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Devil at My Heels: A Heroic Olympian's Astonishing Story of Survival as a Japanese POW in World War II

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The inspirational and extraordinarymemoir of one of the most courageous of the greatest generation, Louis Zamperini: Olympian, WWII Japanese POW and survivor. A juvenile delinquent, a world class NCAA miler, a 1936 Olympian, a WWII bombardier: Louis Zamperini had a fuller than most, when it changed in an instant. On May 27, 1943, his B–24 crashed into the Pacific Ocean. Lou The inspirational and extraordinarymemoir of one of the most courageous of the greatest generation, Louis Zamperini: Olympian, WWII Japanese POW and survivor. A juvenile delinquent, a world class NCAA miler, a 1936 Olympian, a WWII bombardier: Louis Zamperini had a fuller than most, when it changed in an instant. On May 27, 1943, his B–24 crashed into the Pacific Ocean. Louis and two other survivors found a raft amid the flaming wreckage and waited for rescue. Instead, they drifted two thousand miles for forty–seven days. Their only food: two shark livers and three raw albatross. Their only water: sporadic rainfall. Their only companions: hope and faith–and the ever–present sharks. On the forty–seventh day, mere skeletons close to death, Zamperini and pilot Russell Phillips spotted land–and were captured by the Japanese. Thus began more than two years of torture and humiliation as a prisoner of war. Zamperini was threatened with beheading, subject to medical experiments, routinely beaten, hidden in a secret interrogation facility, starved and forced into slave labour, and was the constant victim of a brutal prison guard nicknamed the Bird–a man so vicious that the other guards feared him and called him a psychopath. Meanwhile, the Army Air Corps declared Zamperini dead and President Roosevelt sends official condolences to his family, who never gave up hope that he was alive. Somehow, Zamperini survived and he returned home a hero. The celebration was short–lived. He plunged into drinking and brawling and the depths of rage and despair. Nightly, the Bird's face leered at him in his dreams. It would take years, but with the love of his wife and the power of faith, he was able to stop the nightmares and the drinking. A stirring memoir from one of the greatest of the "Greatest Generation," DEVIL AT MY HEELS is a living document about the brutality of war, the tenacity of the human spirit, and the power of forgiveness.


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The inspirational and extraordinarymemoir of one of the most courageous of the greatest generation, Louis Zamperini: Olympian, WWII Japanese POW and survivor. A juvenile delinquent, a world class NCAA miler, a 1936 Olympian, a WWII bombardier: Louis Zamperini had a fuller than most, when it changed in an instant. On May 27, 1943, his B–24 crashed into the Pacific Ocean. Lou The inspirational and extraordinarymemoir of one of the most courageous of the greatest generation, Louis Zamperini: Olympian, WWII Japanese POW and survivor. A juvenile delinquent, a world class NCAA miler, a 1936 Olympian, a WWII bombardier: Louis Zamperini had a fuller than most, when it changed in an instant. On May 27, 1943, his B–24 crashed into the Pacific Ocean. Louis and two other survivors found a raft amid the flaming wreckage and waited for rescue. Instead, they drifted two thousand miles for forty–seven days. Their only food: two shark livers and three raw albatross. Their only water: sporadic rainfall. Their only companions: hope and faith–and the ever–present sharks. On the forty–seventh day, mere skeletons close to death, Zamperini and pilot Russell Phillips spotted land–and were captured by the Japanese. Thus began more than two years of torture and humiliation as a prisoner of war. Zamperini was threatened with beheading, subject to medical experiments, routinely beaten, hidden in a secret interrogation facility, starved and forced into slave labour, and was the constant victim of a brutal prison guard nicknamed the Bird–a man so vicious that the other guards feared him and called him a psychopath. Meanwhile, the Army Air Corps declared Zamperini dead and President Roosevelt sends official condolences to his family, who never gave up hope that he was alive. Somehow, Zamperini survived and he returned home a hero. The celebration was short–lived. He plunged into drinking and brawling and the depths of rage and despair. Nightly, the Bird's face leered at him in his dreams. It would take years, but with the love of his wife and the power of faith, he was able to stop the nightmares and the drinking. A stirring memoir from one of the greatest of the "Greatest Generation," DEVIL AT MY HEELS is a living document about the brutality of war, the tenacity of the human spirit, and the power of forgiveness.

30 review for Devil at My Heels: A Heroic Olympian's Astonishing Story of Survival as a Japanese POW in World War II

  1. 5 out of 5

    Abuela Linda

    After reading Laura Hillenbrand's "Unbroken" I decided to read Louis Zamperini's own story in his own words. I didn't expect much, but this book surprised me. The books are different. He doesn't dwell nearly as much on the tortures in the POW camp nor on his 2,000 mile, 47 day drifting at sea before he was captured by the Japanese. I thought this book had better balance. His religious conversion doesn't hit one as happening sort of out of the blue as it did in Laura Hillenbrand's book. He provid After reading Laura Hillenbrand's "Unbroken" I decided to read Louis Zamperini's own story in his own words. I didn't expect much, but this book surprised me. The books are different. He doesn't dwell nearly as much on the tortures in the POW camp nor on his 2,000 mile, 47 day drifting at sea before he was captured by the Japanese. I thought this book had better balance. His religious conversion doesn't hit one as happening sort of out of the blue as it did in Laura Hillenbrand's book. He provides a gradual change. He spends more time discussing his philanthropic ventures after his conversion such as his "Outward Bound" program for delinquent youths. I liked both books, but in some ways I really preferred this book. It was re-issued in 2011 with an update. Louis is still alive at estimated age 95 and still contributing to society. I highly recommend this book. He was an extraordinary person.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    I read "Unbroken" before "Devil at My Heels," and I believe both books have great merit. Some may complain that Louie spent most of his book tooting his own horn, and that Hildebrand didn't add anything substantial to the story told in the subject's own words, but I would disagree with both arguments. "Devil" is written in first person with a story telling speed set at 'supersonic.' Louie was a larger than life character who became a real hero to many. I wouldn't expect him to tell anyone else's I read "Unbroken" before "Devil at My Heels," and I believe both books have great merit. Some may complain that Louie spent most of his book tooting his own horn, and that Hildebrand didn't add anything substantial to the story told in the subject's own words, but I would disagree with both arguments. "Devil" is written in first person with a story telling speed set at 'supersonic.' Louie was a larger than life character who became a real hero to many. I wouldn't expect him to tell anyone else's story but his own, as he saw it. I didn't feel he was arrogant, he spoke freely of his challenges and poor decisions, and he gave all the glory to God. Having someone like him to spread the word of Christ, mentor delinquent youths, and share his story of pain and forgiveness, well, if there are others to back up his stories, and he really did all that he claimed he did, I can't see knocking the guy! Conversely, Hildebrand's book told Louie's story in much greater detail, with a historical depth that the first person account missed. I appreciated hearing about more of the people in Louie's military days, both pre-POW life and during his days in captivity. I found the descriptions of the Louie's running days, the culture, the air craft, the battles, and his camp days indispensable to understanding the era and what made Louie into the man he became after the war, yes, even when the descriptions got a bit repetitive. If you've got time, I would recommend reading both books about this amazing Olympian. The insight gained from the two very different voices will be worth the extra investment.

  3. 4 out of 5

    G.M. Burrow

    I'd already read Unbroken so I thought Louie's considerably slimmer autobiography probably wouldn't tell me anything I didn't already know, but decided to read it anyway because I love the story and wanted to hear it in Louie's own words. I'm so glad I did. I wouldn't recommend one book over the other; they are amazing in different ways and I'd hand both to anyone. Laura Hillenbrand is technically the better writer (she's better than most writers I've ever read) and she's more exhaustive in her I'd already read Unbroken so I thought Louie's considerably slimmer autobiography probably wouldn't tell me anything I didn't already know, but decided to read it anyway because I love the story and wanted to hear it in Louie's own words. I'm so glad I did. I wouldn't recommend one book over the other; they are amazing in different ways and I'd hand both to anyone. Laura Hillenbrand is technically the better writer (she's better than most writers I've ever read) and she's more exhaustive in her research at every turn, but Louie is more detailed when digging through the darkness of his own heart. And, as I'd expected, there's just nothing like hearing it from the man himself--definitely one of the people I'm most looking forward to meeting in heaven. His account is short, punchy, honest, and peppered with wisdom he picked up throughout his astonishing life. Some favorites: "People say all anyone needs is a positive attitude. It's nice to have, but a positive attitude has nothing to do with winning. I often had a defeatist attitude before a race. What matters is what you do to your body. Self esteem can't win you a race if you're not in shape." "The most frightening experience in life is going down in a plane." "What happens is up to God." "On life rafts, that's what you mostly do: you pray." "I made myself a promise: no matter what lay ahead, I'd never think about dying, only about living." "Rescue would be nice, but survival was most important." "To live, a man needs food, water, and a sharp mind." "The mind is a crucial line of defense against adversity." "Hope is incomplete and ongoing. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and is complete." "What I feared most was that my generation would teach the hatred and resentment I was learning at the hands of the Japanese to our own children and the cycle of disaffection and violence would never stop." "I knew in my heart that the war--this war--was right." "All I knew was that hate was as deadly as any poison." "When there's no further hope, men always look up." "Boxed in, pushed out, whatever the pace, but I'm in the race.... A race for life. My life." (on his conversion) "The great commandment is that we preach the gospel to every creature, but neither God nor the Bible says anything about forcing it down people's throats." "I longed to look into [my captors'] eyes and say not only 'I forgive you,' but to tell them of the greatest event of forgiveness the world has ever known when Christ on the Cross, and at the peak of his agony, could say of his executioners, 'Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.'" "My whole life is serving God." "You should make your life count right up to the last minute."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    This book has the soul and emotion that Unbroken lacks. I read Devil at My Heels after Unbroken, looking for inner thoughts, feelings and emotions and that it what I found. Zamperini spends much more time discussing his conversion, forgiveness, and influence, which was so curious to me in Unbroken. So I suggest reading the books in that order, as Zamperini does not include the depth and breath of information Hillenbrand writes about. Both books are worth the time. If you only want to read one, r This book has the soul and emotion that Unbroken lacks. I read Devil at My Heels after Unbroken, looking for inner thoughts, feelings and emotions and that it what I found. Zamperini spends much more time discussing his conversion, forgiveness, and influence, which was so curious to me in Unbroken. So I suggest reading the books in that order, as Zamperini does not include the depth and breath of information Hillenbrand writes about. Both books are worth the time. If you only want to read one, read Zamperini's and read it in his own words and emotions.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth S

    "To me, heroes are guys with missing arms or legs - or lives - and the families they've left behind. All I did in the war was survive. My trouble reconciling the reality with the perception is partly why I slid into anger and alcoholism and almost lost my wife, family, and friends before I hit bottom, looked up - literally and figuratively - and found faith instead." While Unbroken is the best known tale of Louis Zamperini's life, Devil at My Heels is Zamperini's own account of his story. Hill "To me, heroes are guys with missing arms or legs - or lives - and the families they've left behind. All I did in the war was survive. My trouble reconciling the reality with the perception is partly why I slid into anger and alcoholism and almost lost my wife, family, and friends before I hit bottom, looked up - literally and figuratively - and found faith instead." While Unbroken is the best known tale of Louis Zamperini's life, Devil at My Heels is Zamperini's own account of his story. Hillenbrand's version comes off cleaner and enraptures readers more quickly since she's a professional author and has a wealth of experience writing books people love. Yet Zamperini's book (which he coauthored with David Rensin) gives a much more complete look at the man's life. It's the fuller story, if not the one that will ever prove more popular. What I really enjoyed about Devil at My Heels was that Zamperini did not sugar coat his past. He admits without hesitation to his naughty behavior as a kid, and he acknowledges his stubborn, prideful attitude that only grew as he rose in fame and success. At no point did I feel like he was a man writing his tale in order to minimize his negative qualities. In some particularly difficult to read sections, he even opens up to his horrid treatment of his wife while he dealt with many personal struggles he couldn't vocalize. It was also great to have a thorough look at Louis' life before and after the war. Unbroken gives great weight to both, yet Zamperini spends less time on his days as a POW in his writing. With that said, he doesn't skip over it or lessen the terrible realities of what he faced. I can definitely see why people may not enjoy this book. Almost all of the author's later life was dedicated to his newfound Christian faith, and so he openly and enthusiastically talks about the impact the Lord had upon him. Yet, personally, I felt it was handled in a way that made it interesting to read about rather than pushy. Zamperini himself mentions how you can't force anyone to convert, and in writing as much, his comments seem truly like they're there just to help the reader understand why he took the path he did. His story is an astounding and inspiring one, and you don't need to read this book to know that. But what I will say is that there's something humbling about Devil at My Heels. Zamperini doesn't deny how much he soaked up the attention he got, and he grumbles about how some things have changed for the worse since his own youth. Nonetheless, it's still great to hear his side of the story, especially since the newer edition gave him the chance to go back and fill in missing details he's since discovered and remembered. If you just want to read a great tale of defying the odds, then I suggest you stick with Unbroken. But if you've read that already and want to know more about the late Louis Zamperini, I definitely recommend checking out Devil at My Heels.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sleepless Dreamer

    A lot of what I'd planned to say has already been said and I have about a thousand other things to do so I'll make this review quick. In a really funny twist of fate, in my modern art class today, we talked about the art done by the Japanese after the atom bombs. It really added perspective, at least for me. While reading this book, it's really easy to get angry at the Japanese. I sympathized with Louie so I was very not okay with the Japanese. After today's lesson, it hit me that those bombs wer A lot of what I'd planned to say has already been said and I have about a thousand other things to do so I'll make this review quick. In a really funny twist of fate, in my modern art class today, we talked about the art done by the Japanese after the atom bombs. It really added perspective, at least for me. While reading this book, it's really easy to get angry at the Japanese. I sympathized with Louie so I was very not okay with the Japanese. After today's lesson, it hit me that those bombs were thrown by Louie and people like him. I feel like today it hit me how morally ambiguous wars can be, just how complicated it is and how ugly human nature can become under some conditions. Anyway, as said by others, in this book you get a better sense of who he was. That said, the history part that was so prominent in Unbroken is missing here. I don't think there's any better way to get a story than from the source but I really missed knowing what Louie thought about whoever was around him. I know this is going to make people angry, but yes, I did feel he was tooting his horn quite a bit. He had an impressive life but still. That said, he didn't shy away from talking about his mistakes which I really admired. It takes guts to show yourself both for good and for bad. I'm a Jew. Do you know how difficult it is to become Jewish if you're not born into it? It's extremely difficult. I find myself annoyed at how much of Christianity is based around missionaries. Like no, stop trying to force people to be Christian. That's not the point of religion. So during the end, when he rants about Christianity, I lost patience. I get it, it saved his life, but dude, going to Japan and trying to make them Christian? Really? Ahhh I don't have time, I need to write a philosophy paper but I'll just say, this is a story that's going to stay with me. I feel truly happy to know this extraordinary story. It's truly a tragedy that he's gone.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Though it is the same story, it is a completely different book than the other book with this name. This was written in the 1950s and then four decades later, for whatever reason, Louis Zamperini used a different ghostwriter to tell his story but kept the same title. This older book is out of print and expensive to buy but thankfully the library at The Southern Baptist Seminary has a copy. I wanted to compare the two books. I had been very disappointed in the newer book, but was happy that the ol Though it is the same story, it is a completely different book than the other book with this name. This was written in the 1950s and then four decades later, for whatever reason, Louis Zamperini used a different ghostwriter to tell his story but kept the same title. This older book is out of print and expensive to buy but thankfully the library at The Southern Baptist Seminary has a copy. I wanted to compare the two books. I had been very disappointed in the newer book, but was happy that the older book was much better. I must say that I didn't read all of it, I read the first chapter or two and then started shortly before his conversion and read to the end of the book. There were a number of noticeable differences. He talked much more about his own weaknesses and God's work through his life. He talked about struggling with depression and doubts for months after his conversion and struggling with his temper for years after his conversion (though his drinking and nightmares really did cease immediately or at least he doesn't mention them continuing). I think this is the experience of most Christians whereas the other book made it seem like everything was almost perfect after his conversion. He went into more detail of those few years between his conversion and when the book was written. He was very honest about his own weaknesses and the difficulties of those years. I wish he had not written the newer version but had republished the older version with an added chapter or two bringing it up to date. It was well written and engaging, but most importantly it was more God centered and less man centered.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ron Wroblewski

    I had previously read "Unbroken" which Laura Hillibrand wrote about the life of Louis Zamperini and which the movie was based on. That book was published in 2010. Louis's autobiography was published in 2003. As he was about to publish he got a call from Laura about the book she wanted to write about him. He actually helped her with the book. A very hard life in WWII - a POW in Japan for 2 and a half years, converted to Christianity by Billy Graham and then spent the rest of his life preaching an I had previously read "Unbroken" which Laura Hillibrand wrote about the life of Louis Zamperini and which the movie was based on. That book was published in 2010. Louis's autobiography was published in 2003. As he was about to publish he got a call from Laura about the book she wanted to write about him. He actually helped her with the book. A very hard life in WWII - a POW in Japan for 2 and a half years, converted to Christianity by Billy Graham and then spent the rest of his life preaching and helping wherever he could. He lived into his mid 90s. The two books really parallel each other. I really like this quote near the end of the book: "What I've learned is that the more you help people, the longer you live". Wisdom for us all.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alana

    I, like many others, first heard of Louis Zamperini because of Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, which I devoured in a weekend and is in my top ten books in my entire reading experience. Naturally, I was pleased to learn that the man himself had written a book telling the story of his experiences from his own perspective, so I waited for it for weeks at the library and finally had a chance to revisit the world of this famous former Olympi I, like many others, first heard of Louis Zamperini because of Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, which I devoured in a weekend and is in my top ten books in my entire reading experience. Naturally, I was pleased to learn that the man himself had written a book telling the story of his experiences from his own perspective, so I waited for it for weeks at the library and finally had a chance to revisit the world of this famous former Olympian. In the very first chapter, I was surprised by the number of experiences from his childhood that hadn't been mentioned in Unbroken, and, knowing many of the trials he would be facing in the future, I was astonished to learn how many times he had only narrowly escaped death even in his childhood. He wrote with such a matter-of-fact manner, just telling the facts, that it was astonishing. Any one of those experiences in and of themselves would have had a lifelong impact on me, let alone ALL of them! Much of the story I was already familiar with, and I was reminded in places of war and POW stories that I had (I think quite happily) purged from my memory after finishing Hillenbrand's book. I kept being reminded of humanity's never-failing ability to treat it's fellow members in the most abhorrent manner. The middle section is rough, with frying-pan-into-the-fire moments of Louis' plight getting progressively worse. Just when despair begins to set in, though, after years of trying to recover from his experiences by burying himself in a bottle, Louis experiences his life-changing moment face to face with Jesus Christ, and the change in attitude is astounding. It was very different to experience that from Louis perspective, rather than that of a biographer. I found this to be almost more supplemental reading to Unbroken (which, being doing by a professional researcher and author, is far better written), but certainly valuable. I look forward to reading the book Louis wrote just before his death, with thoughts and reflections on his experiences. 4/5

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dale Stonehouse

    I don't think amazing quite does this book justice; unbelievable is more like it. It has been years since I read it but his account of surviving 47 days at sea on a rubber raft stuck with me. Imagine eating shark and albatross flesh, both of which he said smelled very bad until you got really hungry. Yet this is only part of his story; his life as an Olympic athlete, POW and more are all here. Zamperini gets my vote as the greatest of the greatest generation.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Annette Hubbell

    If ever you need a role model, Louis is it. Sheer force of will, and at the end, a belief in Jesus, kept him going against the most extraordinary odds. An amazing man, amazing story. Great reviews and I need add nothing more, except perhaps he had a great sense of humor. How did they while away the time on the life boat? They prayed. "Of course, on life rafts that’s what you mostly do: you pray."

  12. 5 out of 5

    John

    This book is a great read, full of action and a lot of twists and turns. The best thing about it is that all of it is real. I thought it was easy to read,captivating and almost impossible to put down. I love true stories like this, and Louis Zamperini's impossible trek through WWII is absolutely incredible. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in WWII.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth • whatelizabethreads

    Even if you've read Unbroken which is excellent, you must read Louis's autobiography. Together the two books truly create a whole greater than the sum of its parts! I remember how sad I felt when I heard Louis died last July, 2014...but he took the 97 years God gave him and ran his race well. Louis Zamperini, you will always be one of my heroes!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    I think I liked this book better than "Unbroken". I have read that one twice and I gave it five stars as well. This one is more Louie. I like that it goes deeper into his conversion. The other book really just closes with it. "To who much has been given, much is expected".

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Hooper

    Unbelievable! I highly recommend reading Louis' own account of his story. I loved reading his own thoughts about what he went through, and feel it only enhanced my enjoyment of Unbroken, written by Laura Hillenbrand.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    LOVED this story! What an amazing life Louis Zamperini lived. I had tried to read Unbroken a few years ago - which is also a story about Louis - but I couldn't finish it. This book? I couldn't put it down! I immediately recommended this book to my mom. Incredible story!!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jaedyn

    This book tells and shows the life of Louis Zamperini. It tells about his childhood and how he grew up as a "troubled" kid in his neighborhood, into his teens and early adulthood when running really helped him and became his passion and how his running set and broke records and how he became an Olympic distance runner. Then it goes into how he fought in World War II. who survived two years in a Japanese prison camp. In this book you felt like you were right there experiencing everything he went This book tells and shows the life of Louis Zamperini. It tells about his childhood and how he grew up as a "troubled" kid in his neighborhood, into his teens and early adulthood when running really helped him and became his passion and how his running set and broke records and how he became an Olympic distance runner. Then it goes into how he fought in World War II. who survived two years in a Japanese prison camp. In this book you felt like you were right there experiencing everything he went through and how he survived. I would really recommend this book to everyone. I didn't think I'd like it because I'm more into realistic fiction and fantasy books but I actually loved reading this book and couldn't put it down. It really made me appreciate things more seeing everything he went through and how he forgave the people who imprisoned him.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Eli Kaye

    This book attracted me because I've heard of Louis Zamperini's story and I wanted to learn more. This book was amazing. After reading I gained a sense of sympathy for every other P.O.W. I learned more about how a soldier had to survive on their own in a foreign environment before getting picked up by the enemy and tortured until liberated. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to hear of war stories or someone who never walks away from a war veteran who is giving there story.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Angel

    A much more personal read than Laura Hillenbrand's "Unbroken". If you read Unbroken, read this as well!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenn Ovenshire

    Following this story is so inspiring, it's truly amazing what a person can endure, survive, and then flourish.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    Five big stars for this life-giving testimony of the power of the Almighty to bring healing and restoration to a wounded soul. It was heartbreaking to read Louis's account of hardship and the physical and psychological abuse he endured. Even more astonishing was to see his boldness to go meet with his prison guards and share the Gospel while embracing them.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Esther

    “I never met General MacArthur, but with all due respect, I have never agreed when he said, “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.” Fade away? You should make your life count right up to the last minute.”

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sylvie

    Rarely do you read what seems like what really happened ... without going as far as saying that I got emotional, one cannot stay insensitive to this story. poignant ! You will not believe it but I had decided to finish this book while I was traveling from Canada to Japan (I had NOT thought about the relationship with the book and traveling to Japan) and what happened ??? Yes I was in that flight ... just too weird !!!! Air Canada plane makes emergency landing at Pearson amid reports of falling debris Rarely do you read what seems like what really happened ... without going as far as saying that I got emotional, one cannot stay insensitive to this story. poignant ! You will not believe it but I had decided to finish this book while I was traveling from Canada to Japan (I had NOT thought about the relationship with the book and traveling to Japan) and what happened ??? Yes I was in that flight ... just too weird !!!! Air Canada plane makes emergency landing at Pearson amid reports of falling debris An Air Canada flight carrying 318 passengers had to conduct an emergency landing Monday afternoon amid reports that hot chunks of blackened metal were falling from the sky and damaging cars in Mississauga. Peel police said they believe the falling metal came from the plane but that the Transportation Safety Board of Canada will be able to determine the source in their assessment. Air Canada Flight 001 took off at about 2:10 p.m. and was en route to Narita, Japan when one of the two engines shut down. The Boeing 777 made an emergency landing at Pearson International Airport at 3:53 p.m. after being in the air for about an hour and a half. Passenger Bryce Saito said he knew the engine died because there was no noise coming out of it some 15 minutes into the flight. “That’s when I grabbed my chair. ‘Oh, crap am I going to fall?” he said. Another passenger, Jason Flick, 42, said he was “quite surprised” that people on board remained calm. “I seemed to be more scared than everyone else.” A representative from Air Canada said they are unsure why the engine died but they are investigating. “Aircrafts are designed to fly with one engine and our pilots are trained to fly in such occurrences,” said Peter Fitzpatrick, a spokesperson from Air Canada. Peel Regional Police answered calls at 2:30 p.m. from residents near Derry and Kennedy Rds. in Mississauga who said pieces of metal falling from the sky damaged their cars. Jonathan Bergen was inside a Petro-Canada station at around 2 p.m. when a woman ran in to say she heard a big noise and someone's car was damaged. To Bergen’s dismay, it was his own dark grey 2005 Nissan Altima. "The whole windshield was kind of the Spiderman look with a hole in it," said Bergen, gesturing to his back windshield, which was completely smashed in. Bergen said three other cars were damaged — one on the front and two with dents in the roof. Managers at Petro-Canada gave him $2 to use a vacuum to clean up the cracked glass covering his trunk and back seat, and police told Bergen he could drive his car home. He plans to take it into a garage Tuesday. "It'll be a nice refreshing ride home," he said with a smile. Peel police Const. Fiona Thivierge said there are no injuries from the emergency landing but ambulances were on scene in case of trauma-induced medical emergencies. “People could be hyperventilating or have a heart attack. We have ambulances there just in case,” said Thivierge. “I’d be freaking out if it were me.” David Unger works two blocks from the airport and was on break when he heard an exceptionally loud take-off around 2:25 p.m. He said he looked up to see an Air Canada plane with smoke and fire coming out of its right engine. “I could see fire in the back part of the engine and I went ‘Well that’s not supposed to happen,’” Unger told the Star. Neither Air Canada nor police could confirm whether the engine caught fire. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada was conducting an assessment on scene to determine the cause of the engine breakdown. The assessment could take up to 72 hours. If they do not discover the cause, they will launch a full investigation. Meanwhile, Air Canada will put passengers on a morning flight to Japan. http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Powers

    Book Review by Sharon Powers. I have reviewed on my blog, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand; it is her book about Louis Zamperini. It is Louis Zamperini's book, Devil at My Heels, that I review, here, today. If you would like to take a look at Unbroken, you can find it on my blog: Sharon's Love of Books at: http://sharonsloveofbooks.blogspot.com/ I do mention Devil at My Heels in the blog post as a comparison of the two books. You might want to know that between the two books, I like this book better Book Review by Sharon Powers. I have reviewed on my blog, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand; it is her book about Louis Zamperini. It is Louis Zamperini's book, Devil at My Heels, that I review, here, today. If you would like to take a look at Unbroken, you can find it on my blog: Sharon's Love of Books at: http://sharonsloveofbooks.blogspot.com/ I do mention Devil at My Heels in the blog post as a comparison of the two books. You might want to know that between the two books, I like this book better (Devil at My Heels). Book Review: I first read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand because I knew the book-to-movie was going to be coming to the big screen (Christmas Day, December 25, 2014). Wanting to know more about Louis Zamperini, I decided to read his autobiography, Devil at My Heels. Louis Zamperini's story is utterly amazing. First, it does tell of Louis's amazing exploits and survival during World War II. But unlike Hillenbrand's book, it goes beyond a mere survival book. Devil at My Heels is personal. Louis writes the book in first person (Hillenbrand's book is third person), so it immediately is more personal and intimate than Hillenbrand's. One of Hillenbrand's major flaws in her book is she treats Louis's transformation in a rather off-handed manner, giving it short shrift. Devil at My Heels, however, all the way through the book, gives us Louis's insights and personal feelings about things. Moreover, Hillenbrand's book is approximately 175 pages longer than Zamperini's; it shouldn't be longer, it didn't make it any better. I LOVED Zamperini's book, and am so very glad I read the book this year. If you have time for only one of the two books, read Devil at My Heels. If you have time for both, by all means, read them both. And, to get a better look at Unbroken, check out my book review of that book on my blog (http://sharonsloveofbooks.blogspot.com/). I rate this book 5 stars out of 5. YOU HAVE GOT TO READ THIS BOOK--It was that amazing. Louis Zamperini is truly, a great man. Read this book and you will see why. My dear book friends, thank you for reading my book review today. I hope I have helped you understand Devil at My Heels and Unbroken. God bless you. All my love, Sharon.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Krystina Brett

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. "Devil at my heels" is a compelling story of one heroic man. This is about Louis Zamperini's young adult life, and how he overcame his past and learned how to forgive. Louis started off as a juvenile delinquent, then with guidance from his older brother, in 1936 he became a world class runner in the Olympics. But with world war two around the corner he diverted his duties to his country by joining the U.S. Air Corps. But because of a failed rescue mission he and two other men, the only survivor "Devil at my heels" is a compelling story of one heroic man. This is about Louis Zamperini's young adult life, and how he overcame his past and learned how to forgive. Louis started off as a juvenile delinquent, then with guidance from his older brother, in 1936 he became a world class runner in the Olympics. But with world war two around the corner he diverted his duties to his country by joining the U.S. Air Corps. But because of a failed rescue mission he and two other men, the only survivors, were stranded at sea. After 47 days on a raft, he and one other survivor, were captured by the Japanese and taken as prisoners of war. This is a story of a man's battle for safety, security, and most importantly survival. I enjoyed reading this book because it truly makes you stop to think about the horrors of war. While reading I couldn't possibly imagine how he survived what he went through. I liked this book because it was someone's real life experience. To me it makes the story all the more fascinating, because as you read it so many thoughts are going through your head at one time. It leaves you thirsty for more so you keep reading. This riveting story is sure to keep you interested.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    "DEVIL AT MY HEELS" by Louis Zamperini is an astonishing and way past amazing story about his life. The books starts off when he was young and builds up from the beginning to the end. At first Louis did not go down the right path. All of his family tried to get him on the right track but no one besides his brother was able to. His brother was in track and field and encouraged Louis to try. Turns out he was a natural and went on the many competitions including the Olympics. In World War Two Louis "DEVIL AT MY HEELS" by Louis Zamperini is an astonishing and way past amazing story about his life. The books starts off when he was young and builds up from the beginning to the end. At first Louis did not go down the right path. All of his family tried to get him on the right track but no one besides his brother was able to. His brother was in track and field and encouraged Louis to try. Turns out he was a natural and went on the many competitions including the Olympics. In World War Two Louis bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean. Many thought he was dead when he was missing. When he finally showed up people called him a hero. Even though he survived all that his definition of a hero is someone who loses and arm, leg, or even dies. I highly suggest people read this and find out more amazing details.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dick Harding

    Here is someone born in Olean, NY! I think this was a phenomenal book. As the cover blurb will probably tell you he survived over a month adrift at sea during WWII when his plane went down and then he was picked up by the Japanese and was a prisoner. He certainly caused a lot of trouble in his youth too. All that would make an interesting story, but the real story is the power of forgiveness. He certainly had good reason to be bitter but it was destroying his life. It's a good lesson that forgive Here is someone born in Olean, NY! I think this was a phenomenal book. As the cover blurb will probably tell you he survived over a month adrift at sea during WWII when his plane went down and then he was picked up by the Japanese and was a prisoner. He certainly caused a lot of trouble in his youth too. All that would make an interesting story, but the real story is the power of forgiveness. He certainly had good reason to be bitter but it was destroying his life. It's a good lesson that forgiveness is a good and even necessary thing, even and probably especially when it is justified. There is a newer book about him that has been on the best seller list -- Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand but I decided to read an earlier book. I thought the coauthor captured or seemed to capture Mr Zamperini's voice very well.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marianna Peipon

    I discovered this book at an airport and put it on my kindle to read at some point. I gave my husband Unbroken, a highly-recommended book about the life of Louis Zamperini. About the same time I ran across Devil at My Heels on my kindle and started to read it. I had the time to read some each day and I was hooked. I wasn't wild about the writing style -- he tends to jump around and I had to stop to put the pieces together from time-to-time -- but the content is absolutely amazing. I cannot imagi I discovered this book at an airport and put it on my kindle to read at some point. I gave my husband Unbroken, a highly-recommended book about the life of Louis Zamperini. About the same time I ran across Devil at My Heels on my kindle and started to read it. I had the time to read some each day and I was hooked. I wasn't wild about the writing style -- he tends to jump around and I had to stop to put the pieces together from time-to-time -- but the content is absolutely amazing. I cannot imagine enduring even a fraction of what he experienced. And it was amazing that he would recognize God's hand in all of it....waaaay after the fact! His updated notes helped clear up some of his own confusion and wonderment. How amazing to meet so many of the 'players' years later -- those ON his side and those against him. There is nothing like a true story told by the one involved!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This gentleman just gave a speech at my son's school. His story is so amazing. He cheated death so many times, and never knew why. He was called "Lucky Louie!". Only after he returned, got married, and was dealing with stress by drinking did he become a Christian! His wife took him to hear Billy Graham, and has lived his life for Christ ever since! The book is not religious at all. It tells his incredible story, and only at the end describes his religious conversion. God saved his life so many t This gentleman just gave a speech at my son's school. His story is so amazing. He cheated death so many times, and never knew why. He was called "Lucky Louie!". Only after he returned, got married, and was dealing with stress by drinking did he become a Christian! His wife took him to hear Billy Graham, and has lived his life for Christ ever since! The book is not religious at all. It tells his incredible story, and only at the end describes his religious conversion. God saved his life so many times, so that some day he could touch the lives of others.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jamison Feldman

    Devil At My Heels provided a whole new perspective on World War 2. It gave an inside look on what really occurred in the POW camps set up in Japan. Although some parts of the book were slow at times, that was only a result of lots of in-depth descriptions. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in World War 2 or history, or if you want an incredible true story, told by Louis Zamperini himself.

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