Another book club choice, I really wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I certainly didn't expect anything close to what I got.
If I didn't know this was a true story, I would never believe it. It just seems impossible for one person to survive so much hardship in his life. Not only did he survive, but the way in which he was able to move on and build a new life is just astounding. I don't want to say too much to give away the story, but the fact that he's still alive now, kind of lets you know that he's going to make it through the book.
This is the story of Louis Zamperini, an American Olympic runner in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He was a bit of a trouble causer as a child, but running gave him the focus and outlet for his energy that he needed. As he prepared for the 1940 Olympics, World War II broke out, and Louis joined the Air Force. A plane he was in was attacked by the Japanese and went down. He survived for more than 40 days at sea with little food and water, surrounded by sharks. When they finally reached land, they were taken prisoner by the Japanese and were subjected to absolutely horrifying conditions in the POW camps there.
But we all know how WWII ended, and again, because we know he's still alive, we know that even though it seemed unlikely, he made it out. But my favourite part of the book was his return to California and the difficulty he had rebuilding his life there.
This is not an easy book to read. The subject matter made it difficult to read more than a few pages at a time. It was just so upsetting in spots. But it went a lot more quickly once he had returned home.
I highly recommend this book. I'm not normally a lover of non-fiction and would never have picked this up on my own, but I'm so glad that I read. I've also learned that it is being made into a movie. It will be interesting to see how that is handled and if they do justice to this amazing story.