62. UNBROKEN, BY LAURA HILLENBRAND
Recommended by Trisha Cook, on Goodreads. Actually, I was very vague when I asked for recommendations, and I get the feeling that she recommended many, wildly varied, radically different books, probably sure that at least one of them would please me... I definitely appreciate her efforts :) even if I didn’t quite enjoy this book in particular.
I’m a fiction fan. I read nonfiction sometimes, but the bulk of my reading is fiction. For me to enjoy a nonfiction book, it has to have two things: a subject that deeply interests me and superb writing. I love survival and personal victory stories, so it had the former, but the writing was atrocious.
The parts are disconnected, the pacing varies drastically between them. It’s so repetitive I often wanted to throw the book out the window in frustration (the only thing that stopped me was the fact that I have a digital copy). The details of Zamperini’s ordeal are described so often (and so repetitively), and with such excruciating minutiae there’s no way they served any purpose other than shock value. Top it off with the shameless attempt of distorting the truth to make the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki justifiable, and I just can’t bring myself to say I liked this book.
It’s a shame. Zamperini’s story, and of his companions, is truly heroic and fascinating; it deserved a better telling.
Up next: Death at la Fenice, by Donna Leon