The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown Book Summary

BOOK SCORE
4.5
TOTAL RATINGS
4,114
BOOK PRICE
$13.99

Now a Major Motion Picture Directed by George Clooney

The #1 New York Times–bestselling story about the American Olympic rowing triumph in Nazi Germany—from the author of Facing the Mountain.

For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.

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.

The Boys in the Boat Book Details

Book Name The Boys in the Boat
Genre Sports & Outdoors
Author Daniel James Brown
Published 04 June 2013, Tuesday
Price $13.99
E-Book Size 49.17 MB

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown Book Reviews

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Tolaf vanvliet

Wonderful. As a now 79 year old former oarsman who rowed in Pocock shells, it brought back great memories but also created a new understanding of the things that made crew something special for me.

Rare and tear

Excellent. Excellent story! Well told. I felt like I was there.

Ejvddcvd

Boys in the boat.. The Best book I have read in a long long time. Would love to see it made into a movie. ejvddcvd

Lita, new fan

Full of Spirit. History of Americans at their best: united, strong, and endearing. God bless the oarsmen, the coaches, and the “Husky Clipper” builder.

Schonn

Wonderful piece of art!. Words cannot simply convey how much I enjoyed reading this book. It was recommended to me by a local sports station radio host Craig Miller. His passion for the book and the sports tie in compelled me to purchase and read this wonderful piece of art. There were times I found myself cheering the Washington boys on as if I were right there with them and at other times I found myself weeping because of the hardships. This is a wonderful piece of art and if you are looking for a story of perseverance, brotherhood, teamwork and love of family then look no more. Well done Daniel!

Shrrwlcx

Best book ever!. I loved reading this book about the true life story of Joe Rantz and his grit to survive and finally become an Olympian with his crew in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Jon_wayne22

Top 5 Favorites. I loved this book!

Cut wood

Great book. Very enjoyable. Very interesting to visit that time period—lots of history. And what a fascinating story.

Mpfannes

Great book. Little slow to start but great book about a time when people needed hope

RetiredAdmiral

Boys In the Boat. An excellent account of men (aka boys) who teamed together to form an unbeatable force of human spirit and unselfish determination. This at a time of great hardship and challenges for most American families and individuals, The Depression. The book made me appreciate even more the tenacity and courage that was part of America’s DNA in the lead up to WW II. Gary Jones

Julianattaway

The Boys in the Boat. Amazing.

BPR136

Inspiring Story. An inspiring story of tenacity and human spirit to rise above challenges to achieve greatness.

Pjh6564

Boys in the boat. Great. Just great

Kmb4uky

Enthralling from start to finish. I never expected to be enthralled about rowing, but this story captured my imagination immediately and held me captive through the last paragraph. I’m so glad I know about these men and what they achieved at such a difficult time in history.

Beacheventer

Enticing, enthralling and emotive. I cannot praise this book and Edward Herrmann's reading of it enough. This tale of rowing goes so far beyond the sport to truly put the reader into the 1930s and to understand not only the time in America but to set the stage in Germany as well. I knew next to nothing about rowing prior to this book and now feel entranced by the sport. In short, this book is inspiring, educating, motivating, humbling and moving. Listen to/read it now as you won't regret it

Ready for next project

Never give up. I almost made a terrible decision after a few pages: stop reading about rowing. I'm not sure why I returned to this book after more than two months, but I'm so glad I did. This time I could not stop, reading into the early morning hours and ignoring other duties just so I could squeeze in some afternoon reading time. This book is well-written and informative, but most of all, the story is one of those powerful revelations of the human will that rises when all forces are trying to hold it down. After the tears I shed for crushed families and the cheers I raised for the Olympic rowers, I'm so glad I kept reading. I

Beauzzeau

Wonderful Touching True Story- A Must Read. As a retired history teacher, I believe this book should be required reading. It is well written and researched, but most of all it tells the stories and struggles of the eight young men who won the eight man crew race at the 1936 Olympics.

Pjmorum

An Amazing story. I found this to be one of those books you just can’t put down! The story manages to immerse the reader into the lives and experiences of these incredible men.

Celestial0407

Amazing!!. This is truly an incredibly written book. An inspiring story of Joe and other young men coming together to become one and represent themselves, their university, and their country. Thank you for such a wonderful story!

Lilly4141

Great rrad. Everybody, every HS school should read this book .....an absolutely gorgeous story

JNEP11

An Amazing Story Beautifully Written. One of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read.

Jenn pak

Jenn pak. I loved this book! Such a fantastic telling of a story that can mean so many things to so many people. It was a page turner and a historic story. Thank you for writing it so finely with momentous language. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to read this fine work!

Red2184

The Boys In The Boat. A great story about the human struggle for success and acceptance told in an outstanding manner.

Spartan gal

Amazingly well written!. After reading this book, I cannot adequately express how well written it was! I felt like I wanted to know each and every person in this story - well except for the German connection. Truly amazes me the challenges people have had to go through, and the success they achieve!! What a truly fascinating story. I found it extremely inspiring and am so proud of these people that were and are part of our country. Their hard work, dedication, perseverance, respect and grit was incredible! Thank you for introducing me to this grueling sport I knew nothing about. Thank you to those that wanted to share this story, and thank you for writing it so beautifully! I even found the notes fascinating to read!!!

Xfanman

The Boys In The Boat. One of the best books I’ve ever read! The writing and detail is amazing. I recently viewed the movie. It is excellent but the book is much more complicated and interesting.

ChrrissyA

Amazing!. I rarely read non-fiction, but decided to make an exception for this book and I was not disappointed. It was fascinating and well written and I could not stop reading!

Sparky 123!!!

Boys on the Boat. An amazing read , history, grit and true hero’s

Jungle charlie

Exciting and enlightening bit of history.. I became exhausted at the energy verbalized of the boat races like I had been pulling on one of the oars myself. I never thought how they could be so exciting a game a nail biting thriller. I was up at two in the morning squirming in my sheets to finish a race. Wow!

Bmmrgal

Full Awesomeness!. Very riveting! i laughed, I cried and I got mad. What an awesome story! Thank you for writing this book.

Qweaz12238

Boys in the Boat. Great book! Made you feel you were there in the 1930’s.

Sherlock's Holmes

Great Story. Fantastic, well written book

8th Hank

Boys in the Boat. One of the best books I have ever read. Would highly recommend. Well written and captivating. Lefty

😎🙃😂

Incredible. This book is amazing. Low key I really hate Thula tho.

Schwimmeren frau

Boys in the Boat Review. As I High School I always am looking for a new read in my spare time and this book was recommended to me. This book stirred my inner soul with its tail of rags to riches set in Washington. I would even go as far to say that this is my new favorite book. Happy Reading!

KathyNYC

Excellent... triumph of the spirit. Not just the history of the win, but Fascinating history of the time. Loved it

Gurugh

Boys in the Boat. If you like sports, history and what makes up greatest then this is a must read.

Nitawka

Great book. Loved this book. The personalities of all the boys was really interesting. Makes you proud to be a westerner.

Imrod

Story. What a wonderful storyteller.

Mutz mutz

Boys in the boat. Great read, highly recommend.

Prakashpreeti

Love it. Must read

Jmoras

Keeps you tuned with emotions. Simple enough, beautifully written!

ChismFink

Awesome Book. I am in no way an avid reader or a fan of rowing. In fact, I have never even seen a rowing race, but this book was still an awesome read. The story of the team reaching Olympic glory is amazing, but the book has a lot to offer beyond just the story of the rowing crew. It gives great insight into that time period and what it was like to live in the Great Depression. It also has great sub-stories on each of that athletes, which makes you feel like you know them and paints a great picture of their lives and perspectives. Overall it is an awesome book and I will be reading it again.

Wordmaven1

Excellent. I have finished this book for the second time. I just want to say thank you to James for writing it. This book encapsulates the good the bad and ugly, but in such a profound way. Those nine men and the two coaches display characteristics that are almost impossible to find in people today. Truly the greatest generation. Everyone should read this book.

MeeshNY

The Boys in the Boat. Loved it. So inspiring.

Phillipa L

The Boys in the Boat. One of the best books I have ever read. Stunning wordplay. I felt it keenly. Even my puppy was worried for me at the end, as she could sense the tension of the Olympic race and was worried for me and my tears. Just gorgeous!!

Lehrjet1

Teamwork. This book was brought to my attention by an anesthesiologist I worked with In Eureka, California. I have never been much of a boater and only went out to do freshwater fishing. I was somewhat reluctant to give this book a chance. All that changed into the first chapter. This was a page turner from the git-go! This story was about young me with courage and guts, about families from different backgrounds, about perseverance and giving all you have as part of a team to accomplish a goal that in the beginning, no one thought it could be done. This is a great book. BTW... I learned a lot about boating reading this true story about the Boys In The Boat.

SBonner

Wonderful. Thank you Randy for recommending, I love stories like this!

Sufuthal

Boys in the Boat. Fascinating and heart-warming

Bibi Cakes1

Excellent. Well written

Elder in Training

Captures the essence of Crew. As a mediocre member of a Midwestern Crew, I remember the awe in which the west coast teams were regarded. I also remember the efforts and the agonies the sport demanded. Holding a 40 plus stroke rate was an exquisite torture.

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AZ_Skier

The Boys in a Boat. Simply amazing!

Meklein

Excellent. Enjoyable, patriotic, timeless.

Millsrc

Boys in the Boat. Just finished reading this book, loved it. I knew nothing about rowing but was totally mesmerized by the story. So well written, I plan on seeing if I can find old film of the race. Next Olympics I will pay more attention to the rowing event.

I HATE this stupid app

Best book I've ever read. Lessons were learned and it helped me become a better person.

Pjkv37

The Boys in the Boat. This is absolutely a "can't put it down" book! Daniel's vivid description of Joe's heart/gut wrenching growing up years along with his personal rowing challenges while fighting off those childhood demons was both emotionally draining and exhilarating.

Brunetta4u

The Boys in the Boat. It is true that "everyone has their story", each one of us has endured some hardship that has shaped and forever altered our path. We are lucky to have such passionate writers among us who search out and reveal the great struggles and triumphs. You cannot let the number of pages deter you! I read each page with wonder, hoping each chapter would not be the last - it is a delightful, gut wrenching, significant book from cover to cover that I never once wanted to put down. Everyone should read this book!

TCPPCES

The Boys in the Boat. This book was fascinating. Not a topic I would have ordinarily chosen. It was well written and researched and I enjoyed the national and international historical context. It brought the times and the people to life.

Lawyer141

The Boys in the Boat. A tremendous book that transcends the amazing story of the University of Washington crew that won the gold medal at the 1936 "Nazi Berlin Olympics". An ordinary group of Depression desperately poor rowers- no training room, no special treatment- and their intersection with the ultimate evil of Hitlers Germany. Well written and riveting

RJFCO

A beautiful remembrance, snatched from the jaws of forgotten!. A great story of men and their love for each other, and their accomplishments, most of us can only dream of!

Nevernoter

Simply excellent. All around.. This book is captivating from start to finish, all while developing several parallel story lines. I highly recommend it.

Debala 73

The Boys in the Boat. I never knew anything about the art of rowing and I learned a lot. It was great reading about the people. I rarely read non-fiction, this was excellent. I've been telling everyone I know to read it. There's a rowing regatta here in Boston in October on the Charles River, where they come from all over the world. I think I'll take it in--thanx for your book.

Gram Browne

The Boys In The Boat. I love sports and this book kept me reading from page 1 to the very end! Well worth reading! 😊

Smarti2

Beautifully written - wonderful rowing writing!!. Excellent.

Auto Racing Fanatic

A must read for any rower. I rowed in college but haven't been in a shell in many years. This book took me back, made me feel like I was there all over again, and, most importantly, got me training again. Simply put, this is a masterful work. If you never rowed, you will have a window into a sport experienced by few. To see it is one thing, to do it another; to feel as though you are living it through a book is a rare thing indeed.

Cyber_Grunt

Great Read!!!!!. Well written book, with an emphasize on resiliency, and full filling your dreams

Daddy Longleggs

The Boys in the Boat. A wonderful story about a slice of America, an amazing story so well written about a group of young men who defy odds and capture the heart of Washington, America and the world. A must read by not only those who love sports but those who love the heart and soul of America.

Huntbroad

Boys in the Boat. Best book ever!

TLPKPY5

Amazing book!. This book had me mesmerized! :)

Jada Walker

Captivating and Inspiring. What a fabulous book. It opens life in the early 1900’s and the camaraderie of the rowers. I didn’t want it to end and I loved all the people, not characters, real people who lived this truth.

Colorfiend

Great detail and suspense even though we know the outcome. Even if you have only a minuscule interest in rowing, this book will draw you in and might make you a fan. I enjoyed every page.

Greenangler

Boys in the Boat. Love this book. I could not put it down. A true story about young men who lived hard lives and fought through many different challenges to become the worlds best oarsmen. More importantly, it demonstrates what perseverance, determination, belief in one's self and teamwork can accomplish.

Page Cooper

Amazing. Hang in there and read this book. It takes a bit to start but it is so worth reading.

Ms pix

Emotional, heart stopping inspiring true story.. Growing up on Lake Quinsigamond and watching the Eastern Sprints for years it was certain I was meant to read this book. What an inspirational story of grit, determination and strength. Nine unlikely boys entering a boat house one fall and three years later beating , against extreme odds Germany and England to win a Gold medal. Daniel Brown has written this story in such a way that , even though you know these boys go on to win a gold medal, you just have to read their stories. This book has so much heart you feel every emotion, every ache and every victory these boys feel. You will cry and you will cheer and like me you may even pump you hand in the air when they win that medal! Wonderful story, well written and if you know anyone who rows a must read.

Mia!!!!!

Simply Perfect. I have never felt compelled to write a review for a book before but I was so taken by this story I must share. I cheered, cried, and gasped in disbelief over what Joe had to endure. The real life human interest story intertwined with the sport of rowing, the history of our country, along with the west, the Depression, the bubbling up of evil in Germany and the ultimate War was simply yet brilliantly presented. My feeble description cannot do it justice. Typically, when I love a book I race through it, but with "Boys" I savored it like a favorite food and made sure I'd have something to come home to until I just had to finish it.

B Broker

Expect this to be a movie.. This is a very good book about overcoming obstacles and learning to trust. The best part is that it's a true story. It is very interesting to learn how big rowing was at the turn of the century. I enjoyed every moment. Best book I have read this year.

Highlander198

The finest sports history book ever. Daniel James Brown's story is one of courage, brotherhood and perseverance that, given it's setting in a world turned upside down by the Depression and teetering toward a global conflict, sets it apart from most sports histories. The UW boys are easy to pull for and represent the best of what America stands for. Truly sorry to get the end of this one, an incredible story from beginning to end.

Karikat10

A Delight!. I am so thankful to have stumbled across this lovely book. A wonderful story with excitement, passion, grit and heart. I fell in love with the boys in the boat and am so sad for their story to be over. Please read this book in support of hard work, determination, facing adversity and for all things American!

Emmet Aloysius

Inspiring Book. The Boys in the Boat deserves the accolades it has received. It is not just a sports story but a revealing biographical and historical story too. You learn and are inspired at the same time by this excellent book. Recommended for all non-fiction fans...EAF

Coolguy512

So good I cried when it was over. The epilogue was very sad and I was super sad and cried this was the only book I have cried over amazing read.

Tintagle

The Boys in the Boat. What a great story! This must be made into a movie as it is one of the best and least known ( at least to me who enjoys this genre) sports narratives of all time. Just as in the climactic race for the gold, this book builds with tension, hi resolution detail, and drama. The characters are so humble and lovable resilient and brave. Philosophy, psychology, tender relationships and even spirituality infuse this book as much as athleticism. Beware the outbreaks of joyful tears!

Bill in LCF

The Boys in the Boat. A wonderful book that captures a little known saga of the 1936 Olympics and a team of nine American college students who overcame the odds to excel and win, despite a great deal of personal adversary. Very we'll written and a real testament to men of what Brokaw called the Greatest Generation.

Ricknelvis

Boys in the Boat. A wonderful revealing read! It takes the reader back to a time when the Philco Radio told the great story of sporting achievement! America can be proud of the Oarsmen from Washington!

CZ Naylor

Boys in the Boat. Great read. An Amazing story on so many levels.

Scott Olsen

Wonderful. One of the most enjoyable books I've ever read.

Jseesq

The Boys in the Boat. Great book. Beautifully written and hard to put down. You don't have to know anything about crew or rowing to appreciate this book.

Rick Blue

A Great Read. I could not put this book down. A great read that makes you think so much about the journey of life. Rick Blue, Atlanta

Di2Rae

The Boys in the Boat. Inspirational story about extraordinary young men.

Jjmkrjck

Unexpectedly Great. Very similar to unbroken and seabiscuit....a great read!

KrisBlondie

The Boys in the Boat. .....I was not sure what to expect and I was not very familiar with rowing....but this book took me to a place I had never been......the storyline was woven with so many personal stories and the main character became a close friend who I felt concerned for......the authors style of writing made you feel as if you were actually in the boat during the teams most important races.....a beautifully written book telling an AMAZING story

LoisMary

Boys in the Boat. Captivating!I felt like I was in the boat with the boys.Berlin was of special interest.How deceitful they were to the visitors.Thanks for a wonderful read.

LLG222

The boys in the boat. Excellent recounting of the Berlin Games rowing crew from UW and how they won the games coming from farms and fields around Washington. Especially entertaining if you are a Husky family😃, but a true historic story of endurance and dreams for anyone.

Book club read

Boys in the Boat. Absolutely wonderful! Loved all the historical facts. Beautifully written. I really felt like I knew the people, the personal development was so detailed.

RAKline

Outstanding read!. For the first time in a long time, I found a book I couldn't stop reading! This book deserves the words "page turner".

Tg856

Outstanding. Great captivating story with historical significance.

Sgeil

The boys in the boat. One of the best non-fiction books I've ever read. The author draws you in from the beginning and it was impossible for me to put it down. The story encapsulates so much of our history that should never be forgotten, and does it in such an interesting and captivating way. I highly recommend The Boys in the Boat.

GPIIV

Preserve, and reward. For sure the best book I have read in two years. I did not know anything about rowing before reading this book. In a way the rowing is the back drop for a story of fortitude and perseverance that these boys faced growing up. A great read that is well written and factually accurate.

Animal Seeker

Joe's Life Story. I have never written a review before but when I finished this book I knew I needed to tell everyone to read this wonderful story. I learned so much about rowing, Hitler, the depression, and many events in the 30's and 40's. The author does a great job making us feel the character of the men in the boat. I would suggest this book for anyone wanting a great story and knowledge at the same time.

Bet nurse

Beautifully written tale of triumph!. This book has an easy to read flow of a period of time so important to our country. It's a history book that reads like a motion picture. A must read for history buffs & sports fans alike...I hope this is made into a movie!

Left Out (objectivity)

Boys in the Boat. I was very disappointed. I thought the presentation was very redundant with each race being like the race before. My overriding complaint is that it is written in an over melodramatic style reminiscent of the sports biographies of my childhood sports heroes (Jackie Robinson, Johnny Unitas, Willie Mays, etc.) where the most mundane items are presented as if having world shattering importance. In other words, the book is written as if middle schooler's were the target audience. Wanted to like it more but couldn't and was happy to get to the end.

Skodonnell

Lovely. Beautiful story beautifully written!

Daniel James Brown - The Boys in the Boat Comments

5 Books like The Boys in the Boat (Daniel James Brown)

About Author "Daniel James Brown"

Daniel James Brown (born 1951) is an American author of narrative nonfiction books. Biography Brown was born in Berkeley, California. He grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He attended Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English at the University of California at Berkeley and a Master of Arts degree from the University of California at Los Angeles. Brown taught writing at San Jose State University and Stanford University before becoming a technical writer and editor. He now writes narrative nonfiction full-time. Career Brown's debut book, Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894 (2006), traces the personal stories and social, economic, and environmental causes of the Great Hinckley Fire of September 1, 1894, which burned an area of up to 250,000 acres (1,000 km2; 390 sq mi), including the town of Hinckley, Minnesota. The fire killed hundreds, including Brown's great-grandfather. Brown's second book, The Ind....

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