Book review: The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown

Caution: N-N-N-N-Nazis ahead (May 28, 2019)

The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown

This could have been a great account of the trials and tribulations of many of the persons involved with the winning 8-man rowing team at the 1936 Olympics. The author does a good job of bringing the characters to life, and tries to put events in context.

There’s only one problem: The author includes such a heavy-handed, lopsided, and gratuitously slanted view of pre-war Germany that you have to wonder what other liberties he took in the narrative of the main story. Not only that, but the over-the-top rendering of N-N-N-N-Nazis is so pervasive in the later portion of the book that you begin to wonder if he just grabbed a bunch of off-the-shelf war propaganda as filler to get the page count he promised the publisher. It’s a shame, too, because the main story is more than strong enough to stand on its own.

However, if you like your history leavened with cartoon Nazis, you may like this book.