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

Version: Unabridged
Author: Daniel James Brown
Narrator: Edward Herrmann
Genres: Sports & Recreation
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks
Published In: June 2013
# of Units: 12 CDs
Length: 14 hours, 30 minutes
Ratings:
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Overview

The #1 New York Times–bestselling story about American Olympic triumph in Nazi Germany, the inspiration for the PBS documentary The Boys of '36, broadcast to coincide with the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 80th anniversary of the boys' gold medal race.

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.

Reviews (65)

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Written by Tamara F. on September 5th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 5/5

One of the most wonderfully written books about an amazing group of men. I am still mourning having finished reading it.

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Written by Anonymous on May 20th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 4/5

The narration was excellent. His voice was clear, soothing, and warm. The story was enthralling and exciting however there were times I got lost in the history when I thought I was reading about a group of boys rowing to the olympics.

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Written by Hannah M. on April 19th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 5/5

An incredible story that takes you back in time. I would listen to it all over again. Really impressed with the narrator as well, both with his ability to make read at the perfect pace and also for his pronunciation of Washington towns :)

Written by Jessica Fox on March 5th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Great book. Very inspirational. Well read. My only complaint is some of the local town names were mispronounced. Being from the Pacific Northwest I know how weird some of the names are, so he gets a pass.

Written by Janet G. on December 29th, 2018

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I loved how the author wove together the narratives of the Great Depression, the rise of Nazi Power and the effect they both had on the lives of ordinary people trying to achieve extrardinary things. The making of the 1936 Olympic Rowing team was the perfect backdrop for that story.

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Written by Rita G. on August 1st, 2018

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Absolutely loving this book. Not quite finished but certainly one of the best ever. One of my top 10 for last 5 years of reading, and or listening!

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Written by Marv S. on July 20th, 2018

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Easily my favorite read this year and one of my favorite all time. Sometimes books are better as an audiobook, sometimes not. This definitely was far better in every way with one exception. Nearly every, city, town, mountain or native name used was mispronounced.

Written by Leisen A. on June 7th, 2018

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Inspiring story that brought tears to my eyes! Great for young adult readers to help the appreciate how difficult life can be and learn how to have the fortitude to overcome. Terrific narration!

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Written by Lee W on April 17th, 2018

  • Book Rating: 5/5

The book is just incredible and no one comes close as a reader to Edward Herrmann(rip). An absolute must !!

Written by Nathan T on January 30th, 2018

  • Book Rating: 3/5

good book slow at times

Author Details

Author Details

Brown, Daniel James

Daniel James Brown is the author of The Boys in the Boat and Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894. He lives in the country east of Redmond, Washington, with his wife and two daughters.