‘Unbroken’, by Laura Hillenbrand a Book Review by Endre Barath, Jr...

Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices 01238708

‘Unbroken’, by Laura Hillenbrand a Book Review by Endre Barath, Jr.

Yet another book Diane has been nudging and suggesting for me to read, this one only took me 10 years to add to my ‘read’ pile. If I may add, I thought this would be another “COVID lock-down appropriate” book to read.


Without too much fanfare, allow me a quick background in case you have not read or seen the movie (I have not seen the movie). The book is about Louis Silvie Zamperini, son of Italian Immigrants who settled in Torrance, CA.  Louie was an out of control terror of a child who ended up becoming an Olympic Runner with tremendous potential. He took part in the 1936 Olympics in the 5000-meter run, met Adolf Hitler and was determined to break the world record in the “one mile” event at the 1940 Tokyo Olympics (the Olympics that never was due to WWII).  Instead, Louie was drafted into the Air Force  and became a Bombardier. Fast forward to May 1943 when his plane (the Green Hornet) crashed in the ocean.

From this point on, Louie’s story becomes difficult to read if you just read the words.  However, if you focus on the incredible leadership and team effort that the survivors achieved while adrift in a rubber boat for over 47 days in the middle of the ocean, you realize that it is a truly a story of unparalleled determination and will to survive.

One would think that once they arrived on land, life would be easier; quite to the contrary, the next two and a half years of Louie’s life were even harder to read about.  The incredible cruelty that the Japanese Prison Guards and leaders inflicted on not only Zamperini, but all the WWII prisoners, is beyond imagination. I have a difficult time comprehending the cruelty humans can inflict on other humans or living beings. Many questions fly through my head, which I will not bore you with; yet in spite of unimaginable odds, Zamperini survived.


When Loui Zamperini returned home after the War, his ordeal was not over. The nightmares, the readjustment to “normal life” were equally challenging.  His life was in ruins after surviving the cruelty that life and man placed on him. I was thrilled to read when Louie met with the Reverend Billy Graham and how he was able to help change Louie’s life for the better.


Clearly the Title of the book “Unbroken” is well chosen. My  observation was that Louie’s  life was unbroken and perhaps unshattered thanks to his amazing will, perseverance, leadership and coming in contact with the Reverend Billy Graham; The pieces of Louie’s life were ‘glued back’ together and made him unbroken. If you read pages 374-376 of the book, you can actually see this transformation.

I have many take aways from this book, and as we enter our ninth month of COVID-19 restrictions with all of our grousing and complaining, this might be a good time to read this book and put things in perspective.  Again, it was a very difficult book to read but I am glad that I did;  on a lesser level, I see politicians exerting control over our lives on a smoother scale. The key is that all obstacles can be overcome with leadership, teamwork, perseverance and having a belief system in place.

As a Beverly Hills Realtor, I am often amazed at what humans can achieve with limited resources.  But when we complain about challenges, nothing compares to what Louie Zamperini endured and survived.



Wishing you a safe and healthy life and I look forward to your comments.

If you are looking for a knowledgeable, focused and goal-oriented Realtor in the Beverly Hills area who will help you achieve your Real Estate goals, please reach out to me directly!

If you are looking for a pet friendly Beverly Hills Realtor who can handle and sell the most difficult properties that no one else could, please reach out to me directly!! If you are considering buying or selling a home, a luxury home, luxury investment real estate, luxury vacation homes, or luxury beach properties in Southern California, Los Angeles, Century City, Westwood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Marina Del Rey, Venice or Malibu, feel free to contact me at 310.486.1002 ( m)  homes@endrebarath.com or visit one of my websites at https://www.endrebarath.com  I contribute a portion of my commission to local animal rescue organizations.

Endre Barath,Jr. Realtor at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties DRE# 01238708


Comments (8)

Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Endre Barath, Jr. I know this story .  I haven't read the book or seen the movie but I must have seen a segment or two about his story perhaps with the author speaking of Louis.  I know about the life raft story and then what happened in Japan. Thank goodness he finally found his path back to sanity.  And yes in a way this crazy year has been 'different' yet so simple compared to Louis's journey.

Nov 30, 2020 07:59 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Endre I don't read much, but when I do it is to escape from reality, so even though this sounds like a great book, it mostly likely will not be on my reading list.

Nov 30, 2020 02:35 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Anna Banana Kruchten CRS CRB, Phoenix Broker  it was a tough read.... the take aways were powerful if you can go past the details.... What an incredible man... and what a powerful way to find his way out of the nightmare.... not for everyone to read...Endre

Nov 30, 2020 10:26 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

George Souto  my friend not an easy  read so you are correct, it was a hard read for me too, but my take aways were well worth it.. when we are sniveling of our problems we have no idea how easy we have it compared to Loui Zamperini, Endre

Nov 30, 2020 10:28 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

So crazy but, my bookclub read this book, Endre! I read a portion of it before our meeting and never finished it. The rest of the girls loved it as well! And, I'm in total agreement about the 'control' - it's really a bit scary.

Dec 02, 2020 08:10 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Endre- this is a great review of the book and I think Larry would like this. I know I would too since I know the whole story. And I think you make an excellent point...with everything we're going through now, it pales in comparison to what those men endured. We need to remember that. 

Dec 05, 2020 03:15 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Debe Maxwell, CRS  not an easy read about the trials and tribulations of Loui and the rest of the prisoners, Endre

Dec 05, 2020 05:19 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Kathy Streib  yes perspective when we think we have it so bad....not really, Endre

Dec 05, 2020 05:20 PM