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Searching for Bobby Orr Hardcover – International Edition, October 3, 2006

3.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Facing Ali: The Opposition Weighs In:

• National Bestseller
• A Globe and mail Best Book
• A Sports Illustrated Book of the Year

“These are men of substance, worth getting to know. Brunt does them justice, but the author has done something even more impressive: He has found something new to report about Muhammad Ali.”
Sports Illustrated

“Stephen Brunt takes us for a rare and sometimes painful sit in the loser’s corner, where, as all observers of tragedy know, the most revealing stories take place.”
Ottawa Citizen

Facing Ali is a work of wit and insight. It goes the distance.”
The Vancouver Sun

From the Publisher

"(Stephen Brunt) delivers an exceptional piece of work...Those of us who missed out watching Orr in his prime can't help but feel we were cheated, and the precision of Brunt's portrait of the player only makes the sting sharper." -The Globe and Mail

"Even if you're not a die hard hockey fan, even if you know nada about hockey, this one will pull you in."-Winnipeg Free Press

"An impressive look into the life of a legend...Enough to satisfy any hockey fan." - Calgary Herald

"A classic of hockey literature....If you read one book about hockey this year, make it Searching for Bobby Orr."-The Sun Times(Owen Sound) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Canada; First Edition, First Printing edition (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0676976514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0676976519
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,086,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Just how good was Bobby Orr? Harry Howell said it best during the National Hockey League awards ceremony, where he was presented with the Norris Trophy as the League's top defenseman: "I've been around for fifteen years, and thank God I finally won the trophy. I've got the feeling that for the next twenty years it will be known as the Bobby Orr Trophy." High praise indeed, but consider this: Orr had just completed his rookie season, earning respect almost unheard of at that stage of a career, and he wasn't even the runner-up for the award.

Bobby Orr was regarded as a savior for the Boston Bruins from the very moment he was first seen on the ice by members of the Bruins management, playing in a junior game with children three and four years older than him, dominating the game and controlling the puck better than anyone. He was just an average kid from an average town --- not well off financially and not the greatest of students, though he tried hard --- but on the ice he became a legend.

Stephen Brunt likens Orr to the Greek hero Achilles. The National Hockey League was Troy, and Orr was the most powerful and dynamic hero of the game. And yet, like Achilles, Orr had a flaw. While he had the heart, the determination and the will, it was his knees that ultimately would cut short an exciting and record-setting career. He was the flash of light, the great fire that burned too bright for too short a time. He would win the Norris Trophy the next eight consecutive seasons and lead the League in scoring twice.

As popular and as masterful as he was on the ice, Orr was savagely private about his personal life. He was quiet and reserved, and Brunt shows us that even though he would join his teammates at a party, he often was the first to quietly slip away unnoticed.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a reasonably well-written book by somebody who is supposed to be an expert on sports, though some of his hyperbole makes me wonder about that. (He describes a game where Orr got three goals and two assists as the most amazing, incredible, unbelievable performance by a defenceman in the history of the sport, when half a dozen defencemen had had 4 goal games, others had 6+ point games, and Orr himself would do better in subsequent years.)

There's nothing new here. Neither Orr nor his family nor his close friends provided any information -- apparently Bobby is planning his own book in the next five years or so. However, it provides an eminently readable distillation of all the previous sources of material to paint a good portrait of Orr during his early playing years and most of his NHL career. (There is precious little from 1973 on, and nothing about his post-hockey career.)

The book comes across a little like hero-worship, and doesn't do much to give Orr any perspective -- how he stacks up against the other greats, how he changed the game. I'm not entirely sure that's a weakness, though: the Holy Trinity of Hockey don't really compare well to eachother. Orr was probably the best ever, but cut short by injuries. Gretzky a sliver below who lasted much longer. Howe may never have been the best player in the league at any one time, but was in the top five for, like, a million years.

And as for hero-worship, hell, let's face it: Orr deserves it.

Wait for the paperback, then add it to your collection.
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Format: Hardcover
This book looks not only at the brilliant but tragically short career of Bobby Orr, but also at the historical development of Canadian hockey and the NHL, and the significant changes at the time of Orr's career. I consider it mandatory reading for any passionate hockey fan.
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Format: Hardcover
Growing up on the South Shore of Boston in the 1970s as I did, I was whirled into the Bobby Orr-driven hockey mania that swept the region. I was born in 1971, between the two Bruins' Stanley Cup championships and before I knew it I was on skates in many of the new rinks that were built simply because of the excitement Orr brought to the area for the sport of hockey.

Brunt's treatment of Orr is thoughtful, if somewhat hyperbolic. But then, this is Bobby Orr of whom we are speaking. His name is up there with Howe, Gretzky, Lemieux. He stood above all in his time. The defenseman's undeniable place in hockey history when matched with the author's borderline grandiose style inevitably leads to overstatement.

The gamble that the author took, though, is what makes the book interesting. It does not have the Orr stamp of approval. Number Four met with the author and discussed the project, ultimately distancing himself from it, and asking the author to avoid direct contact with his family. By following through with the book, Brunt seemingly gambled away his chance at future work with Orr. Was a bridge burned?

For hockey fans, from Parry Sound to Oshawa to Boston, the book brings back memories of players long gone, of the rock 'em, sock 'em style of the 1970s and the exponential growth of the sport from the original six to regular global interaction. If there is a major drawback, it's that the machinations of Orr's longtime agent Alan Eagleson are not thoroughly and definitively spelled out. Hints are dropped and the 1998 trial is covered, but just how deeply he scarred the players of the National Hockey League is understated. After reading the book, I guess I'll be going elsewhere for more details.
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