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Jul 2, 2018

Reviews of books that I gave up half way

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown : At this late age one thing has been decided for me, after attempting to read The Boys in the Boat. I will not be taking up rowing as a recreational sport anytime soon. 

The main character's back story was interesting from a historical perspective - how living in Pacific North West in the depression era was like for ordinary Americans. Apart from that I couldn't garner any interest in rowing competitions, the techniques required or the in the lives of people involved, as I plowed through to reach midway point of this book. 

I could also not figure out what is historic about this 1936 rowing gold medal, when 8 years ago University of Berkeley team won gold in the same competition in Amsterdam Olympics in 1928. It could be Daniel James Brown likes to pay homage to his adopted state, Washington, as is evident from the list of books he has authored. 

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League by Jeff Hobbs : If you have to break into the literary scene, one of the places you should check for material is your college dorm. You are in luck if you had interesting room mates with exotic background and arresting histories.

Jeff Hobbs got Robert Peace - an inner city African American kid with cliched background (absent incarcerated father, hard-working single mother) who got straight As, won a scholarship to Yale, studied molecular biophysics and after successfully completing his undergrad was shot to death at thirty - probably in a drug deal gone bad. The story sounds absolutely worth checking out, but I couldn't get past the half-way mark with Jeff Hobb's book, The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace.

My reasons for giving up half way are - too lengthy, couldn't muster up much affection for the protagonist, or maybe because I already knew the ending was going to be tragic but the writer seemed to be in no hurry to get there?

Coming up, hopefully I will manage to finish some books and jot down a few thoughts about them :-)