The imagery in this novel is haunting. When you close your eyes and think back on this book, the images will revisit you. The author describes what the characters see and hear and feel and taste and touch. But there is plenty of room for one’s own imagination to create images that flip from the spectacularly beautiful to the truly horrible. Laura Hillenbrand (Seabiscuit) has written the story of Louie Zamperini, who was not only an Olympic runner, but a U.S. Army Air Force officer who was shot down over the Pacific, who was then chased by sharks while floating for more than 47 days on a raft, and then imprisoned in a Japanese POW camp. It is an unbelievable story made believable in the author’s hands.
”It’ll be an easier subject than Seabiscuit, because I can talk.” Louie told the author as she embarked on the seven-year journey of writing this book. He has an excellent memory and Louie is a pack rat; his scrapbook covering the years 1917-1938 is an album that weighs 63 pounds. The author interviewed Mr. Zamperini more than 75 times and did a great research job. I am happy to say that Louie is alive and zippy today at the age of 93.
When I next see a sunrise or sunset, I may be reminded of Louie Zamperini who lived this amazing story and Laura Hillenbrand who made it real for me. Thanks to my friend, Chick, for recommending and lending me this book.