I like many others first heard of Louis Zamperini because of Laura Hillenbrand s Unbroken A World War II Story of Survival Resilience and Redemption which I devoured in a weekend and is in my top ten books in my entire reading experience Naturally I was pleased to learn that the man himself had written a book telling the story of his experiences from his own perspective so I waited for it for weeks at the library and finally had a chance to revisit the world of this famous former OlympianIn the very first chapter I was surprised by the number of experiences from his childhood that hadn t been mentioned in Unbroken and knowing many of the trials he would be facing in the future I was astonished to learn how many times he had only narrowly escaped death even in his childhood He wrote with such a matter of fact manner ust telling the facts that it was astonishing Any one of those experiences in and of themselves would have had a lifelong impact on me let alone ALL of themMuch of the story I was already familiar with and I was reminded in places of war and POW stories that I had I think uite happily purged from my memory after finishing Hillenbrand s book I kept being reminded of humanity s never failing ability to treat it s fellow members in the most abhorrent manner The middle section is rough with frying pan into the fire moments of Louis plight getting progressively worse Just when despair begins to set in though after years of trying to recover from his experiences by burying himself in a bottle Louis experiences his life changing moment face to face with Jesus Christ and the change in attitude is astounding It was very different to experience that from Louis perspective rather than that of a biographerI found this to be almost supplemental reading to Unbroken which being doing by a professional researcher and author is far better written but certainly valuable I look forward to reading the book Louis wrote ust before his death with thoughts and reflections on his experiences45 Though it is the same story it is a completely different book than the other book with this name This was written in the 1950s and then four decades later for whatever reason Louis Zamperini used a different ghostwriter to tell his story but kept the same title This older book is out of print and expensive to buy but thankfully the library at The Southern Baptist Seminary has a copy I wanted to compare the two books I had been very disappointed in the newer book but was happy that the older book was much betterI must say that I didn t read all of it I read the first chapter or two and then started shortly before his conversion and read to the end of the book There were a number of noticeable differences He talked much about his own weaknesses and God s work through his life He talked about struggling with depression and doubts for months after his conversion and struggling with his temper for years after his conversion though his drinking and nightmares really did cease immediately or at least he doesn t mention them continuing I think this is the experience of most Christians whereas the other book made it seem like everything was almost perfect after his conversion He went into detail of those few years between his conversion and when the book was written He was very honest about his own weaknesses and the difficulties of those years I wish he had not written the newer version but had republished the older version with an added chapter or two bringing it up to date It was well written and engaging but most importantly it was God centered and less man centered To me heroes are guys with missing arms or legs or lives and the families they ve left behind All I did in the war was survive My trouble reconciling the reality with the perception is partly why I slid into anger and alcoholism and almost lost my wife family and friends before I hit bottom looked up literally and figuratively and found faith instead While Unbroken is the best known tale of Louis Zamperini s life Devil at My Heels is Zamperini s own account of his storyHillenbrand s version comes off cleaner and enraptures readers uickly since she s a professional author and has a wealth of experience writing books people loveYet Zamperini s book which he coauthored with David Rensin gives a much complete look at the man s life It s the fuller story if not the one that will ever prove popularWhat I really enjoyed about Devil at My Heels was that Zamperini did not sugar coat his past He admits without hesitation to his naughty behavior as a kid and he acknowledges his stubborn prideful attitude that only grew as he rose in fame and success At no point did I feel like he was a man writing his tale in order to minimize his negative ualities In some particularly difficult to read sections he even opens up to his horrid treatment of his wife while he dealt with many personal struggles he couldn t vocalizeIt was also great to have a thorough look at Louis life before and after the war Unbroken gives great weight to both yet Zamperini. The inspirational and extraordinarymemoir of one of the most courageous of the greatest generation Louis Zamperini Olympian WWII Japanese POW and survivorA uvenile delinuent a world class NCAA miler a 1936 Olympian a WWII bombardier Louis Zamperini had a fuller than most when it changed in an instant On May 27 1943 his B–24 crashed into the Pacific Ocean Louis and two other survivors found a raft amid the flaming wreckage and waited for rescue Instead they drifted two thousand miles for forty–seven days Their only food two shark livers and three raw albatross Their only water sporadic rainfall Their only companions hope
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T think there s any better way to get a story than from the source but I really missed knowing what Louie thought about whoever was around him I know this is going to make people angry but yes I did feel he was tooting his horn uite a bit He had an impressive life but still That said he didn t shy away from talking about his mistakes which I really admired It takes guts to show yourself both for good and for badI m a Jew Do you know how difficult it is to become Jewish if you re not born into it It s extremely difficult I find myself annoyed at how much of Christianity is based around missionaries Like no stop trying to force people to be Christian That s not the point of religion So during the end when he rants about Christianity I lost patience I get it it saved his life but dude going to Japan and trying to make them Christian Really Ahhh I don t have time I need to write a philosophy paper but I ll A River of Royal Blood (A River of Royal Blood, just say this is a story that s going to stay with me I feel truly happy to know this extraordinary story It s truly a tragedy that he s gone This book has the soul and emotion that Unbroken lacks I read Devil at My Heels after Unbroken looking for inner thoughts feelings and emotions and that it what I found Zamperini spends much time discussing his conversion forgiveness and influence which was so curious to me in Unbroken So I suggest reading the books in that order as Zamperini does not include the depth and breath of information Hillenbrand writes about Both books are worth the time If you only want to read one read Zamperini s and read it in his own words and emotions I d already read Unbroken so I thought Louie s considerably slimmer autobiography probably wouldn t tell me anything I didn t already know but decided to read it anyway because I love the story and wanted to hear it in Louie s own words I m so glad I did I wouldn t recommend one book over the other they are amazing in different ways and I d hand both to anyone Laura Hillenbrand is technically the better writer she s better than most writers I ve ever read and she s exhaustive in her research at every turn but Louie is detailed when digging through the darkness of his own heart And as I d expected there sust nothing like hearing it from the man himself definitely one of the people I m most looking forward to meeting in heaven His account is short punchy honest and peppered with wisdom he picked up throughout his astonishing life Some favorites People say all anyone needs is a positive attitude It s nice to have but a positive attitude has nothing to do with winning I often had a defeatist attitude before a race What matters is what you do to your body Self esteem can t win you a race if you re not in shapeThe most frightening experience in life is going down in a planeWhat happens is up to GodOn life rafts that s what you mostly do you pray I made myself a promise no matter what lay ahead I d never think about dying only about living Rescue would be nice but survival was most importantTo live a man needs food water and a sharp mind The mind is a crucial line of defense against adversity Hope is incomplete and ongoing Faith is the substance of things hoped for and is complete What I feared most was that my generation would teach the hatred and resentment I was learning at the hands of the Japanese to our own children and the cycle of disaffection and violence would never stop I knew in my heart that the war this war was right All I knew was that hate was as deadly as any poison When there s no further hope men always look up Boxed in pushed out whatever the pace but I m in the race A race for life My life on his conversionThe great commandment is that we preach the gospel to every creature but neither God nor the Bible says anything about forcing it down people s throats I longed to look into my captors eyes and say not only I forgive you but to tell them of the greatest event of forgiveness the world has ever known when Christ on the Cross and at the peak of his agony could say of his executioners Forgive them Father for they know not what they do My whole life is serving GodYou should make your life count right up to the last minute After reading Laura Hillenbrand s Unbroken I decided to read Louis Zamperini s own story in his own words I didn t expect much but this book surprised me The books are different He doesn t dwell nearly as much on the tortures in the POW camp nor on his 2000 mile 47 day drifting at sea before he was captured by the Japanese I thought this book had better balance His religious conversion doesn t hit one as happening sort of out of the blue as it did in Laura Hillenbrand s book He provides a gradual change He spends time discussing his philanthropic ventures after his conversion such as his Outward Bound program for delinuent youths I liked both books but in some ways I really preferred this book It was re issued in 2011 with an update Louis is still alive at estimated age 95 and still contributing to society I highly recommend this book He was an extraordinary person. Resident Roosevelt sends official condolences to his family who never gave up hope that he was aliveSomehow Zamperini survived and he returned home a hero The celebration was short–lived He plunged into drinking and brawling and the depths of rage and despair Nightly the Bird's face leered at him in his dreams It would take years but with the love of his wife and the power of faith he was able to stop the nightmares and the drinkingA stirring memoir from one of the greatest of the Greatest Generation DEVIL AT MY HEELS is a living document about the brutality of war the tenacity of the human spirit and the power of forgivenes.
Spends less time on his days as a POW in his writing With that said he doesn t skip over it or lessen the terrible realities of what he facedI can definitely see why people may not enjoy this book Almost all of the author s later life was dedicated to his newfound Christian faith and so he openly and enthusiastically talks about the impact the Lord had upon him Yet personally I felt it was handled in a way that made it interesting to read about rather than pushy Zamperini himself mentions how you can t force anyone to convert and in writing as much his comments seem truly like they re there Transnasal Endoscopic Skull Base and Brain Surgery just to help the reader understand why he took the path he didHis story is an astounding and inspiring one and you don t need to read this book to know that But what I will say is that there s something humbling about Devil at My Heels Zamperini doesn t deny how much he soaked up the attention he got and he grumbles about how some things have changed for the worse since his own youth Nonetheless it s still great to hear his side of the story especially since the newer edition gave him the chance to go back and fill in missing details he s since discovered and rememberedIf youust want to read a great tale of defying the odds then I suggest you stick with Unbroken But if you ve read that already and want to know about the late Louis Zamperini I definitely recommend checking out Devil at My Heels This is an outstanding book Louie s pluckiness resourcefulness and grit helped him all throughout life The love of his parents and siblings always blazed from within himHe was a Souvenirs de dbauches juvenile delinuent at one time and the things that made him successful at being delinuent also helped him survive torture shipwreck and extreme cruelty and brutality Comparing this with Admiral Stockdale s Courage under fire Louie was not the Wing Commander of the men in captivityand survived multiple brutal POW CampsAn Outstanding American His wife never gave up hope for him Then at the end he witnesses for Christ I read Unbroken before Devil at My Heels and I believe both books have great merit Some may complain that Louie spent most of his book tooting his own horn and that Hildebrand didn t add anything substantial to the story told in the subject s own words but I would disagree with both argumentsDevil is written in first person with a story telling speed set at supersonic Louie was a larger than life character who became a real hero to many I wouldn t expect him to tell anyone else s story but his own as he saw it I didn t feel he was arrogant he spoke freely of his challenges and poor decisions and he gave all the glory to God Having someone like him to spread the word of Christ mentor delinuent youths and share his story of pain and forgiveness well if there are others to back up his stories and he really did all that he claimed he did I can t see knocking the guyConversely Hildebrand s book told Louie s story in much greater detail with a historical depth that the first person account missed I appreciated hearing about of the people in Louie s military days both pre POW life and during his days in captivity I found the descriptions of the Louie s running days the culture the air craft the battles and his camp days indispensable to understanding the era and what made Louie into the man he became after the war yes even when the descriptions got a bit repetitiveIf you ve got time I would recommend reading both books about this amazing Olympian The insight gained from the two very different voices will be worth the extra investment This book was recommended to me over 3 years ago but Iust kept on putting it aside Right book right time philosophy This was one of those bull s eye books What an inspirational memoir to help us all keep perspective during this trying time in world history Perspective such a strong term and I don t think that our generation really really have enough perspective on what it means to survive real hardshipThis generation may be ready to handle robotic euipment and fly planes with computers but are they ready to withstand the inevitable counterattack Are they emotionally stable Are they callous enough to accept hardship Can they face defeat without falling apart A lot of what I d planned to say has already been said and I have about a thousand other things to do so I ll make this review uickIn a really funny twist of fate in my modern art class today we talked about the art done by the Japanese after the atom bombs It really added perspective at least for me While reading this book it s really easy to get angry at the Japanese I sympathized with Louie so I was very not okay with the Japanese After today s lesson it hit me that those bombs were thrown by Louie and people like him I feel like today it hit me how morally ambiguous wars can be ust how complicated it is and how ugly human nature can become under some conditions Anyway as said by others in this book you get a better sense of who he was That said the history part that was so prominent in Unbroken is missing here I don. Nd faith–and the ever–present sharks On the forty–seventh day mere skeletons close to death Zamperini and pilot Russell Phillips spotted land–and were captured by the Japanese Thus began than two years of torture and humiliation as a prisoner of warZamperini was threatened with beheading subject to medical experiments routinely beaten hidden in a secret interrogation facility starved and forced into slave labour and was the constant victim of a brutal prison guard nicknamed the Bird–a man so vicious that the other guards feared him and called him a psychopath Meanwhile the Army Air Corps declared Zamperini dead and
Louis Zamperini is best known for Laura Hillenbrand's book Unbroken A WWII Story of Survival Resilience and RedemptionZamperini's life started out hard Born to Italian immigrants in New York his family moved to Torrance California when Louis was a toddler At the time Louie knew no English making him the perfect target for bulliesWith a string of luck Louie's older brother Pete got him