Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Boys in the Boat

I finally finished The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown, which was chosen by my book group for the month of October.  Yes, I was a little late in finishing it, but non-fiction always takes me a bit longer than fiction. 

My Goodreads review:

When my book group chose this book, I was underwhelmed. Non-fiction is not usually my thing and I know nothing of rowing. But almost immediately, Brown caught my attention and held it.

This book tells the story of one young man and his rowing crew that won gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Joe Rantz is such a superb choice for Brown to follow: his story is so immensely powerful because of the many obstacles he overcomes. I'm a history major; I know my 1930s history…. But Brown captures the emotions of that era with gut-wrenching clarity, all through the eyes of Joe and his family.

If nothing more than to see exactly what our grandfathers and grandmothers went through, everyone should read this novel. And in so doing you'll learn what kind of work ethic it takes to win a gold medal - and survive the Great Depression. This book reminded me just how spoiled, undisciplined, and soft we have become. There's a reason why Joe's generation was the Greatest Generation.

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