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
This was a compelling story that never dragged; brought to live by the precise narration of Edward Herrmann
Many moments, but in particular, the intense Olympic race in Germany.
The narrator delivered the perfect blend of emotion and emphasis to bring the story to life. I was on the edge of my seat during the race sequences.
Edward Hermann manages to mispronounce nearly every geographic feature in the Pacific Northwest over the course of this book.
Yes, I would recommend this book to a friend and have already touted it to 5-8 of my friends.
Clearly the story is meant to climax at the '36 Olympics race, and the suspense builds to that very spot. The fact that you already know the outcome does not get in the way of the drama.
I thought he was -- at once -- authoritative in the reading, but also able to capture a sense of the times and life in the '30's.
I found the first and second abandonments of Joe Rantz by his family to be particularly moving.
A book centerered on a specific sport that is about so much more in life.
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed this story as it dealt not only with a specific crew at a specific university but gave us a glimpse into the life in that era both in the US and in Germany. Even though we knew who was going to win, it held our attention as though we did not. Our only complaint is, as it was with others, that the reader badly mispronounced many of the place names. Being from the PNW, more than once we had to figure out what place he was referring to. With Washington state approaching 7 million and the majority of those in the Puget Sound basin, you would think they could have found talent that grew up with these names.
One of the best books I've heard on audible! It's a wonderful true story!
He has a great voice for historical story telling.
Excellent Characters, wonderful historical insight.
The time when the main character was abandoned by his father in favor of his new wife.
The book had been recommended to me by several good friends; however, I was not interested in a book about "rowing". The book was so much more. The characters and the historical insight made the book one of my best "reads" this year. I was sad to reach the final chapter.
Yes, there is so much history and knowledge in this book that I will need to read to catch things I did not catch the first time.
This author is a great story teller! I was not expecting a book that covered more than just preparing for the Olympics.
The sound of his voice and phrasing of words. I could listen to him all day.
Each race was inspiring and I love how Joe never let his rotten life bring him down.
Such a great book! Not only is the author a great story teller but I simply loved how the book covered EVERYTHING.... it told the story of some of the boys from birth, covered world history, political history, and explained each race in such detail it is as if we are listening to it on the radio ourselves! I watched the Olympic race on YouTube and I had no idea of the drama going on in the boat. I really can't express how encompassing this book is and how great each story line told is. Please read it, it is worth all the hard work put into it!!!!
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