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The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics | [Daniel James Brown]

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (937 )
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  •  
    Jane Shiner, TX, United States 10-18-13
    Jane Shiner, TX, United States 10-18-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Surprisingly Good"

    I never thought I would be interested in a boat race. But I thought the fact that it was in that horrendous Nazi Olympics might be riveting. It was, but not in the way I thought. As the title suggests, it was the boys in the boat that were mesmerizing.

    I was a bit disappointed that there was not much on the German side of the story.
    Still, I came away with a huge amount of respect for the boys in "our" boat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elaine Portola Valley, Ca, United States 10-16-13
    Elaine Portola Valley, Ca, United States 10-16-13 Member Since 2011

    I did not learn to read until I was in my twenties. Have not stopped since. The two most important things to learn are reading & chess.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unbelievable but True"

    This book tells a true story about an unlikely group that came from behind with all odds against them only to pull off one of the greatest feats in the history of the US Olympics.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marisa Seattle, WA, United States 10-10-13
    Marisa Seattle, WA, United States 10-10-13 Member Since 2004
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    8
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    "NW natives will be annoyed by pronunciation"
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator mispronounces so many local place names--Alki, Skagit, Suzzallo, Ephrata, Chehalis, even Oregon! This Northwest native found it grating, not to mention sloppy for a book so likely to be read by UW alumni and WA natives alike. If you can get past it, it's a good read otherwise.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad OGDEN, UTAH, United States 10-03-13
    Brad OGDEN, UTAH, United States 10-03-13 Member Since 2013
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    6
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    "One of the best reads ever!!!"
    If you could sum up The Boys in the Boat in three words, what would they be?

    the human spirit.


    What did you like best about this story?

    the relationships between the Boys in the Boat.


    Which character – as performed by Edward Herrmann – was your favorite?

    all were outstanding. overcoming adversity to become the best they could be.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    They started as Boys in the Boat and became Men representing their Country and the goodness of the human spirit.


    Any additional comments?

    one of the top books I have ever read, and I read tons !!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Hutchinson, KS, United States 10-01-13
    Kathleen Hutchinson, KS, United States 10-01-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Incredible book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would highly recommend this book to anyone. The rich details and flow of the texts is incredible.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ProSportDoc New York, NY 09-29-13
    ProSportDoc New York, NY 09-29-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Great Book!"
    What did you love best about The Boys in the Boat?

    One of the best books I have ever read (heard). It captures the essence of competing at the highest level in a beautiful and extraordinarily well written style. I highly recommend it!


    What does Edward Herrmann bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He helps bring the characters to life. He also does a wonderful job of conveying the powerful emotions that run throughout the book.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The final race.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    WilliamMinyard Antioch, CA, United States 09-23-13
    WilliamMinyard Antioch, CA, United States 09-23-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Mispronunciations aside...very enjoyable"
    Any additional comments?

    Mr. Herrmann's voice lends a level credibility to everything he reads. His tone is perfect and it seems like he has a real understanding of what the author really meant. The only annoying thing was his mispronunciations of the various local points mentioned in the book. If you have never been to Seattle you probably won't notice them. The story is so compelling that I found myself wishing that my children would have the fortune of actually experiencing something as powerful as those young men did. I do not want to spoil the book but there was a part of the "big race" that seemed to be a bit unbelievable simply due to the fact that the rest of the story had the real sense of authenticity. 98% of the events came across to me as something that only hard work and dedication could make happen. A real sense of teamwork. 2% seemed a bit contrived. I will say that I enjoyed the reading and I listened to the story every opportunity I had.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. V Boston, MA 09-22-13
    Mr. V Boston, MA 09-22-13 Member Since 2012

    long run

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    "Fastinating look at this true underdog story"
    Where does The Boys in the Boat rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I don't want to rank the audiobooks that I've read as I enjoy so many of them. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Boys in the Boat?

    I loved how the author integrated historical events that were going on at the same time as the events that the crew were encountering. It helped paint a very colorful picture of this interesting period in world history.


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    Mr. Hermann has a very easy to listen to voice. I thoroughly enjoyed his performance.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It was a bit too long for that.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this audio book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeannie Marcus Newton, MA USA 09-22-13
    Jeannie Marcus Newton, MA USA 09-22-13 Member Since 2002
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    "Couldn't put it down"
    If you could sum up The Boys in the Boat in three words, what would they be?

    Compelling read for all. I'm a rower and was immediately drawn to the book. But the history will be of interest to anyone.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Boys in the Boat?

    The start of the final race for the gold in the 1936 Olympics. The Germans did everything they could to handicap the American boat including announcing the start so the Americans couldn't hear it. They didn't know the race started until they saw the other boats moving. They won. That's not giving away the ending. The gold for the men's 8 in the olympics of 1936 is a matter of history. How they got there is of great interest to everyone, even non-rowers.


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    Kept the interest and suspense. This was a real performance.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Winning olympic gold against all odds.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't miss this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jared United States 09-19-13
    Jared United States 09-19-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Terrific Book - Great Reading"
    What made the experience of listening to The Boys in the Boat the most enjoyable?

    Great storytelling and a story worth telling. Hermann does a great job.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Boys in the Boat?


    Which scene was your favorite?


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


    Any additional comments?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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