I felt as if I knew every one of the boys of the boat!
I caught myself yelling at the step mother of Joe Rantz!,and cheering on each of the young men who were becoming self-made men. They competed with the Ivy-league crew and came out ahead which made me understand why that generation is the one we all hold in such high esteem!
My heart ached for Joe Rantz! He was a true hero! A model for all of us - and he just did what had to be done at the time - for self preservation.
It is a long book, so no. I would listen to it again, which is something I rarely do.
This is one book that I go out of my way to recommend.
Avid audible listener for over 10 years.
I was not sure that I would like this book when I bought it, but turned out loving it. Although I do not want to give away the ending, the seeds of Hitler's destruction could no better be summarized by the results of the 1936 olympic race. As much as the Nazi's tried to fix the results of the race, the sheer heart of the rowers win out and with it foretell the outcome of WW II. There was no doubt that Germany would lose the race and the war.
I was skeptical of using a credit for a book about rowing.
The only thing I really knew about athletes of the 1936 Olympic Games was the triumph of Jessie Owens. However, since this book was narrated by Edward Herman, one of my all time favorite readers, I decided to give the book a listen.
What unfolds is a very ambitious and largely very successful effort to bring the listener into the world of post depression era life and the world of competitive 8-man rowing.
Daniel Brown builds his story around the amazing life of Joe Rantz, a young boy abandoned by his family who finds his life forever changed by his experiences as a member of a college rowing team.
The passion that Daniel Brown brings to his subject matter is perfectly matched by the flawless Edward Herman narration.
This being said, the book is not without its flaws...the primary one being the author's tendency to allow his narrative to become overly saccharine at times. This is really a criticism of the tone of the book, not the content.
On the very positive side, the listener will find themselves completely drawn into to the characters lives and to the work and skills needed to succeed at competitive rowing.
This is a decidedly American story of ordinary young men who accomplish great things
and change the world and themselves in the process.
It is easy to be disheartened by the economy, world events and the drudgery of getting through each day. The book Boys in the Boat reminded me to be thankful for the security, comfort and abundance that I take for granted most of the time. Thank you Daniel James Brown for telling the story of these amazing men who did the impossible during a time where hard work did not guarantee that you and your family would have a place to live or food to eat. Brown's mastery of story-telling brings to life the world as it was in the 1930's. The hardships of the Great Depression endured by millions of Americans and the changes that were occurring in Germany make the ultimate triumph of the University of Washington crew team of 1936 shine as bright in today's cynical world as it must have done then. Edward Hermann's beautiful narration could not have been better.
The combination of a compelling story well-told and perfectly matched narration made my heart swell with pride and reminded me that all-in-all, things aren't so bad. Listen and be inspired.
The story of Joe is so compelling. Many people today will never experience the struggle of those individuals. What a life they lived. Thanks for sharing that life experience.
The story carried an easily understood time line through an historical time.
Joe is our silent hero.
I hope I'll find another audible book as good as this one.
I plan to listen to the book at least several more times in the coming months. The story weaves together the elements of the Great Depression, Nazism on the rise, the 1936 Berlin Games, the science and ART of rowing, etc. The real deal closer for me is the Edward Hermann narration. No one is better than Edward Hermann and this is the perfect book for him.
George Pocock - a fascinating man that understood men, craftsmanship, and the art of rowing.
No. But I cannot believe it can get any better than this.
The Boys in the Boat: A Story of Unbroken Spirit and the 1936 Olympics
As good as it gets on Audible.
My daughter Abby recently married Rich Pocock--- great grandson of Dick Pocock and great nephew of George Pocock -- so it was quite fun to hear their family history!
George Pocock was a dedicated and wise gentleman - and so willing to share his expertise with the world. Terrific mentor to Joe Rantz just when he needed it most.
Yes - but never could fit it in... usually listened when driving.
A heart felt true story of the human spirit and bonding that allows teams to sore to new heights together. How wonderful to imagine all the boys - years later having a reunion row!
I enjoy learning history through personal narrative and the times surrounding the second world war seem to be ripe with story, intrigue, and passion. The bits about the boys' relationship and the bits pertaining to how much the sport changed during their racing careers was most interesting to me.
A la Dickens, this story is long in detail, much of it repetitive. I'd recommend a tighter editor. While descriptions of "swing" and the boat's essence are important details in the story, they are overly referenced and elevated to high prose.
Consistent. Listenable. Pleasant.
No, the story isn't rich enough for that. I could maybe see a short documentary, but there isn't enough interesting material here for a movie or TV series.
The narration was great; straightforward and modulated. The story is riveting. The boys on the boat could be representatives of all various social classes in the country and of their personal and financial struggles during this time. The rise of Hilter and his preparation for the Munich games makes a much too interesting and ominous backgound story.
The way it is written is similar to Seabuscuit and Unbroken. I really enjoyed both books because of that writing style.
He was a good nonfiction narrator: nice voice, good rhythm.
It was a little too detailed for one sitting. Three or four sittings could have worked for me.
A great depiction of the hardships of these college students at Washington University and their determination to get through school and excel at rowing. This story covers the haves and have nots at WU as well as the whole history of the nation and the world during this time. I will listen to it again. Fascinating!
At the top - the story was great in and of itself, but the window on history made it even better.