By Daniel Brown
Viking, 2013. 404 pgs. Nonfiction
The pursuit of Olympic gold has produced many inspiring stories of discipline, teamwork and triumph. Daniel James Brown's "The Boys in the Boat" is one such story, detailing the exploits of nine young men from the University of Washington who made up what some consider to be the best eight-oar crew team to take to the water.
Brown tells this story by focusing on the journey of Joe Rantz, an impressive young man who overcame a challenging childhood. Rantz found a way to put himself through school and became a huge asset to the crew team he came to love like family. However, there are many fascinating individuals who played vital roles in getting the team members from their Seattle homes to the Berlin games. Their stories are vividly related against the backdrop of the Great Depression and a world on the brink of World War II.
Nonfiction that can capture the fiction reader is a priceless treasure that doesn't come along nearly enough, and "The Boys in the Boat" is one such book. Those who enjoyed Laura Hillenbrand's "Unbroken" and are looking for an inspiring story of conquest over obstacles should add this to their reading list.