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Greatest Hockey Stories Ever Told: The Finest Writers On Ice Paperback – September 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews


The Game is acknowledged as the best hockey book ever written, and more than just a hockey book, it has become an enduring classic-;a reflective and provocative look at a life in hockey and at the game itself. Ken Dryden, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, is recognized as one of the greatest goalies ever to play the game. More than that, he is one of hockey's most intelligent and insightful commentators. In The Game , Dryden captures the essence of the sport and what it means to all hockey fans. He gives us vivid and affectionate portraits of the characters-;Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson, Guy Lapointe, Serge Savard, and coach Scotty Bowman among them-;that made the Canadiens of the 1970s one of the greatest hockey teams in history. But beyond that, Dryden reflects on life on the road, in the spotlight, and on the ice, offering up a rare inside look at the game of hockey, and a profoundly personal memoir. This commemorative edition marks the 20th anniversary of The Game 's original publication, and features a new chapter from Ken Dryden, reflecting on the past two decades in hockey. Take a journey back to the heart and soul of the game with this timeless hockey classic. THE GAME 20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION "The sports book of the year, or maybe the decade, or maybe the century." -; The Globe and Mail "A work of art that defines and represents our game." -;Hockey News "[Dryden] has written a very special book, possibly the best [hockey book] I have ever read. His affectionate yet realistic portrait of the players is unrivalled in hockey writing." -;Mordecai Richler "A book about Ken Dryden, about Quebec, about the rest of Canada, and most of all, a loving book about a special sport." -;New York Times "An enduring classic, Ken Dryden's The Game has lost none of its luster since its original publication in 1983, and remains the one book every hockey fan must know...This backstage look at one of the best books ever published on any sport." -;David Gowdey "A [hockey] book so rare that there is actually nothing to compare it to." -;Scott Young Sports Illustrated: One of "The Top 100 Best Sports Books of All Time" (number nine). Top hockey book. Top Canadian sports book. Top book written solely by an athlete. University of Toronto Review: One of " The Top 100 English-Canadian Books of the 20 th Century ."

From the Back Cover

The Greatest Hockey Stories Ever Told is an anthology of classic tales from the locker room, behind the benches, in the buses, and of course, on the ice itself. You'll hear Mike Richter talk about seeing the ice, tag along with Peter Gzowski as he tries to decode the magic that was Wayne Gretzky, follow Red Fisher on a last visit to the legendary Toe Blake, and hear from the players who made the Miracle on Ice happen at the 1980 Olympics.

Contributors include:
E. M. Swift, Alec Wilkinson, George Plimpton, Peter Gzowski,
Dave Bidini, Jeff Greenfield, Gare Joyce, William Faulkner,
Red Fisher, Guy Lawson, Jack Falla, Brian Fawcett, Hugh Hood,
John Stackhouse, and Nancy Dowd.

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Product Details

  • Series: Greatest
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592289053
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592289059
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Edward A. Fitzpatrick on August 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
I've read a lot of hockey books and found most of them to be light on substance from either a literary or technical standpoint. This collection, however, captures so many of the nuances and back stories that make the game of hockey so incredibly unique. E.M. Swifts piece titled "A Reminder Of What We Can Be" is my favorite hockey story ever. I was a 15 year old hockey player at the time the United States beat the Soviet Union and I remember following that team in the papers all winter. When the big game was tape delayed, I was so disappointed because I had a game that night and we didn't have a VCR back then. One of the fathers had a B&W television going in the penalty box and although we new the outcome, both teams decided to stop play and huddle around that television to watch the 3rd period. We hugged and high fived as if we had beaten the mighty Russians ourselves. That moment in time was a rare convergence of what is great about life and hockey. E.M. Swift clearly understands the meaning.
"Facing The Shooter" by Wilkinson is a fantastic account of what its really like to play the most stressful position in sports, hockey goaltender.
This book may be a bit difficult for younger readers to get through and grasp, but older fans will appreciate the depth and quality of the writing.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By G. McNabb on April 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This mini-anthology has a wide range of hockey stories from one written by the American, Pulitzer-winning author William Faulkner (this story was junk, though well written if you like Faulkner) to life on the road as a minor league player hoping to be called up (poignantly and rawly written like the life itself), to a homily to Toe Blake, to a portrait of The Great One (Gretzky) by Peter Gzowski, to how to make your own backyard rink.

The quality of writing is generally very good and virtually every story offers an interesting perspective on the game. Stories are short so you can read one on the subway or before you go to bed at night. All in all, a decent hard cover to have on your bookshelf.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Frank Ewert on February 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
Quibbles first: I don't know if anyone can fairly claim to have collected "The Greatest Hockey Stories Ever Told." There are far too many to fit in one volume, and no matter how varied your selection, you're going to miss several stories that some diehard hockey fan somewhere will gripe about. (Which is why I'm going to end my complaint there.)

That said, please don't make the mistake I did and assume that this book will fall short of your expectations. Urstadt's collection is worth every penny. From 1980's "Miracle on Ice" to junior hockey in Flin Flon, Manitoba, Urstadt has managed to capture the many sides of the game, offering blow-by-blow accounts of hockey games from around the world--including Romania and Corpus Christi, Texas. (Believe it or not, they're actually quite similar.)

There are highlights, including Red Fisher's memories of Hector "Toe" Blake; "The Style of the Man" by Hugh Hood, which uses near-scientific poetry to describe the graceful ferocity of Jean Beliveau; and Jeff Robinson's painfully accurate take on the hockey fan. Yet, almost every selection will have you flipping to the back of the book, looking with hope to see if it was merely an excerpt. (I myself have added several books to my wish list thanks to this volume.)

The one disappointment, oddly enough, is a short article by William Faulkner ("An Innocent at Rinkside") originally printed in Sports Illustrated. It's clear that Faulkner didn't understand and didn't like hockey, and in the end, he uses his presence at Madison Square Gardens to question the common practice of beginning sports events with the national anthem. Blech.

So, even if I can't help but complain about the title, I have to admit: this book serves up some darn good tales. You'd be sorry not to pick it up.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Reader Views on March 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
Reviewed by Beverly Pechin for Reader Views (2/07)

Being an avid hockey fan I wasn't too expectant upon reading "short stories" about the great moments in hockey and being surprised by what they had to say. Imagine my delight when I found not only interesting and completely out of the ordinary tales of some of the most memorable moments in hockey, right before my eyes, but stories told that I knew with inside looks that make them seem completely different than any other I've read.

"The Greatest Hockey Stories Ever Told" is a wonderful compilation of stories regarding the greatest game on ice, hockey. With everything from "The Miracle Team" from a perspective you probably have never heard before to "A Portrait of The Great One," Wayne Gretzky, you will find each story with its own form and style, told like no other. With so many authors contributing to the book, there is an infinite amount of perspectives that you probably have never seen before on the game. Hockey greats like Toe Blake, Wayne Gretzky, and the infamous Montreal Canadiens and their years of reign are all topics of conversation in this great book of hockey stories and memories.

The style and content are so unique to any other hockey book I've ever read that I am somewhat speechless as to how to compare it to anything else. Loaded with stories, insider's views, coaches' memories, team moments and so much more, any true hockey fan will relish this special book and all its content. The ability to read a story and put it down to come back to later makes it a great book to simply keep around to get your "hockey fix," especially out of season! So after the Cup Craze is over, pull up a seat and enjoy an inside look at the real life stories of hockey and all of its glorious moments. Even the most well-versed and trivia filled amongst us will find an inside look at this great life on and off the ice in "The Greatest Hockey Stories Ever Told."

Book received free of charge.
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