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
The narrator pronounced a couple words incorrectly (chiffon was one) which was distracting. I also wish each character had a distinct voice, instead of the narrator using his own voice for all the characters, both male and female. The story was wonderful. Warmed my heart and made me proud to be an American from the Great NW.
One of the best stories you've never heard of. Each step, each race, gets more and more intense. And the narration was wonderful! Puts you right in the crowd and in the boat.
Took a while to get moving, but after about a hour or two I couldn't stop listening. Also wasn't in love with Ed Herman at first, but later found his voice to be a perfect match for the story.
This is memorable storytelling of personal sacrifice, persistence, humility and team building in the pursuit of greater objective. Former rowers will easily identify with the story and so will others who have the experience of working on a close team on any endeavor.
the narrator was great. very well written. a little long in the detail but worth it. I liked how the author mixed the storyline with the politics at the time. Very nostalgic and patriotic.
I highly recommend this captivating book. I could not put it down from the moment it began. The true story of the members of the Olympic crew team and their lives leading up to the monumental race comes alive, thanks to the excellent, seamless narration. The historical context provides a real window into what life was like during the depression, and by the time the book ended, I felt like I really knew the main characters and understood what they had gone through on their quest to win gold.
Absolutely superb. Didn't realize the status of rowing, so this was educational. However, the human side is a story for the ages - a time unknown on a personal level in the 21st century but admired by history. A time when everything was earned and little was given. A history that should be cherished and taken to heart again - if you want it, earn it.
The story is phenomenal. As a native Seattleite I found it too bad that Mr. Herrmann and the producers couldn't figure out the proper pronunciation of the areas around Seattle.
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