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Pelle Lindbergh: Behind the White Mask Paperback – September 29, 2009


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Pelle Lindbergh: Behind the White Mask + Unmasked: Bernie Parent and the Broad Street Bullies + The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly: Philadelphia Flyers: Heart-pounding, Jaw-dropping, and Gut-wrenching Moments from Philadelphia Flyers History (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Middle Atlantic Press (September 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0912608013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0912608013
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,096,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bill Meltzer writes a weekly column for NHL.com on international hockey, entitled Across the Pond. He is also a regular contributor to other sections of NHL.com, and has written frequently for Philadelphiaflyers.com, IIHF.com, Philadelphia Flyers Magazine (official game program), as well as LAKings.com. He is the Philadelphia Flyers blogger for hockeybuzz.com and authored the English section of Pellelindbergh.com. Self-taught in written Swedish, Meltzer assisted Thomas Tynander on the Swedish version of the book and re-worked the Swedish manuscript into an English version. Thomas Tynander is a well known hockeywriter from Sweden. He has been covering the Swedish Elite League, international hockey and the NHL for more then 20 years. He was asked by the Lindbergh family to write the story about their famous son. The Swedish book sold out and will be reprinted.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
This is a must read not just for Flyers fans but any hockey fan.
Oregon Joe
If only the story had continued to be happy or ended there without going into the dark side of real life that I knew had to be told in order to be complete.
Nyssa
The story of someone who had all of his dreams come true and tragically had them all slip away.
C. Nolt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on October 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
Sunday, November 10, 1985. Back then, I was a 14-year-old hockey player living just outside Buffalo, New York. It was early in the evening when my father walked into the living room where I was sitting and told me that Pelle Lindbergh, the goaltender for my beloved Philadelphia Flyers, was in the hospital following an accident.

In those days there was no quick Internet link, no accessing the Flyers web page or the Philly papers for news. You simply had to wait for the news to come on the TV. Fourteen-year-old boys tend not to think the worst will happen to their sports heroes, and so with a naïve hope I waited and watched. Reports were slow, and ultimately it was announced that Lindbergh was brain dead. He was kept alive long enough for his father to arrive from Sweden a few days later. His life support was then shut off, his organs were donated, and he was gone forever. Hard as it was, the hockey world --- and my 14-year-old world --- had to move on.

Bill Meltzer and Thomas Tynander teamed up to write PELLE LINDBERGH: Behind the White Mask. In Sweden, Lindbergh's home country, the book was a bestseller. The English translation is here now, and it provides incredible insight into his youth, his dream of playing in the NHL, his passion for speed, and the devastating effect his fatal accident had on everyone around him.

Meltzer and Tynander show us a young Göran Per-Eric "Pelle" Lindbergh growing up as an active and hockey-obsessed boy in Sweden. His gifts were recognizable early on, though he lacked the drive in practices to push himself. Despite his disinterest in practice, Lindbergh excelled in games and ultimately secured a spot on the Swedish National Team.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Nolt on February 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was an excellent book. A must read for any sports fan. The story of someone who had all of his dreams come true and tragically had them all slip away. There is a lot about the story that I was unaware of. Pelle was a great person and amazing goalie. Who knows how many more cups the Flyers could have had if he was not taken away from us. I wish there could be a movie made about this story.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a goaltending fan I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Interesting way of alternating chapters between his progress towards the dream of making it to the NHL and the chapters rapidly moving towards his tragic and fatal accident. Based on the account Pelle was clearly full of life and a wreckless driver. Whether he drank heavier and more often than family and friends believed is only speculation at this point. He was nevertheless a pioneer for the many European goaltenders who have come after him (especially Sweden and Finland) to play in the NHL. I would grad it 4.5 stars because of several typographical errors throughout the book but I enjoyed it as much as other goalie books like Roy, Bower, Tretiak and Sawchuk. Different books, different men, different personalities but all excellent goaltenders. Most interesting piece of goaltending trivia is the fact that Pelle had problems with dehydration during games and was the first goalie to have a water bottle on his net and the fact that opponents coaches were upset by this !!
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Format: Paperback
I grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs during the 1980s, and the death of Pelle Lindbergh is one of the lasting sports memories for anyone who grew up in this area during that time period. That was the reason I bought this book.

I wanted to love the book, and it is meticulously researched. But I would have preferred that the book be laid out in a more traditional format. The chapters alternate between a minute-by-minute account of Lindbergh's fatal accident to chapters dealing with him growing up in Sweden and his road to winning the Vezina Trophy in the NHL. As mentioned in the overview of the book, the work was originally written in Swedish and released in Pelle's home country. As a North American, several of the chapters with heavy Swedish references to obscure Swedish musicians and Swedish pop culture seemed to drag on and were a bit confusing. But I understand that the book was originally written for a Swedish audience.

The book does have lots of good points as well, though. The research is outstanding. The authors talked to dozens of sources ranging from Pelle's family to teammates and coaches from throughout his entire hockey career. The tiny details in the book are amazing. For example, who knew that the impound lot where Pelle's wrecked Porsche was taken following his accident was guarded by a police dog named Gretchen?

Even as someone who has lived the Philadelphia area my entire life, I never knew the level of details surrounding Lindbergh's fatal accident. The book really fleshes out Lindbergh's personality and how the accident affected his family and teammates. The book also contains many quotes from Lindbergh's friends discussing how scary it was to ride with Pelle in his Porsche because he drove way too fast.
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Format: Paperback
I was working in the Philadelphia area temporarily when the sudden and tragic death of Flyers goaltender Pelle Lindbergh was announced. Although I wasn't a Flyers fan, I was a hockey fan, so his death resonated with me as well as in the local community.

This book is his story, originally written in Swedish, that covers his early life in Sweden, his short career in professional hockey, his tragic death, and the aftermath. The presentation of the biography is unusual since it is told in alternating chapters which cover either Lindbergh's early life leading up to his drafting by the Philadelphia Flyers in the odd-numbered chapters, while the even-numbered chapters cover his time with the Flyers and leading up to his death in 1985 and the events that occurred afterward.

I was pulled into the first half of the book as I followed a young Pelle learning to skate and play goal, playing in junior leagues, and representing Sweden in international competitions in one set of alternating chapters and following his early professional career in the others. It was a happy story of a hard-working kid with talent showing his stuff and winning the prize he had dreamed of: being drafted by and playing for his favorite team and being mentored by his goaltending hero, Bernie Parent.

If only the story had continued to be happy or ended there without going into the dark side of real life that I knew had to be told in order to be complete. While I read the first half in one evening, I found that reading the second half of the book to be a chore, not because of anything wrong with the writing, but because I knew what was coming. The bad news, the reality.
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