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
Having been an oarsman myself, though nowhere near the lofty heights of olympic competition, this book struck a very nostalgic chord with me which brought back so many memories and very similar feelings as those expressed in the book by the boys in the Washington boat. I am sure anyone who has competed, suffered and rejoiced in any sports team, but particularly anyone who has rowed competitively, will get the same level of enjoyment from this book that I have.
I thouroughly enjoyed the narration as well which was so easy to listen to and able to capture the serenely tranquil moments as well as the high drama moments very effectively.
What a wonderful story. Roll on the movie !!
I will never look at eight oared rowing the same way after reading this awe inspiring story of the University of Washington Olympic gold-medal run in 1936. The story takes you back to the great depression, and the build up to World War II, and helps you see the tremendous personal sacrifice each person went through in order to be part of this Olympic championship team. You will come away with your spirit lifted knowing what is possible when nine athletes truly pull together as one team.
If you like a good sports story with lots of background that helps you understand the characters, then this story is for you. The descriptions of the races themselves are riveting, but the description of the development of this team of rowers is equally exciting.
The narrator's pace and style also fits well with the era.
I highly recommend this audiobook.
This is a wonderfully written story about the triumphant lives of 9 young men and their coaches in their quest for Olympic gold at the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany. It begins during the Depression era in the United States depicting how Joe Rantz, whose family had abandoned him at the age of 10, not only survives, but creates a purposeful life achieving what only a very few have accomplished. Incredible story.
This is a truly mesmerizing "read". I found myself just sitting in a parked car, not wanting to get out because I had to keep listening. The races were so vivid... I had to rewind and listen to them all over again .... like a sports replay. Moving and motivating. I actually went for a row this afternoon and tried to mentally recall some of Pocock's advice! Will definitely listen to this audiobook multiple times. Narrator was spot on.
A new classic! Edward Hermann is such a great narrator, so sad that he has passed! The story has become my model for the value of effective teamwork and persistence. "MIB," mind in boat, has become my new mantra!
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