Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wilder Than Any Fiction

I've spent the weekend with a terrific book.
And terrific is such a weak adjective, for such a book as Laura Hillenbrand's
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.
It's the true story of American Olympic track-and-field star and World War II veteran, Louis Zamperini.
I can't recall being so riveted to a story in a long long time. It's so unbelievable that at one point my reading partner said to me, "If this were fiction you would be critical of its believability", and I agreed.
The comment itself made me think of something that author China Mieville once said about fantasy fiction: "The problem with most genre fantasy is that it's not nearly fantastic enough. It's escapist, but it can't escape."
Believe me, if you pick up Hillenbrand's book, you will not be able to put it down until you have read a few hundred pages. Leave yourself a lot of…. time!
It's a big book -- I'm 2/3rds through. It is so enthralling, and definitely "fantastic enough". Escapism, that escapes.
It will test, and most likely exceed [at times] your capacity to believe that a human being could have possibly survived what Louis Zamperini did.
The following clip says it all:


Amritorupa Kanjilal said...

The book sounds fascinating! so glad to know you are enjoying it so much!

Stefanie said...

Sounds like a good book and inspiring story. And since you are reading it with someone it must be nice to be able to talk about it too!

Nikki Steele said...

So true that we have a higher barometer for believability when it comes to fiction.
It seems like you just found the right book at the right time for you too--it's always heaven when a book clicks and you look up 5 hours later and realize your whole day is gone reading. "Just one more chapter..." :D

JoAnn said...

This was an amazing book on audio, too. Glad you enjoyed it!