Originally Posted by fantasyfan
When I began Unbroken I was rather disappointed with the first section. Probably the strong point of Laura Hillenbrand's style is her ability to marshall carefully researched factual material into a coherent pattern. In that first part dealing with Louis Zamperini's disturbed childhood, I feel that she missed an opportunity to develop the deeper effects of those years on the adult who became so astonishingly heroic in later life...... Perhaps she should have explored the causes of changes in his character more than she did. I accept that she does give a great deal of material about that time in Zamperini's life--I just think that she could have analysed it more carefully and more seriously.
I really wish I could have jumped into this discussion sooner, but I have been overwhelmed by work commitments and traveling which made it too difficult to post. I have already posted several of my thoughts in the nomination thread. Now it's been several weeks since I read the book, and I need to review my notes and recollect my thoughts. However, I wanted to start with this point. I was disappointed with the first part too. I think that there were missed opportunities to explore more of his character from a psychological viewpoint in both the first and last sections. It wouldn't have to be too deep, just a little more discussion would have been beneficial. The writing style of the first part was not as effective as the remainder of the book as well.
The first part was critical to set the stage on why Louie responded to the POW experience so differently than others did. It was also important to understand his family and how they reacted to the news that he was missing. That must have been a horrific experience not to know whether your loved one was missing or dead, living in this state of limbo. I was emotionally affected by the discussion of the mothers of the missing men who were on the Green Hornet's last flight. I especially reacted to the scene where Louie's mother finds out that he is really alive.
I did not know that Japan broadcast radio shows featuring Allied POW's. If you would like to learn more, then here is a link to an interesting Wikipedia article on this topic.