4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The best book on the Boat Race,
This review is from: Blood Over Water (Hardcover)
This is the best book about the boat race. Period. Better than True Blue, better than de Rond's To Hell and Back (whose shortcomings become even more apparent once you read this, if that's possible), and better than Yanks at Oxford.
There is genuine personal detail in every single page about what it takes to get a seat in either one of the Blue Boats. Either side of the story would be a bestseller in itself. However, in this offering you get the additional angle of brothers competing against one another. You'd think that would be enough to guarantee book sales. As it happens, there's another way to see this - this is the only book that I can think of that allows for comparison and contrast of the different approaches of Oxford and Cambridge to the same race.
The structure of the book is well thought out. Chronological order with no annoying flashbacks is very much the way to go. Crewmates are described in sufficient detail without ever stealing the limelight, and other halves show how much stress being a professional athlete puts on a personal relationship.
I ordered it weeks ago, it arrived this morning, and by judiciously ignoring my family, I finished it this evening.
As a book on rowing, this is as good as it gets. As a general sports book, this is on a par with Lance Armstrong's 'It's not about the Bike.' I can see this winning one of the generalist Sports Book of the Year Awards very easily.