Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel Brown

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
by Daniel Brown [797.123 Bro]

Who knew we could care about crewing? This story is rich in detail yet not overwhelming. We follow one particular rower, Joe Rantz, as well as his teammates at the U of Washington, at a time when rowing was a sport of national headlines. The extreme poverty of the 1930's is dearly felt and very evident for these boys as they struggle to remain in school, as well as to compete against the wealthier schools in the East. Each chapter alternates between Joe's tough childhood as he grows up, and their college years while we follow the boys over four years as they mature as rowers and emerge as a team. The excruciating mechanics required of the human body to properly row in tandem is amazing. The author does a fabulous job of getting the reader caught up in each race. Even though we know by the second paragraph of the book that the boys won the gold by a narrow margin, the qualifying races, the Olympic heats, and the final race for the gold are very exciting. A long and satisfying epilogue after the Olympics follows the boys through their careers, lives, reunions, and eventual deaths. An excellent read and highly recommended. -- recommended by Charlotte K. - Bennett Martin Public Library [ See Charlotte's Reviewer Profile ]

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand.]

[Also available in book-on-cd format.]

[ official Boys in the Boat and Daniel J. Brown web site ]

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