Rating: 5/5 stars.
Woah… Where do I even start? What should I say? This book was amazing. One of the best, if not the best, nonfiction books that I have ever read.
When I first started this, I felt pretty sure that I was going to like it. I just wasn’t sure if it was going to be one of those books that I have to almost force myself to read or if I was just going to start reading and not want to stop. Well…I didn’t want to stop.
Throughout this whole book, there was such a realness to it. It felt so harsh, rough, and real. There was some language and definitely a lot of violence. There was even some mentioning of sexual stuff, I was kind of surprised. But I guess that’s normal for the world.
All the people were really interesting. There was at least a little something told about everyone. I must say that I got a bit confused about some of them because there was just so many. Even though it got a bit confusing, but it didn’t effect my understanding of the story.
Louis’s childhood was very entertaining. Man, he wasn’t the best of kids, but it was the truth. I loved it. It was very neat to see what the early twentieth century was like. Then how he got to the Olympics at such a young age. It was so incredible and seemed absolutely impossible, but he made it. He showed such perseverance and determination. He was a very fast runner.
Louis joins the military and all goes well, except for some terrifying instances, of course. World War II has never felt more real. There is nothing like reading or listening to a first person account of a war to begin realize what war is actually like, even if you’ll never truly know what’s it’s like until you’ve been there. Louis and his mates’ fears, horrors, and terrors became my fears, horrors, and terrors. It was so real.
What Louis survived through only to get captured be the Japanese…is unreal. I can hardly believe it. This book can really give you a fear of sharks. Then the way he was treated by the Japanese was gut wrenching. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain and starvation and everything else he went through. It was inhuman how he was treated. He and so many others. And it just got worse and worse…and worse. He was kept prisoner for about two years and he survived! He showed so much resilience. It was heartbreaking to see what his family was going through at the same time. It must’ve been so stressful for them.
Last of all, his conversion story was fascinating. Such an amazing thing to read about. The ending was beautiful and filled with hope and joy and a tinge of sadness.
I’m recommending this to older teens and up. I think everyone should take the time to read this. It was so good, but horrible too, if you know what I mean. It’s a incredible true story that you won’t soon forget.