Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Boys In the Boat


I never imagined I would ever want to read a book about rowing or crew.  When a library patron recommended it and later that same day another patron recommended it (She had listened to it...and said the narrator was magnificent),  I knew I had to read this book.  I opted to listen to it and I am so glad I did.


Daniel James Brown writes a nonfiction story that is entrancing. The narrator, Edward Hermann, imbues the story with a smooth narrative that only adds to the stories exquisiteness. 


It is a multi level biography covering not just the story of Joe Rance, but at his request it is the story of the boat.  Initially I wondered what on earth that meant. Was Joe asking Daniel Brown to tell the story of how the boat was made or perhaps the story of the people who crewed the boat?  As I listened I learned it was so much more.


The story includes the stories of the rowers, the shell, their coach and their stories which brought them all together.  Brown also includes the history of the 1920's and 1930's including Hitler's rise to power. The sum of the parts of this novel is so much more than any one part separately. This book is simply beautiful and will hold your interest from cover to cover or CD to CD.


If you want a historic perspective about the boat that won the 1936 Gold medal for Crewing and are interested in the history of that time period, but hate reading history books, I beg you to give this book a try.  It is a history book that reads like a novel. 



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