It seems so helpless at times which creates a depressing and sad tone. Yet, there always seems to be a bit of hope through the book. It is inspiring to see how these men persevered and found the positives in the worst situations.

Would you recommend this book?

Yes, I absolutely would recommend this book. I believe it is important for people to be educated on the brutality of what happened in the war. It is an inspiring story and gives you a greater outlook on life. I am so grateful for the wonderful conditions that we live in today. Seeing what these men endured makes life struggles look very small.