Thursday, January 1, 2015

Book #5: Unbroken

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
I started this book knowing nothing about it. A few of my friends had given it rave reviews, as did my dad. All I knew was it was about an Olympic runner who joined the war. Since it encompasses two of Justin's favorite things - sports and war stories - I decided to buy it for him for Christmas, and then when my curiosity was piqued I broke it in for him.

Wow. I did not know what I was getting myself into. For some reason, I didn't expect it to be a gruesome war story. At first, it was an easy enough read. It was interesting and incredible to read about the way these men survived on a raft in the Pacific for 40some days. When I realized how much of the book I had left to read, I assumed it'd be about the men surviving alone on an island for years or something. I had no idea it was about POW camps and the unthinkable horrors they encountered. 

I purposely don't watch war movies because I can't handle them. Justin once spent a couple weeks watching Band of Brothers on DVD. I sat beside him on the couch engrossed in my computer with headphones in my ears so I wouldn't have to see or hear any part of it. 

Reading about it was horrendous. I know I fall dangerously into the "ignorance is bliss" camp, but I can't handle the truth. I don't even like to watch sad movies or read books with unhappy endings. This stuff was real! Thousands of men were tormented and didn't have a redemptive ending like Unbroken. I walked around in a depressed fog during the two days I was reading this book. There was this hideous part about a duck that I cannot shake from my mind. It makes me sick every time I think about it. 

Honestly, though, it was an amazing book. Louie's story is unbelievably incredible. It's unfathomable that one man could survive so much and not be consumed by anger and bitterness. My friend Bethany pointed out that Louie has written his own autobiography. Part of me would love to read it, just to hear it from his own point of view, but the other part of me can't bear to read about his torment again - which is the same reason I won't see the movie. But I'm glad I read it. I learned so much and have astoundingly more appreciation for veterans.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Pin It