I am not going to finish this book, not because it is bad, because it isn't.
There are certain things that just make you shiver and feel all queasy and panicky if you allow your brain to linger on them more than a split second. One of mine is being buried alive. You know, the whole waking up in a casket thing with no chance in hell of getting out until you die for real, days later.... that idea just creeps me out. When this happens in a book, they don't typically put it on the back blurb, so I am usually blindsided by it (The Vanishing, Revelation) and I spend hours, days or longer trying to squash the unwanted images it provokes. Burning alive comes a close second. (Just for the record: I want to be cremated. If I'm not actually dead
dead when that happens at least it'll be over quick.)
So with the help of this book I have come to realize that slowly starving to death on a raft in the Pacific Ocean is also in the top 3 of I-really-do-not-want-to-die-like-this. The prologue, where we visit with 3 men on the verge of death on a raft with sharks circling around is burned in my brain already. Very much in a unpleasant way, I assure you.
Like Seabiscuit: An American Legend, this book is well written, meticulously researched and detailed, but still entertaining. So I sailed through Zamperini's childhood, his running career and early war career as a bomber. I started getting a little uncomfortable when he started flying the actual missions with so many near misses. Then we get a nice expose about how freaking unlikely it was that these fliers were ever found if they happened to go down in the ocean. And then the plane crashes. And I stopped reading. And couldn't get myself to go back to it for days. And finally I realized I so do not want to provide my overactive imagination with a detailed story of how these men end up like described in the prologue. Can't do it. It may well be worse than burning alive (although being buried alive would still hold the #1 spot, because of the added claustrophobia and darkness). I really really
do not want to know how this story goes. Especially not in the meticulous detail Laura Hillenbrand will undoubtedly describe their misery.
Yeah, I know, Zamperini survives. But there are 3 guys on that raft in the prologue. And the fact that he survives is not going to erase the images from my brain. So I expect to lead a marginally happier life by not
reading the rest of this book......