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The Good Body: A Novel Hardcover – February 6, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st ReganBooks ed edition (February 6, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060394110
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060394110
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,534,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

To say that Bill Gaston's The Good Body is hilarious is to miss the profound forest for the mesmerizing trees. Oh, The Good Body will split you with laughter (how could a story of an aging semi-pro hockey player cheating his way into a graduate creative writing program not?), but the comedy is in fact another aspect of the novel's intimate understanding of its characters. It is this closeness that wires The Good Body with an electric psychology alternately hilarious, insightful, affirming, and terrifying.

None of Bob Bonaduce's career of hockey violence prepares him for the crushing blow he receives in a doctor's office after one foot doesn't stop tingling and his hands suddenly go clumsy. Sent into the boards by the body that has given him a career, a broken marriage, and the purest grace he has ever known, Bonaduce decides to reintroduce himself to his estranged son. What better way to do that than to play hockey on the same varsity team? Life on the road has given him plenty of time to read. He's tried some writing. If he needs to be a student to play with his son, isn't creative writing really the thing? Application portfolio? Oh, Bonaduce can get around that defense.

Fellow players, housemates, ex-lovers, and classmates all meet Gaston's unflinching honesty, alternately kissed by sympathy or slashed by damning eyes. With Gaston's uniquely polymorphous talent, humor, insight, sex, and tragedy all are marks of a voice that is so comforting for the wounds it both opens and heals. --Darryl Whetter

From Publishers Weekly

Although a quick synopsis of Canadian writer Gaston's American debut might sound maudlin--a rootless minor-league hockey player contracts multiple sclerosis and goes home to make peace with the family he's neglected for years--the novel itself is not. Told in finely calibrated prose that captures not only the agonizing eloquence of a body betraying its tenant but the rough-edged mumble of a professional athlete's voice, the novel walks a fine line with certainty and grace. Forty-year-old Bobby Bonaduce keeps mum about his illness, deciding not to retire from hockey in the U.S. and return to Fredericton, Canada, hoping to score sympathy points with Leah Miller, the wife he left 10 years before but never divorced, and Jason, his 20-year-old son with whom he exchanges about four letters every two years. Instead, he enrolls as a graduate student in English at the University of New Brunswick in order to play hockey on his son's team. Neither classes nor family reconciliation go as smoothly as Bobby hopes, and the ensuing mix of hilarity and heartbreak gives the book its sweet, gritty signature. The prodigal student rents a room from a group of young students, becoming close friends with one of them--a wry young woman named Margaret--and, in a clever twist, with Oscar, Leah's current lover. Although the narration dips into a few other characters' minds, Bobby is the star of this show; he confronts his dilemmas with the hopefulness of a child and the bravado of an oncoming truck. A seamless tone (one that isn't "afraid to sing it into sweet words"), a cast of warm, genuine characters and a confluence of unlikely but wholly believable events bring this modern hero to life.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
It's rare in these busy times to stumble upon a novel worthy of the glorious yet exhausting all-night read. But within the first few pages of "The Good Body," I knew that a good night's sleep was not in the cards. It's 5AM in the morning; my work day is doomed, yet my mind still reels from the poetic beauty and honesty that is this novel. Can a mere book still move a jaded reader to tears? The answer, thanks to Lewis Nordan's "Sharpshooter Blues", Jonathan Franzen's "The Corrections," and now Bill Gaston's "The Good Body," is a resounding YES! What a triumph!
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By J. G. Connell on February 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You might have to be a hockey lover to "get" some of this story, which I am, so I really enjoyed it. It was very sad knowing what might come but the ending really surprised me in a way.

Very well written, well thought out as well. Clever yet easy to read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas A. Ziinojr on July 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is not a very good novel at all.The story is not credible and unrealistic.The prose is dull and predictable.Most of the

characters are either bland general types or stereotypes.The only ones you'll even remotely care about are Bobby,Oscar,and

Margaret,because they're the only ones who seem to have any life to them.Forget it.There are other,better novels out now.
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