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4.7 out of 5 stars
Greatest Hockey Stories Ever Told: The Finest Writers On Ice
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 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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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
The title is true to it's word - a great collection of extremely interesting hockey stories. Very happy I made the purchase.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I got this as a gift for a friend of mine who is an avid hockey fan and played 4 years in college. He loves it.
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on February 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
It really is a great book that makes you want to go out and play hockey again. I found it hard to put down and it was a pretty quick read. I didnt fall asleep at all like I do with some books.
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on August 3, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is a great book to read if you want to relax and enjoy some great stories about hockey. Would make an excellent gift for a hockey fan.
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on December 17, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Loved it! Wonderfully compiled collection of stories. I read it over the course of a few evenings and was completely entertained.
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Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This was bought for a hockey player who said he enjoyed the book immensely. Great gift for the hard to buy for.
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