This is one of those books that are very difficult to put down once you get past the size of the book. It is a big book and if you listen to it as an audio, a long book. However, it is worth every second that you spend reading/listening to it.
First - The detail is graphic but not stomach turning. However, keep in mind that this book outlines the horrific details that the POW's endured through during WWII.
Second - There are a few bouts of foul language (but again, this book is about a terrible time in history).
Last year I decided that I wanted to read more books on the life of historic people and when I saw this book listed as a highly recommended book on Amazon.com, I decided to give it a try. Immediately, the book grabs the readers attention with the central figure fighting off sharks after a plane crash. (During this plane crash, Louie Zamperini makes a promise that he later forgets but through the power of the Holy Spirit, is brought to remembrance, ultimately changing his life for the better.) After this quick introduction, the author sends the reader further back in time to build the foundation for the characters of the book.
Details of the capture and the brutal details of prison camp are written in a way to engage the reader enabling the mind to paint pictures of what took place. After the war and the prisoners return to their native home land, many cannot get rid of the nightmares that haunt them from war. However, Louie Zamperini (the main character) runs into Evangelist Billy Graham during a crusade in California, changing Louie's life forever.
Many times during the book, I cried imagining the pain and suffering that the POW's endured. However, the tears of sorrow are replaced with tears of joy as I continued learning how the power of the Holy Spirit changed Louie's life for the better. In addition, the change impacted many troublesome youth as Louie poured his life into others. As of today, Louie is still living (age 94) long after he was declared dead but the war media but never in the hearts and minds of his family.
I highly recommend this book. However, keep in mind that this book is not a touchy, feel good type of book. It is a mind and life changing book that will impact your life (for the better), challenging you to look at life in a different manner.