Customer Reviews for

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

Average Rating 4.5
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(159)

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(25)

2 Star

(7)

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(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

If I told you one of the most propulsive reads you will experi



If I told you one of the most propulsive reads you will experience this year is the non-fiction story of eight rowers and one coxswain training to attend the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, you may not believe me. But you’d need to back up your opinion by reading this book f...


If I told you one of the most propulsive reads you will experience this year is the non-fiction story of eight rowers and one coxswain training to attend the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, you may not believe me. But you’d need to back up your opinion by reading this book first, and you will thank me for it. Daniel James Brown has done something extraordinary here. We may already know the outcome of that Olympic race, but the pacing is exceptional. Brown juxtaposes descriptions of crew training in Seattle with national races against the IV League in Poughkeepsie; we see developments in a militarizing Germany paired with college competitions in depression-era United States; individual portraits of the “boys” (now dead) are placed alongside cameos of their coaches; he shares details of the early lives of a single oarsman, Joe Rantz, with details of his wife's parallel experiences.

The 1936 Olympics in Berlin was the stuff of legend, when Jesse Owens swept four gold medals in field and track, but a Washington crew team won that summer also, against great odds. How that victory took place and how a group of great athletes became great competitors is something Daniel James Brown spent five years trying to articulate. Quotes from George Pocock, crafter of cedar shells, head each chapter, sharing his experience watching individual oarsmen become a team.

posted by TheReadingWriter on July 21, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Everyone in my book group--except me--loved this book. I got bo

Everyone in my book group--except me--loved this book. I got bogged down in what seemed to me to be filler details. In style, it reminded me of Devil in the White City, though I thought the former was better written. I found some of the side stories distracting.

posted by PaqiPR on September 17, 2014

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  • Posted February 13, 2015

    Difficult to keep reading

    My husband is struggling through this book now. He says it's pretty dull, although he enjoys all the historical references.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2014

    This book felt like a waste of time

    I liked Paris Wife and Loving Frank, Sophie's World, so appreciate this genre, but this book was slow, uninteresting and I feel the history or science didn't come alive at all. It had no useful theme to extract. I would not recommend this book.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2013

    Excellent!

    A wonderful read from beginning to end. The author brings all of the team to life. I felt I knew the crew by the end.

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2014

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    Posted July 25, 2013

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    Posted November 30, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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