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The Junction Boys: How 10 Days in Hell with Bear Bryant Forged a Champion Team

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  1,323 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
The legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant is recognized nationwide as one of the greatest coaches ever. So why did he always cite his 1-9 A&M team of 1954 as his favorite? This is the story of a remarkable team--and the beginning of the legend.

The Junction Boys tells the story of Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's legendary training camp in the small town of Junction, Texas. In a move
Paperback, 290 pages
Published September 9th 2000 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published September 10th 1999)
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John Hirschi
Dec 06, 2013 John Hirschi rated it it was ok
Not sure why this book gets so much praise. The writing sometimes sounds like the script to a NFL films feature. Other times it's ok, but never really grippping. As for the subject matter - Paul Bryant was an idiot. He was young, and times were different back then, but his coaching style is apalling. One of his boys almost dies of heat stroke, but he continues to deny water during practice? This book made me ill at times. His players were tough, but they were tough before he started coaching the ...more
Oct 17, 2010 Wes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
It’s captivating to hear the events that these young men endured at the command of Coach Bryant.

From a football player’s perspective this book reiterated the mental strength that’s necessary on the field to force thoughts or feelings of pain, discomfort, and other weakness and make them secondary to completing your duty each down between whistles. (Maybe not to the extent that these young men did, but to some some extent none the less)

From a Marine’s perspective this book helped me realize that
Jay Jessmer
Oct 28, 2011 Jay Jessmer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Always appreciated Coach Bryant for being a winner, but honestly had never dug much into his TRUE history. After this book, I have even more appreciation for who and what he was and did for the sport. It doesn't take very long reading to actually FEEL that you are part of this team. You begin to bond with both players and coaches, and at times find yourself bruised, batterred and breathing heavily right along with them. This book is a MUST READ of any fans of the sports genre. So many of the na ...more
Aug 04, 2015 Gregg rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 19, 2013 Mark rated it really liked it
Jim Dent does a bang up job, again. Interesting that although the Junction trip is often lauded as some sort of bygone testament to toughness and a "better day" in sports even though everyone pretty much thought it was a bad idea, even Bear Bryant, and most considered it barbaric at the time. We weren't tough in previous years, just dumber.
Nov 12, 2014 Toni rated it liked it
One of the grossest and most graphic books I have ever read. The first half is truly stomach turning. I'm glad I finished it though, it gets better.
Dec 07, 2010 Jeff rated it really liked it
They would have put him in prison if he tried that with today's kids.
Nov 10, 2016 Hanna rated it liked it
Most sports books are boring, hard to understand, and are impossible to finish. The Junction Boys by Jim Dent is an exception. This book was easy to understand and had interesting topics besides football. The hidden story behind every man is shown and how hard work is painful, but pays off and also some things must get worse to become great. Even though this book is only 289 pages it is a long read and has lots of stats, which made it hard to want to read, but besides that The Junction Boys is a ...more
Liégeois Fabrice
Dec 04, 2016 Liégeois Fabrice rated it it was amazing
Was in a desperate need of something to read like back then... Took back this awesome story... Nothing else to say... That's a book which thrills your for eternity...
Cory Salitrik
Nov 01, 2012 Cory Salitrik rated it it was amazing
I read the junction boys how 10 days in hell with Bear Bryant forged a champion team at Texas A&M. It was the best book i have read relating to sports. It was like i was actually on the field with these boys with the amount of detail that was in the book. I have never read another book like this one, there was pictures of some of the key players they had. I thought that was really cool cause after hearing about these boys i got to see pictures of them. All of the boys looked almost just lik ...more
Gary Braham
Mar 23, 2015 Gary Braham rated it really liked it
I remember watching the ESPN movie based on this book years ago, and wanted to read the original material. The writing style was very good, and the story was quite interesting. Early on it too some time to navigate my way around all the players and people being introduced. While the movie focused almost exclusively on the days spent at camp, and the horrors endured, this book spends more time on the months leading up to Junction. Then about half the book is dedicated to the camp itself. It's a b ...more
Aug 29, 2012 Skipr rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
If you like college football, and if you're from the South, and you're old enough to have been following the sport when Bear Bryant reigned as The Man at Alabama, then, like me, you'll enjoy this book. But, also anyone who is interested in the deep changes in American culture over the last 50 years, especially the changes in the way boys are raised, and the way that "tough" American has been replaced with a "kinder, gentler" America will find this book fascinating.

Bryant epitomized the virtues o
Jim Thomas
Jun 28, 2013 Jim Thomas rated it it was amazing
When I was just a kid,I was once one of the biggest Aggie football fans. It was during the time that this book describes. How Bear Bryant took some raggedy good ol' boys and made them into a contender for a national championship. The training they endured during that hot summer after Bryant arrived would never be allowed today. It was so hard on them, some suffered permanent damage. He wanted to see who could survive. Nothing could physically beat them down or they'd be gone, off the team. Some ...more
Nov 23, 2013 Mark rated it it was amazing
Great book. Jim Dent's "The Junction Boys" catches the essence of Bear Bryant at Texas A&M before he got to Alabama and what made him great -- told with honesty about Bryant's harshness and brutality and how hard he drove his players. The story tells about Bryant taking three buses of A&M football players to a place called Junction Texas where a prolonged rain drought was occurring (for pre-season camp) and coming back with only one bus because the majority of the players had quit. There ...more
Caleb D'aniello
Mar 13, 2014 Caleb D'aniello rated it really liked it
The Junction Boys is a non-fiction book about Paul Bear Bryant and his transformation of the Texas A&M football program. Bryant took about a hundred and fifty or so players, most of which were hardly players at all, and took them all on a ten day trip to a place called junction where the Texas A&M football program would be forged. Most of the players on Texas A&M's team were only on the team because of the ties there fathers had to the school and very few had a real passion for the g ...more
Sep 25, 2015 Cody rated it really liked it
The book is called “The Junction Boys”. Jim Dent wrote this book which is about a football coach.
This book is about a coach for the Texas A&M Aggies, who made a no name team into a championship continding team. The coaches name was Paul “Bear” Bryant who coached the aggies in the 1950s. It tells how coach Bryant brought the to a camp in West Texas near El Paso. They had practices till dusk to dawn. The reason i read this book is because Paul Bryant is the best coach of all time. I knew a lot
Aug 30, 2013 Dave rated it really liked it
Another book I had read in years past, that I had forgot to record. The book is a classic book about a sports icon before he became an icon. The book is set in 1954, Bear Bryant, had just taken the job as head coach of Texas AM coming over from The University of Kentucky. He found the AM Program in disarray, and set out to find who would be able to put pay the price of discipline. He put the players through a hell physical exertion and demanded incredible things of the players. Each day fewer an ...more
Steve Melton
Oct 10, 2011 Steve Melton rated it it was amazing
I can't say how much I loved this book. At least enough to tell you to stay the hell away from the ESPN tv movie of it. At least until you've read this. Most stories and depictions of the Junction Camp stress the horribleness of the conditions and the sruelty of Bear Bryant. While this one did not pull any punches in that regard, it also showed the human side of the great Bryant, and what this 10 day camp did for his football team.

While this could never happen today, I almost wish I could have b
Joshua Voss
Mar 17, 2016 Joshua Voss rated it it was amazing
"Junction Boys" was an accurate representation of how Bear Bryant drove his players to be the strongest and toughest men on the football field every time out. I liked it because it showed all sides of Bryant's personality, and I learned new things about him. Bryant turned a bottom of the barrel losing team into champions in a matter of three seasons. His camp at Junction weeded out the losers from the winners, and the survivors served as the base and leadership core of his team for the years to ...more
Aug 29, 2013 Glenn rated it really liked it
Dent's book is not for everyone: it details the days of 1950's old-fashioned football. Days that involved a lot of cracked bones, cussing, whisky, girls, and hard knocks. New head coach, Bear Bryant, was especially hard on the Texas A&M boys that had not seen a championship season in many years. Their first summer camp was spent in the Texas heat at a small town named Junction, a dirty, seven-year drought forsaken spot on the map. Of the 110 boys that started the training, only 42 finished t ...more
Brian E. Spivey
Sep 14, 2015 Brian E. Spivey rated it it was amazing
I've wanted to read this book ever since I saw the movie and I finally got my hands on a copy. I was not disappointed. Paul "Bear" Bryant, newly hired head coach at Texas A&M took 111 boys to Junction, Texas during the biggest drought that area had ever scene. This was in 1954 and 10 days later 35 boys returned to College Station; the rest had quit.

A colleague of mine called the camp brutal and abusive and I suppose it was, but it also molded those 35 young men into the nucleus of the team t
Jun 06, 2011 Greg rated it really liked it
Very good story! Jim Dent covers Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's four years spent as Texas A&M's football coach; particularly his first fall practice in Junction, Texas where he weeded out the wheat from the chaff. Bryant comes across as harsh at times as even he admitted later on, but the boys on his team, those who survived Junction, looked at him as the transformative figure in their life. Bryant always said that The Junction Boys, who made up his ONLY loosing season in football, was his favor ...more
Larry LaFreniere
Jul 29, 2012 Larry LaFreniere rated it really liked it

I didn't go to A&M nor did I play football. I did go to the Air Force Academy in the late 1970s. The lessons of The Junction Boys remind me of basic cadet training and the Doolie year. Determination and perseverance to overcome physical and emotional pressures help build uncommon bonds of friendship and character. I enjoyed Dent's writing style, especially the frequent similes: "Bryant stared impatiently at the floor. In a monotone as flat as Lubbock, he said, 'We didn't come out here to eat
Fredrick Danysh
Mar 26, 2012 Fredrick Danysh rated it liked it
Shelves: history, texas
His first year as head football coach at Texas A7M, Paul "Bear" Bryant took his team to pre-season training in Junction, Texas, during the middle of a severe drought. As a harsh taskmaster under deplorable conditions, he ran off two thirds of the team. The book tells the story of that football camp and continues with brief descriptions of several games. In his struggle for excellence he broke maany young men and almost killed one. For those that worship fooltball, this work presents the dark sid ...more
Mar 28, 2011 Cynthiaj rated it liked it
Recommends it for: my brother, the Aggie
Recommended to Cynthiaj by: co-worker Best
Would really like another half star for this one. I don't read many non-fiction books for entertainment, but this was one with a great story. Anyone of my generation who hadn't heard of Bear Bryant must have been living in a bubble in a garage somewhere. But not everyone knows that he started at Kentucky then did 3 years at Texas A&M. Great story about the beginning of his tenure there and the effects that had on the players and on Bryant himself. And I did not realize that Don Meredith migh ...more
Sep 30, 2010 Carol rated it really liked it
I bought this book at my college's annual book sale and liked
it more than I thought I would. It is the story of Bear Bryant accepting the Head Football Coach position at Texas A & M. They had had a losing team and he takes them to a place called Junction, TX for camp. Two busloads of football players went to Junction and one partially filled bus came back. The story of what happened in those 10 days is interesting. Bryant seems to have been beloved even by those
who could not make his team.
Eric Mayes
Sep 05, 2016 Eric Mayes rated it it was amazing
Great history of Paul "Bear" Bryant's favorite football team.
Carmon   Simon
Apr 14, 2012 Carmon Simon rated it it was amazing
Amazing book!! OF course I already respect and love the Bear!! ROLL TIDE!!! This book pretty much takes you through a grueling football camp with Texas A & M while they were under the direction of head coach Paul Bear Bryant (make the sign of the cross) :)

It is amazing to think that human beings went through all of that torture for football, and became a Champion team!!! It was a very good read. I recommend it to any football fan :)
Feb 01, 2013 Herschel rated it really liked it
I think this was an epic piece of sports literature written about the toughest sonofabitches West of Junction Texas! Not a a Texas A&M fan however what those men did during Bear Byrant's regin as Head coach was beyond amazing. I gathered alot of inspiration to futher my own educational goals in pursuit of my own happiness by just reading about a team of survivors!
Vernon Jr.
Jan 24, 2016 Vernon Jr. rated it really liked it
I saw the movie on ESPN and wanted to learn more. This is a quite an impressive story. Seeing the stories not only about Junction but the journey of those who survived to get to a SWC championship was quite compelling.
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