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Ice Time: A Tale of Fathers, Sons, and Hometown Heroes Paperback – September 24, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (September 24, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609809946
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609809945
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,514,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Until now, The Game, by Hall of Fame goaltender and president of the Toronto Maple Leafs Ken Dryden, pretty much stood alone in the annals of great hockey writing. Finally, stiff competition comes from New England author Atkinson, whose year-long study of the high school hockey squad from his alma mater is a bona-fide masterstroke. Cynics might cringe at the Rockwellian town Atkinson describes; certainly it does seem odd in this day and age to follow the antics of some 20 teenagers without one mention of pregnancy, drug abuse or violence. Yet that is precisely the lush and heartwarming portrait Atkinson paints of his hometown of Methuen, Mass., a blue-collar Catholic town split between French Canadians and Italians, where hockey is the common language and obsession. The focal point of Atkinson's book is the game itself, which the author sees as a force of empowerment, family values and community, and most importantly, joy. He strives to share this joy with his five-year old son, Liam, whose pure glee at playing the game and worship of the teenaged players of Methuen High is palpable. Atkinson vividly illustrates the mental and emotional impact the sport has on its players and offers lucid descriptions of game action. The themes of the book may seem quaint hard work, dedication, fairness, faith, camaraderie but that does not in any way lessen its impact.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Widely published three-time Pushcart Prize nominee Atkinson tells the story of the Methuen High Rangers and their quest for the Massachusetts state championship in the 2001-2000 season. Although now a professor of English at Salem State College, Atkinson decided to return to his home community and become the assistant coach of the high school hockey team on which he had played 25 years earlier. This is an observant, evocative book for all readers who remember the days of playing shinny on a frozen pond from sunup to sundown and, if the moon was full, into the night or at least until your mom called you for dinner. Following a young team's single season, it is an emotionally charged, heart-warming tale of personal triumphs, both on and off the ice, of friendship, loyalty, perseverance, and dedicated parents. Many a small town in North America can share the same memories. Recommended. Larry R. Little, Penticton P.L., BC
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Jay Atkinson is a novelist, short story writer, essayist, critic, investigative journalist, and itinerant amateur athlete from Methuen, Mass. He is the author of two novels, a story collection, and three narrative nonfiction books, with a fourth, MEMOIRS OF A RUGBY-PLAYING MAN, forthcoming from St. Martin's Press. Atkinson's latest books are PARADISE ROAD: JACK KEROUAC'S LOST HIGHWAY (Wiley & Sons) and TAUVERNIER STREET (Livingston Press, University of West Alabama). His book, ICE TIME (Crown Publishers), was a Publisher's Weekly book of the year in 2001, and LEGENDS OF WINTER HILL (Crown Publishers) was on the Boston Globe bestseller list for seven consecutive weeks in 2005. Atkinson has written for the New York Times, Men's Health, Boston Globe, New York Post, and many other publications. A former two-sport college athlete at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada, Atkinson has competed in rugby for three decades and continues to play in exotic locales with the Vandals Rugby Club out of Los Angeles, California.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 20 customer reviews
For hockey fans, this is a must read.
J. McFarland
I'm a very infrequent, impatient reader, and I couldn't put this book down.
"bradleys@northnet.org"
Ice Time is the best book that i have read i a very long while.
mike

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I'm not even really a hockey fan but I am a big sports fan and this book resonated on a lot of levels for me. First of all, Atkinson's descriptions are amazing--he got me involved on the first page and I just kept wanting more. Also, his depiction of what it's like to be on a team was dead on. I didn't expect the book's emotional conclusion but that made it all the more powerful for me. The bottom line is that if you like good writing, you'll like ICE TIME.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tom Flynn on November 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Atkinson does a nice job describing a time, place and experience.
His description of the shifting climes of Methuen since his HS
days are particularly insightful. Just when you are enjoying the
book, though, Atkinson tends to interject some borderline
self-promotional prattle about his own hockey stats or die-hard toughness. The stats are irrelevant, and the toughness, if relevant, should be self-evident.
Overall on a scale of 1-10, a hat trick shy of perfect.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. McFarland on October 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
"The most ephemeral and intriguing aspect of hockey is its spontaneity; each rush down the ice blossoms into something different, a new constellation of passes and positioning that happens only once and then melts away, like a snowflake," writes Atkinson in this moving, hilarious and lovingly detailed story of a year in the working life of the Methuen (Massachusetts) High School hockey team. A gifted observer with an eye for character (as in, "Now, there's a character!"), he captures the players, coaches, school officals and parents around the team in living color and salty dialogue. In addition to that, he weaves in memories of his own time as a goalie for the same team 25 years earlier along with his hopes and dreams for his 5-year-old son Liam, whom he is just getting on the ice to participate in league hockey. The mix of spirited reporting and personal memoir, with its evident (but not sappy) love of the sport and everyone involved, is irresistible. For hockey fans, this is a must read. For those who love memoirs, this vivid chronicle of a place many have never been and may know nothing about is a beauty.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Boom-Boom on March 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
The author is constantly searching for emotional resonance and relevance, using events and information from the players', coaches and parents' lives, without ever really revealing much about his own life except in relation to his hockey playing. Yes, the absence of mention of Liam's mother is a very big gap and a weakness of the book, because the question is always there for the reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael DENNISUK VINE VOICE on February 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
I confess that I played very little hockey growing up. I live in HOCKEYTOWN and have been a part of the culture of hockey since the hey day of Gordie Howe and the boys. Most of my adult friends did play hockey. I hear their voices in the characters that populate Mr. Atkinson's fine, fine work.
Mr. Atkinson follows the trials and tribulations of a high school hockey team in a Massachusetts town. I coach high school age boys and Mr. Atkinson has got it right. From the stale smell of a high school locker room to the angst of young love.
I appreciated his attention to detail. In one chapter he describes small town life while on a run through town. This was perfect.
There have been many fine books written about high school sports ("Friday Night Lights", "Fall River Dreams", "In These Girls the Heart is A Muscle") "Ice Time" has joined the club.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William Jeffrey Jones on January 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I can definitely identify with Atkinson's tale of high school hockey in working class Mass. I'm about his age, and my son also plays hockey - I played 3yrs HS in New York (cold part).
The locker room stuff is spot on, and the heart and soul of the kids comes across great. I little less about how he can still hang with the youngsters on the ice would have improved the book.
Also, Atkinson's parts with his son were touching, but he never mentions poor Liam's mom once in the book. I just kept wondering what happend to her that she never gets talked about.
Maybe another book for that one. If you have ever played high school hockey this is a MUST READ. It would also make a good screenplay, but Hollywood hates real hockey movies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mario Pagnoni on December 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
You don't have to be from Methuen (I am) to appreciate this well-crafted tale of hockey, parenting, and small town values. This is a great read created by a very talented writer - I felt like I was in the hands of the Bobby Orr of prose. The book's dialog and telling anecdotes about the people involved are sure to raise a few eyebrows - but we could use a little eyebrow raising around here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G.Z. Morrill on April 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
The book arrived within the time advertised, with the book somewhat more worn than I had hoped, but was still in good condition, and a very enjoyable read.
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