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
Wonderful history of the Seattle area and the lives of the "boys" who were thrown together and onto the world stage. I found it to be a well written and interesting visit to a different time and place.
RIP Edward Hermann. The powerful narration of Boys In The Boat by Hermann leant a tone worthy of this great story. Daniel James Brown infused history, geography, biography and sports into this wonderfully crafted book.
I like to read but a driving commute doesn't lend to that and time is pressured. Being able to listen, and listen to a story like this made it hard to get out of the car. This is the best story I have heard in a very long time.
"Seabiscuit." These are the best books on human spirit, triumph of the will, sport, ever written, or at least the best I've read.
None. Loved it.
If the world and way gave the room to one sitting, probably.
I didn't want the book to end.
Some of the finest narrative nonfiction out there. Daniel James Brown is a master storyteller and researcher. This story might just inspire you to pick up an oar and take to the water.
As a rower from Seattle, how could I not love this book? The narrator was well chosen in all attributes, except for proper nouns. Like others from the PNW, I cringed and was jolted out of the story every time he mispronounced the name of a local town or feature.
The great Edward Hermann did a really great job of reading this book to me. The book is sometimes over-written but Hermann reads every sentence with the right tone and approach.
Daniel Brown told this story in a wonderful tone and gave voice to the rowing experience. In many instances I felt I was in the boat with the 9 boys. I loved the description of the races and felt tension and anticipation of the outcomes both because of the writing and the excellent reading.
Edward Herrmann does a stellar job bringing this uplifting story to life. Never does he detract nor does he tire. Great performance, great story.
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