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The Boys in the Boat

Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Brown, Daniel (Book Club Kit - 2013 )
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
The Boys in the Boat

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Item Details

Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washingtons 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.
Authors: Brown, Daniel, 1951-
Title: The boys in the boat
nine Americans and their epic quest for gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Publisher: New York :, Viking,, [2013]
Characteristics: 10 books (404 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.) and 1 reading guide in a plastic tote
Notes: Kit contains 10 copies of the title
Kit checks out for 6 weeks and cannot be renewed
Replacement for kit is $150.00
Summary: Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washingtons 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.
Awards & Distinctions: WCLS Books in a Box
Booklist Editor's Choice 2013
Amazon Best Books 2013
Bookmarks Best Books 2013
ISBN: 9780670025817
Branch Call Number: 797.123 BROWN
Statement of Responsibility: Daniel James Brown
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references and index
Subject Headings: University of Washington Rowing History Olympic Games (11th : 1936 : Berlin, Germany) Rowing United States History Rowers United States Biography
Topical Term: Rowing
WCLS Book Club Kit
LCCN: 2013001560
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Aug 12, 2014
  • joe_56 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

A nice little story about the crew and their training and deep dedication to each other and the quest for the Gold at the 1936 Olympics. Not much is known about the sport and although the narrative gets a little bogged down in the early months of training (Characterization is essential in understranding whom these boys were but the reader might get a little bored with the repetitiveness of the training procedures and descriptions of the early races. The last few pages describing the Gold Medal race itself is well told and exciting. It would make a good independent movie that would find it's place with the likes of CHARIOTS of FIRE.

Jul 15, 2014
  • odorisan rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Overall, an illuminating narrative.

However, I agree with comments from other readers referring to the length: the book could have been tightened up by eliminating the recounting of repetitive minute details of races leading up to the Olympic finals. Also, at times, the individual characters life stories, and the descriptions of the propagandistic pageantry of the Berlin Olympics seemed to be in competition with each other for the limelight of the book.

Unexpected non-fiction content includes the history of rowing in North America; the craftsmanship of skull building; and the
Grand Coulee Dam construction in Washington.

Jun 19, 2014
  • Edgarmole rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I was very impressed by all the research the author did in order to write the book. I'm really glad he did, as it is an inspiring story. The prose is pedestrian or stereotyped in a lot of places, but the inherent drama and suspense carries the story forward. Interesting too to read about an incident that happened locally.

Jun 13, 2014
  • elag24 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A lovely story about how the underdog overcomes adversity to be on top. This is perfect material for a movie...

May 24, 2014
  • dstober rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Absolutely loved this book. Fantastic read....fascinating story.....beautifully written. While I am familiar with the 1936 Olympics....this is a story from those games that I had never heard before. Just a great and highly motivating read.

Thoroughly recommended story. A classic tale of the underdogs overcoming adversity to become world champions. Nine boys from the backwoods of Washington state overcome domestic poverty, the Great Depression, prejudice and gruelling training conditions to reach the 1936 Berlin Olympics.This is all about the boat, and that means nine young men, not just their hand-crafted 62-foot rowing shell.
The research is extensive, perhaps too much so at times, and the writing can become ponderous at times, but the story will draw you in even if you know nothing about any of the above. This is about character.

May 09, 2014
  • mytwin rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

If you enjoy competition,watching Olympics,you will love this detailed epic rowing story.The details of the rowers lives are fascinating.The historic background in USA and Germany leading to the Olympics of 1936 add so much to the story.

Apr 12, 2014
  • MargoBarron rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Wow! One of the best books I have ever read. I knew nothing about the sport of rowing before reading this book and have definitely gained an appreciation for what the sport entails. In addition, all the history and politics of the 1930s included in this book makes it an amazing and interesting read. Most of all it was just heartwarming to learn about the tenacity and character of all those associated with the 1936 Husky Clipper. The Epilogue was wonderful in summing up the boys' lives after the Olympics. I would recommend this book to everyone--it is a wonderful story and so well written.

Apr 07, 2014
  • Markus_10 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Not a rower? Not a sports fan? Don't worry. The Boys in the Boat transcends the sports literature genre. There will certainly be an aspect of this book which will pull you in. There are not enough superlatives to describe how I feel about The Boys in the Boat. Perhaps the least important part of this book is the race described in its subtitle. This book is a personal history of the men who formed the crew, particularly the heartbreaking story of the childhood and adolescence of Joe Rantz. However, Brown gives insights into the lives of Joe's family and fiancee, the other members of his crew, the coaches, some of the competing rowers, the German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels and his wife Magda. It is a story of living through the Great Depression in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany and its initial reluctance to hosting the 1936 Olympic Games. It is an ode to the poetry and grace of rowing and of people working toward a common, pure goal: the pursuit of that elusive moment when everything works in perfect synchronization and one can almost touch the divine. That Mr. Brown is able to do this in 370 pages without once becoming long-winded or preachy is a rarely accomplished feat. The author seems to have an instinctive grasp of exactly how much detail is enough. The prose is densely packed yet accessible. It dots every i and crosses every t. At times in its poetry and feeling it almost touches the same sense of the divine the rowers seek. It is that rarest of thing in recent American writing, quietly proud of its characters without indulging in jingoistic rah-rah U-S-A! U-S-A! cheerleading. The tone is as modest and unassuming as its protagonists. I don't often cry (not that there's anything wrong with crying, far from it) but I found myself tearing up at the end of this book. The last few pages are genuinely moving in their power, perception, beauty and sensitivity. Do yourself a huge favour and pick up this absolutely riveting read.

Loved. Great feel for Seattle at time of depression.

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Nov 26, 2013
  • stephaniedchase rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Book Trailer for "The Boys in the Boat"

Viking Books' trailer for "The Boys in the Boat."

Find it at WCLS


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