1) Where is the book on the narrative continuum? A mix (combines highly narrative moments with periods of fact-based prose).
2) What is the subject of the book? Rowing (both collegiate and at the Olympic level), impacts of the depression and WWII on the American people.
3) What type of book is it? It’s a sports book.
4) Articulate appeal
What is the pacing of the book? It’s a quick read, but the pace is pretty leisurely until about the last 50 pages when it ramps up tremendously.
Describe the characters of the book. Our main character is Joe Rantz, one of the crew members. The reader gets an in-depth look into his life, but we’re also given brief snippets into other characters’ lives.
How does the story feel? Triumphant and uplifting.
What is the intent of the author? To describe a specific period of time and help readers come to some realizations.
What is the focus of the story? The main character and the University of Washington crew team that would eventually make it to the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
Does the language matter? Yes.
Is the setting important and well-described? Yes. The author does a very good job of describing the Seattle area as well as Germany.
Are there details and, if so, what? There is a lot of detail about rowing and crew. The author gets very in-depth about the techniques of rowing which could turn some readers off.
Are there sufficient charts and other graphic materials? Are they useful and clear? Pictures are used throughout but are not necessary to the story.
Does the book stress moments of learning, understanding, or experience? The book really stresses moments of understanding and experience. The reader comes to understand what it was like to live in America during the depression and they will experience the triumph of the final race and the relief that everything leading up to that moment paid off.
5) Why would a reader enjoy this book (rank appeal)?