Small Puddles

The Triumphant Story of Yale's Worst Oarsman. Ever.

The Triumphant Story of Yale's Worst Oarsman. Ever.

By Michael "Zig" Danziger


Now available everywhere in print, e-book, and audio.


Small Puddles is about rowing, rites of passage, persistence, and trying to find your way.

Michael “Zig” Danziger projects a certain devil-may-care persona. But don’t let the larger-than-life, hail-fellow-well-met routine fool you – there is far more to his story than being born on third base. Zig’s intense experience as a Yale oarsman is a case study on the journey itself being the reward. He was never going to make the first varsity boat, or the second. Not even the third boat. But he worked is ass off to earn a seat in the fourth boat – and became a Yale Crew legend. Small Puddles tells the story of those years at Yale and the people who shaped Zig’s one-of-a-kind view of the world.

A rollicking tale of tenacity, determination, and unrelenting sticktoitiveness.

Small Puddles is a heart-warming and hilarious memoir, but don’t expect to read about what a saint Zig is. He’s no saint. And don’t expect any syrupy soft-focus vignettes of New England collegiate life. Zig’s raucous yarns, spun one after another, are warts-and-all, high-definition windows into the glory days. No punches pulled. 

Raucous, ribald, ridiculous, raunchy, romantic, and relatable.

Small Puddles has plenty for everyone, but anyone who has had the good fortune to pull an oar will feel Zig’s pain. Up and down stadium stairs until you can’t walk another step? Barfed after crushing an erg piece? Pulled a power ten? Given a shirt? Gotten a shirt? Been up at 5am for practice after a big night out? Felt the adrenaline surge at “Êtes-vous prêt? Partez!”? Stood on the bank to cheer friends at The Head of the Charles, The Dad Vails, Eastern Sprints, Henley? Don’t miss this book. 

Enjoyed other rowing books? If you think you might enjoy a version of Halberstam’s The Amateurs co-authored with Tucker Max, or you’re hoping Quentin Tarantino might direct the film adaptation of The Boys In the Boat, don’t miss this one.


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Hi. This is Zig. Please use this form to send me a note. I read every one! I want to hear what you think about Small Puddles.

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