The Devil at my Heels

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Don't Give Up, Don't Give in. Louis Zamperini. Add to Basket. My Exodus. Alan Chambers , Leslie Chambers. My Heart. Julie Manning. Saving My Assassin. Virginia Prodan. There is a Light At the End of the Tunnel. Airlie Jane Kirkham. Carol Kent. Marvin J Besteman , Lorilee Craker. Rebekah Gregory , Anthony Flacco. Mike Jones , Hayley Jones. Through My Father's Eyes Incl. Franklin Graham. His wisdom sustained us. My mother, Louise, was half-Austrian, half-Italian, and born in Pennsylvania. A handsome woman, of medium height and build, Mom was full of life, and a good storyteller.

She liked to reminisce about the old days when my big brother, Pete, my little sisters, Virginia and Sylvia, and I were young. Of course, most mothers do. Her favorite stories -- or maybe they were just so numerous -- were about all the times I escaped serious injury or worse.

She'd begin with how, when I was two and Pete was four, we both came down with double pneumonia. The doctor in Olean in upper-central New York State told my parents, "You have to get your kids out of this cold climate to where the weather is warmer.

The Devil at Your Heels

Go to California so they don't die. My uncle Nick already lived in San Pedro, south of Los Angeles, and my parents decided to travel west. At Grand Central Station my mother walked Pete and me along the platform and onto the train. But five minutes after rolling out, she couldn't find me anywhere.

She searched all the cars and then did it again. Frantic, she demanded the conductor back up to New York, and she wouldn't take no for an answer. That's where they found me: waiting on the platform, saying in Italian, "I knew you'd come back. I knew you'd come back. When we first moved to California we lived in Long Beach, but our house caught fire in the middle of the night. My dad grabbed me and Pete and whisked us out to the front lawn, where my mother waited.

My dad rushed back into the burning house.

Book review: ‘Devil at My Heels’ by Louis Zamperini and David Rensin

His eyes and lungs filled with smoke, and he had to crawl on his knees to see and breathe. But he couldn't find me -- until he heard me choking. He crept into my room and spotted a hand sticking out from under the bed. Clutching me to his chest, he ran for the front door. While he was crossing the porch, the wood collapsed in flames and burned his legs, but he kept going and we were safe. When I was three, my mother took me to the world's largest saltwater pool, in Redondo Beach.

She sat in the water, on the steps in the shallow end, chatting with a couple of lady friends while holding my hand so I couldn't wander off. As she talked, I managed to sink. She turned and saw only bubbles on the surface. It took a while to work the water out of me. A few months later a slightly older kid in the neighborhood challenged me to a race.

I lived on a street with a T-shaped intersection, and the idea was to run to the corner Who was "the devil" nipping at your heels when you finally came home at the end of the war? Matsaharu Watanabe]. My hatred for him consumed -- and almost destroyed -- my life, until one night in when I let go of that hatred with the help of the Reverend Billy Graham. And I haven't had a nightmare since! Forgiveness is a self-survival thing. LZ: Finding my wartime diary, in a box in my mother's basement, has given great strength to this edition. I didn't have my diary when I wrote the first book.

It has allowed me to accurately recall my correspondence with our counterintelligence people, my testimony at the Tokyo War Crimes trials, and my conversations with Jimmy Sasaki [Zamperini's former classmate at the University of Southern California who turned up as his chief interrogator at one POW camp] in Sugamo prison. He had always been an enigma to me. That paved the way for CBS's spending a year doing a documentary about my story, which was shown in as a one-hour special on 48 Hours as part of the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

That documentary is shown in schools all over the country. I almost got to meet him again myself, but it didn't happen. New York: Harper, Zamperini, Louis, and David Rensin. My Account. Log Out.

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