What an intense book! It was not possible for me to read it straight hours, because there were parts where I had to stop for a moment and do something else, so my mood would not get gloomy. As the title of the book suggest, it is a story about the WWII, about survival, forgiveness, dignity, violence.
I don't know if I can say that Louis Zamperini was a lucky or unlucky man. Just when he starts to be an athlete star, the war begins. Once the war begins, his story can be divided in 3 parts:
1) Pre-POW: his plane crushes and only 3 members survive, in a boat in the middle of the ocean. They had to fight against the sun, the sharks, the lack of food and water, for many days. Besides, one of them, Phil, was wounded.
2) POW: only 2 get to the Japanese lands. They are taken prisoners and they have to endure the worst time of their lives, being tortured, humiliated. It is amazing to think that people like The Bird existed. Such sadistic, crazy man. Not of all the Japanese were monsters though. I would have been angry if the book described them all as such. There were also nice people who could not do much, but at least some of them tried. This part was probably the hardest to read.
3) Post-POW: war is over and the POW return home; however, they are not totally free from the war. They are left with physiological issues. I can't even imagine their pain and the nightmares they went thru. The book may be from Louis Zamperini point of view, but the heroes are all of these men, like Harris, Phil, and many more.
Even if this is narrated from the POV of USA, I was disappointed with the lack of narration and importance this book gave to the atomic bomb, like it was something the Americans did not mean to. Besides, at the end the author points out the many prisoners Japan took, how many of them died, etc. And what about the Japanese people? What about Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
After I started reading the book, I realized this was the one that Angelina Jolie is directing right now. I can't wait to watch the movie.