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The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
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Archive: Other Books > The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown- 4 Stars

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message 1: by Joi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3809 comments Bonus for the audiobook! Read by none other than Edward Herrmann (who I know as Rory's Grandfather from Gilmore Girls). He made the suspense of all the boat races super exciting, and was a fabulous narrator. RIP.

This reminds me of other non-fiction books I consider to be "made for non-readers", or non non-fiction readers. Underdog story, motivational, inspiration, add a dash of Olympics and American pride, courage, relateable backstories, throw in a hit of historical context with WWII and Nazi Germany, add the personal story of one of the oarsmen, and you have all the ingredients for a successful, likable, non-fiction book.

I think I'm the last person to read this in the world- so everyone knows its two congruent stories. One of Joe Rantz- the Washington farm boy whose family shunned him. And the other of the UW Huskie Crew team making it to the Berlin Olympics. The book was well researched. The information was given in interesting and timely manners. Some of the "boat business" was a little dry to me. I never fully understood the placements in the boats- so I didn't really care who was in the 6 position versus the 4 position, or why they switched. I'm not "into" rowing- and I agree with the stereotypes in the book- I consider crew to be more of an "East Coast" thing. But I definitely learned a lot about crew, boats, and enjoyed the ride of this book. Joe's story is pretty amazing, and the story about the team making and winning to Olympics is one of the OG Underdog stories of America.

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5801 comments I was surprised by how much I liked this one. Like you, I had no prior interest in crew and considered it a sport for the elite East-coast Ivy Leaguers. But I really got into this book.

When a local university alumni group chose this book for discussion, I went to the meeting. They had the crew coach and one of the oarsmen present and I really enjoyed their input. I still haven't made it down to the river to watch them, but I plan to do it one of these mornings.

(I also listened to the audio ... totally agree re Hermmann's narration. He also narrated Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand.)

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