Former Olympic athlete and survivor of a Japanese prisoner of war camp, Louis Zamperini, is something of a household name in the US. He has become an inspirational Christian speaker.

Louis tells of his own greatness as he takes the reader through a whole catalogue of triumphant exploits, including surviving 47 days afloat in shark-infested waters. However, it runs the risk of sounding like boasting and leaves the reader wondering whether the author is for real.

The attempt to cram 97 years into one paperback feels like a high-speed rollercoaster ride, careering from one dramatic victory to the next. Other problems include a lack of detail, description and continuity.

But it’s hard not to warm to the author, whose zest for life and positive outlook is refreshing and inspiring. Each short chapter contains a challenging ‘lesson for life’ and the central message to never give up is one from which people should draw encouragement.

The book also provides a stunning exit for Zamperini, who passed away just two days after it was completed.

ANDY PECK is a tutor at CWR