John Greechan on The Boys in the Boat

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Journalist John Greechan talks about ‘The Boys in the Boat’, Daniel James Brown’s compelling tale of a rowing crew’s journey from Washington State to the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
‘It’s about hardship and heroism, character and dedication.’

THERE are almost as many bad sports books as there are bad novels. But the good ones capture the drama and glory of the human condition as well as any work of fiction.

I absolutely loved Graham Hunter’s Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World, because it offered real insight into an exciting moment in modern football history.

Having just finished Daniel James Brown’s magnificent The Boys in the Boat, though, it feels as if this will stay top of my personal poll for some time to come.

It is ostensibly the tale of a depression era rowing crew who make it all the way from Washington State to the heart of Hitler’s Germany and the 1936 Olympics. Really, it’s about hardship and heroism, character and dedication, the dangers of fanaticism as opposed to the need to go all-in when your team-mates need you – and the importance of trust. It is utterly brilliant.

John Greechan is the chief sports writer of the Scottish Daily Mail

*Review your favourite sports book in 150 words or less. Don’t tell us what the book’s about – make it personal, tell us what it was about the book that connected to you. Email it to backpage@backpagepress.co.uk. The best will go on the blog.