For readers of Laura Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit and Unbroken, the dramatic story of the American rowing team that stunned the world at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics.
Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.
The emotional heart of the story lies with one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home. The crew is assembled by an enigmatic coach and mentored by a visionary, eccentric British boat builder, but it is their trust in each other that makes them a victorious team. They remind the country of what can be done when everyone quite literally pulls together - a perfect melding of commitment, determination, and optimism.
Drawing on the boys' own diaries and journals, their photos and memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, The Boys in the Boat is an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times - the improbable, intimate story of nine working-class boys from the American west who, in the depths of the Great Depression, showed the world what true grit really meant. It will appeal to readers of Erik Larson, Timothy Egan, James Bradley, and David Halberstam's The Amateurs.
©2013 Daniel James Brown (P)2013 Penguin Audio
Yes, it is a wonderful story, not just of the "boys" but of the times.
The interweaving of the personal and historical stories. The bigger story of the rivalries among schools was also so interesting.
I actually feel the reading is a little too fast.
Joe's family story is heartbreaking.
The story is just incredible, makes you fell like you know the characters
He is just a pleasure to listen to.
This book gave me both emotions happ and sad.
I could not wait to get back to listening to this book.
I was engaged from the first word. Edward Hermann.... read the story.... told the story.... did not dramatize the story.... because the story is high drama. I learned about the art of the sport.... the art of a crew.... and the beauty of a clear and defined dream. I also came to a new understanding of the the level of manipulation, misrepresentation and deviousness
that the Hitler regime brought to the world during the 1936 olympics. This is a story to be told and shared.... I think required reading for high school students. Did I mention I loved this book.
Yes and no, I'd like to see the pictures that are probably in the written book.
I compare this to "Unbroken" by Laura Hillebrand, it has the same elements of overcoming hardships, interesting historical intersections, and a lot of human interest.
I like his style of reading, makes it a little more dramatic.
UW against the world.
Sharply Opinionated Know-it-all. Curious beyond healthy. Gallows Humor. Election Coverage Junkie. Hollywood Insider.
Brown's attention to detail anchors this showstopping underdog story. Impossible not to root for these boys as they attempt to achieve the unthinkable. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Hermann's performance was stellar. The one exception was his mispronunciation of certain proper nouns in the Pacific Northwest region.
Just as any South Dakotan knows that capital city Pierre is pronounced "Peer" . . . anyone from Washington, Northern Idaho and Western Montana would pronounce the "Bon" in "Bon Marche" like "Bon as in Yawn". Likewise, "Kootenai" is pronounced "Koo-ten-nee". Finally, "Coeur d’Alene" is pronounced "Core-duh-Lane" by natives.
Hermann mispronounced all three - seemingly to rely on phonetics and French origins. No excuses for this. Producer or someone should have checked this out. The Washington Boys are rowing in their graves.
Winning requires trust.
Joe, what a lot for a young man to endure I admire his spirit and his ability to grow, very inspiring, the men from this era are truly special.
I listened to Unbroken and this was just as good. Herrmann is my favorite I look for books that he narrates.
The beauty of true teamwork gives more to a man than just a victory!
The book was well written and performed the story could be used as material for a college course or church sermon series. I was impressed by its depth.
This was my first audiobook. It was an assigned read by my rowing coach. I'm a competitive master rower and thoroughly enjoyed the parts that pertain to the actual rowing and coaching as well as the story of the life and times of the "boys". All in all a thoroughly enjoyable book. The narration was superb! I highly suggest rowers and non-rowers read it. :)
Though I'm not a fan of the sport, the author kept my attention all the way through the story. The recording was very good too.
Born to Run
Loyalty. Humility. Perseverance.
Moment after the final race in 1936.
Edward Herrmann gave voice and emotion to the characters.
Yes, I didn't want to stop listening.
One of the books that I'll read now that I've listened to it. I loved it!
This is one of the two really outstanding non fiction books I read recently. The book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew that won an Olympic Gold Medal in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
But this is a book about more than just a story about overcoming hard times but about what we are made of and what we can accomplish if we really make up our minds to do it. It's a shame that the title True Grit has already been used for a story because it would really fit this book.
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