My crazy friend, Cindy, thought this was one of the best books ever, or something like that. I thought it was deadly. I gave up on it. Perhaps giving it a single * is a bit harsh. The book isn't absolute trash, just deadly dreck.
I can read through almost anything, but this wasn't worth it. It's so badly written it's pathetic. Hillenbrand has strung together endless cliches, which appear to have been cribbed together from interviews and letters involving the characters in her book, relating to the life of Louis Zamperini and others, mostly covering their time in World War II as members of a bomber crew. At least I think that's what the main part of the book covers. I made it through 19% of the book, Zamperini's early days and his adventures at the 1936 Olympics, then through a fair bit of his training and early bombing runs as a part of the Army Air Corps. But then I just couldn't take it any more. As I said, it was so dull I gave up on it. I had begun begging God to kill me so I wouldn't have to read any more. It's that bad. The subject matter should be interesting, but, as I said, it's so horribly presented, it's not worth learning from this piece of crap.
Apparently Hillenbrand is a celebrated author because she wrote a book about a horse (Seabiscuit
). Well, half the women in the world are so horse besotted that they'll read anything with horses in it (they'll also read any books with buff men on the cover whose shirts are coming undone, and who are being clutched by lovely, generally long-haired, blond, young women). So her having written Seabiscuit
doesn't tell me Hillenbrand is a good writer, just that she picked a topic people will read. Of course, it may well be that Seabiscuit
is actually a good read. I'll never know. "Fool me once, shame on you"....