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

Unabridged Audio Book

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Edward Herrmann

14 Hours 25 Minutes

Penguin Audio

June 2013

Audio Book Summary

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.

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  • Rita G.

    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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  • Marv S.

    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.

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  • Leisen A.

    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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  • Nathan T

    good book slow at times

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  • Filip F

    Excellent book. It hit the nail on the head describing the rowing world. Despite being a Cal alumni, I enjoyed the book a lot. There are lots of things in the book that reminded me of my rowing days.

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  • Tatjana Lehmann

    Nice story. Many facts though at times. Great narrator.

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  • Jane Trivett

    Magical story with incredible character development and vivid descriptions! I LOVED How the writer flipped back and forth between current events of the time and what was happening in the small neighborhoods of Washington. The reader's tones made it hard to turn off. It was my first time hearing the story of Joe and his team and I was so impressed by their story.

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  • Beverly Widney

    Loved this book so much. I knew nothing about the sport of rowing. So amazing!

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  • Daniel Gilmartin

    Truly inspirational work. Absolutely worth your every second.

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  • Anonymous

    I loved everything about this book, and the narration of it. What a moving story! And it’s a true story! I could see what was happening with the vivid pictures being spoken and I choked up with pride and emotion numerous times throughout. As a new rower, I can not tell you how inspired I am

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