Absolutely! This is not a read-to-find-out-what-happens book -- it's charm is in the telling. The people are fascinating, better than fictional characters, the technical detail is interesting, and the narrator is perfect.
George Pocock, the shell builder. Pocock was an enigmatic artist, the character in the book I would most like to have known.
Herman's voice is smooth and even. His timing is spot-on, and his intonation is just lively enough to avoid monotony, without overpowering the content.
Yes, though it's a little too long for that.
I'm just a dumb troglodyte who like reading. Me feel good after I read book.
Boys in the Boat (BITB) is a powerful and entertaining book that allows the reader/listener to forget their reading non-fiction. The story brings together a confluence of historical events that make for an intriguing story: the Great Depression, the sport of crewing at its height of popularity, Berlin's 1936 Olympics, and the impending start of WWII. Author, Daniel James Brown, writes with a certain sense of ease and realism that conjures up the spirit of the times.
As a reader, I gained a much greater understanding and respect the sport of crewing upon reading BITB. Brown does an outstanding of reviewing the history of crewing, the athletic efforts needed to be a part of a crew team, comradely needed to be a successful crew team, and the strategy needed to win races. Equally gripping was the explanations about how families survived day to day during the Great Depression. Brown also tells the personal stories of the University Washington crew members, which allows the reader a very personal interaction the subject matter. All of these elements are seamlessly woven together to identify the country's emerging character that would dominate the post WWII area and be termed by Tom Brokaw as the "greatest generation".
Brown's best work is spent detailing the propaganda efforts on the behalf of Hitler, Leni Riefenstahl, and German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, who attempted to use the spectacle of the 1936 Olympics to support their fantasies of racial superiority. Brown's research and spot-on storytelling brings the story to an exciting climax.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading/listening to BITB for the characters, story, and historical significance. Reportedly, the movie rights have been sold to Miramax, which Kenneth Branagh is scheduled to direct. In my rank order system of the 64 books I have over the last two year, BITB lands in the 12th position.
insight into sportsmanship
The coach for Wasington was a man of integrity.
This is not only an insight into the sport of crewing but a insight into Hitler's earlly world of devastation during the 2936 olympics in Germany.
This book really gives one an appreciation for what the "Greatest Generation" accomplished under such dire circumstances. You don't have to be a sports fan to like this book, although the information on rowing and boat making is fascinating. The story is well thought out and extremely well written. The performance by Edward Herrmann is outstanding, as he always is. I received the printed version as a Christmas gift and it was nice to see the photos that come with printed books. I do wish Audible would have some links to photos, maps, etc that audio book lovers could have access to. The book is very inspiring and uplifting - not just a sports story. It's for anyone that has to overcome formidable obstacles in order to meet goals and objectives. This story is similar to "Unbroken" and the main character in "Unbroken" appears briefly in this book as well. I give this book my highest rating.
Excellent writing, excellent performance, great story. You won't be disappointed with this one. I've been an audible subscriber for years and have never given five stars. This one is truly best in class.
Words cannot express how much I enjoyed this book - the tale of 9 ordinary men who learned something special about pulling together, even in their weak points, and fulfilling a dream that is only a fantasy for billions of people around the globe. Using Joe as a character study, the author paints a picture of a man who came from humble beginnings and tragic abandonment. He would probably be the first to tell you that he was a nobody, really, and yet he, along with eight other men, fumbled and stumbled and clawed their way to the Olympic Games in Nazi Germany in 1936.
This book incorporates many facets, and it doesn't matter if you know or care anything about rowing (I had no knowledge of the sport, and felt like I had been taught a lot without feeling stupid). It will appeal to anyone who has even passing interests in character-development, teamwork, sport, Nazi German history, inspirational tales, or any number of genres. Edward herrman's narration is superb, with the exception of some of the Washington State towns, but this does not take anything away from the performance itself.
BRAVO! Well worth the credit!
I would recommend this and in fact, bought two copies for friends/family.
True story of character and grit triumphing. Especially like the challenge faced by Joe, the protagonist, as he struggles to be a self-made man while being a true (and trusting) member of a team. Given his history of abandonment, this is no easy task.
Herrmann's read feels like he's there with me telling me the story. I can't imagine either "The Boys in the Boat" or "Unbroken" being read by anyone else.
I've never done this before, but as soon as I was done with this book I went back and started listening to it all over again. It's really that good.
I'm a writer of everything from children's picture books to fiction to memoir. I usually listen to nonfiction, mostly history, on Audible simply because I prefer to read novels on the page. The only exception to that rule is short stories and I'm partial to the Selected Shorts Anthologies.
This story of the crew team who won the gold medal at the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany is moving and engaging. The author brings together the individual stories of the team members while at the same time giving us a clear picture of Berlin in the months leading up to the Olympics. Hitler, Leni Riefenstahl on one side and the heroic dour Dane rowing coach, Al Ulbrickson, and George Pocock, the perfectionist builder of the red cedar boats, on the other. You root for the good guys who learned that depending on each other was the surest way to win. Excellent narration by Edward Herrmann.
Courage, responsibiltiy, and something larger than yourself
I'm from the Seattle area, and it was great to recognize places and events, but it could have taken place anywhere and it was still a great story. The idea of the Greatest Generation and what they had to overcome just to survive - and then you have this group of boys that surpass that with quite courage and will. Loved the interweaving of the story in Seattle with what was going on in Germany.
I always love to listsen to Edward Hermann - and this was one of his best perfomances.