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
Personal stories of characters.
I lived in Washington many years ago, and found mispronunciation of regional names frustrating.
This book is one of the best I have encountered in years. If I listened whilst driving, I did not want to get out when I reached my destination! The narrator's voice is comforting and soothing. The story itself was emotive - sad, funny, thrilling. The book highlights how unbreakable the human spirit can be when one wants something badly enough.
This book is in the top 5 of my favorties
Loved the story of the boys and their varied back grounds
I have listened to Unbroken with this narrator. His voice and diction added the flavor of the true story to both books
The scene of the boys as they reach the finish line for the gold.
I was sadden to learn of the death of Edward Hermann. The world has lost a talented man with a voice made to order for voice over and narration.
This would have made a.great short story but it went on forever. I found it very repetitive. as if the author had to keep the words coming to make a full length book. The story itself was of a great athletic achievement and I don't mean to take away anything from that.
This is my 2nd audio book and I loved it. It's a well written account of an incredible story, and Edward Hermann's crisp and subtle reading make all the emotions more poignant - the despair of Joe's childhood, the anxiety of the boys trying to make the boat, the tension of the races, and the sad irony of what is to come from the Germans. Dan Brown and his editors made smart choices in presenting this story, with Brown's descriptions making me feel like I was on the shores of Lake Washington, the Hudson, and in Berlin. I didn't know much about rowing before I read this, but I found myself regretting that my ha and college didn't have a team.
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