The Boys in the Boat


“It hurt, like he’d never hurt in a boat before. He felt like hot knives were stabbing the muscles in his arms, legs, and back. Every desperate breath burned his lungs”. Eight young men putting every bit of power and finesse to pull ahead on the other crews. The boys of the Washington University rowing crew were determined to win. Most of the guys from the crew were poor and were in need of money, but none of them were like Joe Rantz who live a hard life. Joe spent most of his teen years alone with no one to guide him so rowing was basically all he had. “To Joe it was alot bigger then that, something mysterious and almost beyond definition.”

In the book it shows the reader how “if you reach for it, you can get it”. The story about the depression-era athletes who struggle for their chance at glory. “A sense of pride that was deeper and more heartfelt than any he had felt before”. The book was colored with emotion and James Brown makes it feel as if the reader is a part of the crew feeling as much pain and as much dignity as the boys were experiencing throughout the book. The all-american underdog boys pulled off an inspirational mind blowing triumph and it was told in the outstanding words of the author James Brown.

In this book it is taking place in the Great Depression through 1914-1937. The Washington University rowing crew had to come across unbelievable odds to be the best. Joe Rantz, a “confusing young boy to coach Al Ulbrickson” one day heart set and had his stride on point and the next is in a slump. Al Ulbrickson had no idea where he was going to put the kid but coach saw something in him. Dedication, pure grit, and willpower to the fascinating sport. The coach finally decided that Joe Rantz had earned his seat in the boat, the best boat.

If you are looking for an exciting, heart-pounding, joyous book about hard work, determination, and overcoming obstacles I recommend The Boys in the Boat. James Brown makes it as if he himself is showing you the but, not telling he makes the reader depict an image in his/her head as the story takes place. And it really is a heartwarming and inspiring book.