Friday, March 10, 2017
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Rating: G - no language or sex.
It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest.
My Thoughts: I have to be honest, I think I would have enjoyed this a lot more if I actually liked rowing as a sport. That being said, this book is written in a way that by the end of it, you totally DO care about rowing! Not that I would probably watch it on purpose but I definitely cared about these boys from Washington and how things were going for them. I loved that this book mainly focuses on Joe Rantz, and the difficulties he had to go through growing up, and how that translated into his rowing success. I think it's amazing to read books like these because Americans today mostly don't have that stamina. They aren't willing to work so hard. There was a lot of background history in the book too on the Depression and what was going on in Germany at the time. I find history to be very interesting, so I found this book fascinating because of the history aspect, and I was never bored. It's a true underdog story too, so that's always fun. By the time the boys got to their gold medal race, even though as a reader you already know the outcome, you find yourself wondering how in the world they manage to pull this off? It seems highly unlikely given the circumstances they boys find themselves in by race time. Give this one a read. It's educational, interesting, and inspiring.