I recently read an article about how the Christian publishing industry never really publishes books for men. The industry knows that men don’t buy books. Even when they do publish a book for a man, they market it to the man’s wife or girlfriend so that they will buy it and give to the man in question. That is one of the reasons I never go to Christian bookstores. We have far too many women wearing pants instead skirts, and men in skirts instead of pants.
In view of that, Daniel Allen Butler’s Field Marshal: The Life and Death of Erwin Rommel fills the gaps for men in our day by providing a book about a true man. This isn’t because Butler set out to write a book in order to give other men, an example for men to emulate. That would be a book written by someone in the Christian publishing industry and it would definitely be cheesy. The book is worth reading for men because of the character of Rommel himself.
The story of Louis Zamperini is that he was a man that would not be broken by his captors. In the movie, the climactic scene is when Louis is made to lift a large log over his head and hold it with the prospect that if he drops it, he will be beaten. Louis, in his grit and stubbornness, holds the log over his head for 37 minutes. It’s a remarkable feat of strength and determination.
I finished reading Unbroken to our boys last night. Both of them loved the story, even though at times it was hard for them to follow with the Japanese names, some of the technical terms, and the multiple characters involved in the story. But we got through it, all 416 pages of it.
The hardest part of reading it to them, was the detailed abuse that Louis Zamperini endured while a POW. The book was far more graphic than the movie, and the boys got a real taste for the ugliness of war. (I told Heidi at one point that I don’t think I could ever read the book again as it was so gut wrenching.)
I’ve been watching a few war movies here of late because they were in my queue at Netflix and I didn’t want to put anything at the top. The three movies: Letters from Iwo Jima, Age of Heroes and the last one, The Great Raid I just finished watching. In fact, the credits are still rolling as I write this. So I will review them in reverse order.