Originally Posted by JSWolf
The religious aspect is not really all that much and it's not something that's in your face. It's a part of Louie's life. But there is nothing there to turn anyone off (IMHO).
I agree with Jon that the religious aspect throughout the book was very subtle. His religious reawakening during the Billy Graham sermon is covered in about 10 pages near the end of the book. He didn't want to go to the sermons. His wife told him a little lie that there was lengthy discussion about science there to convince him to give it a chance. The chapter is more about his resistance and really only one significant paragraph covers his moment of letting go. However the chapter is important because the experience deeply affected him and influenced him in his life from that point forward. He threw out his alcohol, he stopped being haunted by nightmares, he had an amazing capacity of forgiveness when he revisited Japan and his tormentors, his work with the Victory Boys Camp, etc.
Originally Posted by sun surfer
I also didn't like the title of the book. I thought it was presumptive similar to her writing style sometimes. Louie certainly seemed broken by the end of the POW camp experience and seemed about to die, and he definitely seemed broken back home with his wife before his spiritual revelation. I just think the title takes away from an ordinary man enduring all these ordeals and, again, puts everything into more of a black-and-white sort of light. I understand the pressure to come up with a catchy and simple title for mass-market consumption but I would've rathered a more subtle title given the entire story.
The title didn't bother me. I think that Louie had a rare strength of character that was nearly broken many times, but his incredible resilience always triumphed. Although every time I read a sentence in the book that tied back to the title it made me cringe a little. However, I did a search on the word broken
and was surprised that it actually wasn't overly used. There were 30 references, but the majority were related to injuries like broken bones and other non-title related meanings. Unbroken
was used 3 times. I also liked that the book followed the lives of other men as they returned home from the war, and sadly some of them did not fare as well. The book says that 8 years after the war 1/3 of Pacific POW's were still classified as 50 to 100 percent disabled, and 40 years after the war one study said 85% of Pacific POW's suffered from PTSD. Reference Pages 396-399 of the EPUB version for the in-depth statistics. Part of what I enjoyed about the book was that it was not all about one man's experience.