The best parts of this book.
“In the barracks, one of the men in the pillow fight suddenly fell to the floor. He was dead, a three-inch hole blown through his neck. His friend ran to a window and saw a building heave upward and crumble down. A dive bomber had crashed straight into it. There were red circles on its wings. “
“It remains a mystery why these three young men, veterans of the same training and the same crash, differed so radically in their perceptions of their plight. Maybe the difference was biological; some men may be wired for optimism, others for doubt. “
“The same attributes that had made him the boy terror of Torrance were keeping him alive in the greatest struggle of his life.”
“The paradox of vengefulness is that it makes men dependent upon those who have harmed them, believing that their release from pain will come only when their tormentors suffer.”
“Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme physical hardship, can hold a man's soul in his body long past the point at which the body should have surrendered it.”
“ When he turned these memories in his mind, the only explanation he could find was one in which the impossible was possible.”
“What God asks of men, said [Billy] Graham, is faith. His invisibility is the truest test of that faith. To know who sees him, God makes himself unseen.”
“Louie found the raft offered an unlikely intellectual refuge. He had never recognized how noisy the civilized world was. Here, drifting in almost total silence, with no scents other than the singed odor of the raft, no flavors on his tongue, nothing moving but the slow procession of shark fins, every vista empty save water and sky, his time unvaried and unbroken, his mind was freed of an encumbrance that civilization had imposed on it. In his head, he could roam anywhere, and he found that his mind was quick and clear, his imagination unfettered and supple. He could stay with a thought for hours, turning it about.”
“When he thought of his history, what resonated with him now was not all that he had suffered but the divine love that he believed had intervened to save him.”
I don’t think I’ll ever be the same after reading this book. There are so many amazing tidbits of history, literature, and man’s search for meaning that I could write and write and write and still never touch the heart of this amazing story. LOVED this book.
Every so often a book comes along that grabs you, changes you and makes you a better person.
This is one of them.