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The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics | [Daniel James Brown]

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (1042 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Suzanne Yost Los Gatos, CA USA 09-04-13
    Suzanne Yost Los Gatos, CA USA 09-04-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worth every minute."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it is a wonderful story, not just of the "boys" but of the times.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The interweaving of the personal and historical stories. The bigger story of the rivalries among schools was also so interesting.


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    I actually feel the reading is a little too fast.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Joe's family story is heartbreaking.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thad Hawley, MN, United States 09-04-13
    Thad Hawley, MN, United States 09-04-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    41
    1
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    Story
    "Great Book!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Boys in the Boat the most enjoyable?

    The story is just incredible, makes you fell like you know the characters


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    He is just a pleasure to listen to.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book gave me both emotions happ and sad.


    Any additional comments?

    I could not wait to get back to listening to this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcia Yarmouth, ME, United States 08-29-13
    Marcia Yarmouth, ME, United States 08-29-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    88
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    "As soon as I finished it...... I hit replay"
    What made the experience of listening to The Boys in the Boat the most enjoyable?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon Boise, Idaho, United States 08-24-13
    Jon Boise, Idaho, United States 08-24-13 Member Since 2009

    PatchDog

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A lot like "Unbroken""
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Boys in the Boat to be better than the print version?

    Yes and no, I'd like to see the pictures that are probably in the written book.


    What other book might you compare The Boys in the Boat to and why?

    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.


    What does Edward Herrmann bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I like his style of reading, makes it a little more dramatic.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    UW against the world.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    laconfidential Beverly Hills, CA 08-24-13
    laconfidential Beverly Hills, CA 08-24-13 Member Since 2012

    Sharply Opinionated Know-it-all. Curious beyond healthy. Gallows Humor. Election Coverage Junkie. Hollywood Insider.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Shipshape Story, Mispronounced Words"

    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.





    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Corbin, KY, United States 08-23-13
    Scott Corbin, KY, United States 08-23-13 Member Since 2013
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    3
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Wanting success for another as much as yourself."
    If you could sum up The Boys in the Boat in three words, what would they be?

    Winning requires trust.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    Have you listened to any of Edward Herrmann’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I listened to Unbroken and this was just as good. Herrmann is my favorite I look for books that he narrates.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The beauty of true teamwork gives more to a man than just a victory!


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TallT CA USA 08-23-13
    TallT CA USA 08-23-13

    torbug

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    1
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    "Awesome Read!"

    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. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Naples, FL, USA 08-21-13
    David Naples, FL, USA 08-21-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Better than I expected."
    What made the experience of listening to The Boys in the Boat the most enjoyable?

    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.


    What other book might you compare The Boys in the Boat to and why?

    Born to Run


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danners ARLINGTON, VA, United States 08-21-13
    Danners ARLINGTON, VA, United States 08-21-13 Member Since 2003

    Danners

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pure Gold"
    If you could sum up The Boys in the Boat in three words, what would they be?

    Loyalty. Humility. Perseverance.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Boys in the Boat?

    Moment after the final race in 1936.


    What does Edward Herrmann bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Edward Herrmann gave voice and emotion to the characters.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I didn't want to stop listening.


    Any additional comments?

    One of the books that I'll read now that I've listened to it. I loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanette Finan Little Rock, Arkansas 08-16-13
    Jeanette Finan Little Rock, Arkansas 08-16-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Amazing Story"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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