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
One of the best decisions was to replace listening to the news with Audible.
Brilliant, must listen. A cross between Sea Biscuit and a little of Unbroken. Story of courage, sheer determination and the triumph of the human spirit.
A fabulous recounting of an epic tale. Gripping even though you know how it ends! My only complaint is that no one coached the reader in how to pronounce the city and location names in Seattle and Washington state. It jarred me every time he pronounced Alki with a long "e" sound. Similarly, his mispronunciation of Post Intelligencer (with the emphasis oddly placed on the next to the last syllable) made it clear he was an outsider. Otherwise, he was a gifted reader with a voice well suited to the story.
Best read I've had in a long while. Great history and compelling story telling about the Great Depression, rowing crew, nazi Germany, and the Olympics. Has it all.
It's a really neat story. It does a great job of helping you really understand some of the characters and feel for them. One of the marks of a good book for me is that every time I put it down I want to pick it back up because I want to know what's happening next. I generally experienced that with this book. It could have easily been five stars, but it's just not quite on the same level as Unbroken or a few others. And it was certainly worth my time and enjoyable.
Good thing this was an excellent story.
Narrator was so sloppy not to learn how to say local names.
Alki, Juan de Fuca, Montesano, Anacortes were all said wrong. And the fifth of the boats named Virginia is not the Virginia "vee" it's Virginia V pronounced five -- it's a Roman numeral. Lots of other errors in local names --- this is just lazy and not acceptable.
Character development was excellent. Historical descriptions fascinating
Winning the gold medal at the 1936 in Berlin and shoving an oar up the butt of the Third Reich
Herrmann brought a peaceful and enrapturing reading to life.
The come from behind win at the National championship in 1936.
Once I started it was hard to stop. Just a great story about which I knew nothing prior
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