Thursday, October 1, 2015

"Boys in the Boat"

I had the opportunity to attend the Baltimore Book Festival on Sunday, September 27th.  I went to hear Daniel James Brown speak about his wonderful book 
"Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics."

This is such a marvelous story of grit, determination, perseverance, all those words that mean they don't just give up.

Brown describes his writing technique as narrative history.  It isn't dry in the least with fact after fact.  Rather it weaves in feelings and depth of character so that you feel you are there cheering them on from the shoreline, in the boat pulling on those oars, and experiencing the emotional upheavals of life in the Great Depression. 

Brown met the daughter of one of the rowers in Seattle where Brown lived.  She brought him then to meet her father who had read some of Brown's other work.  The daughter, Judy, had an ulterior motive - she wanted someone to write about her father's achievement and that of the other eight.  Her father was in his last months when Brown met him, but Judy had for years pumped her father about his life and made meticulous notes.  With the research Judy had done and four years more that Brown did, the tale of these 8 rowers and the coxswain, their coaches, the boatbuilder, the City of Seattle, and the Great Depression come to life.

Here's Daniel James Brown's website to read more.  But then you must get this book and read it.

My book club discussed in at our meeting in September and it was unanimous that it is outstanding!


  1. I am so glad to read this excellent review! My son just gave me this book to read and it has been sitting on my nightstand waiting.......He told me it was a wonderful book. I live near Seattle and always love reading about the history here. Thank you for the review! - Karen

  2. I haven't heard about this book so was glad to see a review. Now, it looks like I will HAVE to read it. hehe. The time frame is of interest to me, the grit and determination is encouraging. Yep, another book on my to read list.

  3. Wonderful review, Marcia! How great to get to go see the author! Loved your background on the story of this factual work, and I am very much looking forward to checking it out now for myself. It sounds awesome!

  4. This is sitting on my shelf and definitely need to read it sooner, rather than later. Thanks for the encouragement.


I appreciate your comments more than you know. Thanks for stopping by.