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Playing With Fire Hardcover – October 1, 2009
The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Theo Fleury's book contains many stories. It's the story of a Canadian who grew up poor on the prairies and clung to his dream like a lifeline. It's a story of a broken, lonely childhood plagued by demons and abuse. It's a story about the drive to be the best at a particular sport. It's a story of addiction to booze, drugs, and sex. It's a story of both dizzying success and financial failure. But most of all, it's a story about what it means to be human and what it's like to live in constant pain...and to find relief in things that only make matters worse.
Anyone who loves hockey (especially the Calgary Flames) will love this book. Ditto anyone who's been abused or anyone who struggles (or struggled) with substance abuse and suicidal impulses. Theo has written a book for both sports fans and those who don't care about sports. His story is painful, but it deserves to be heard. And hopefully it will help anyone who struggles with the same issues that affected him.
Thank you, Theo, for writing this book.
Theo came from Cree-Quebecoise (Métis) stock and grew up in the Canadian bush town of Russell, Manitoba. His first gear bag was an old pillowcase and he did not own a new pair of skates until he was a teenager. Yet, from the age of 5 he dreamt every day of playing in The Show, the National Hockey League. Fleury, however, was also born under a dark star. Theo's dad, a hockey player injured in his prime, had turned to alcohol and his mom found consolation in Valium and distraction in the doomsday dreams of the Jehovah's Witnesses. When a prominent coach, Graham James, who would later win a "Mr. Hockey" trophy from the Canadian junior leagues, took interest in him at the age of 13, young Theo thought that his dream of making the NHL would come true.
Unfortunately, Theo would have to pay a price that no child should ever have to pay. For three long years his coach molested him. Theo knew well that if he dared speak a word, his future would be forfeited, and worse, he and not James, would be blamed.Read more ›
This book is the classic story of the undersized kid from Russell Saskachewan, who tore up junior leagues and minor leagues, to stand on top of the world in the NHL with Lord Stanley's Cup and over 450 career goals. Oh yeah, throw in a gold medal. Theo guides you through his life and career, telling funny stories from the road and locker rooms, like you were hanging out with him at some bar. He speaks candidly about his insatiable appetite for partying that cost him several relationships and ultimately his career, but really makes no apologies for it. His life does come full circle with happiness and sobriety, but the books never breaks into "self help" mode.
A few things I really enjoyed about the reading of the book: All of the chapters are very short, but the book itself is a good length. I like to read in short bursts, so this was perfect for me. There was also a good mix of road stories and life history. Theo was always very open and honest about his feelings. If he thought an opponent was a dirt bag, he definately did not mind saying it. The book was a very easy, interesting read and should be a manual for anyone that was ever told they were too small!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book is unreal...Theo's life was beyond interesting to read about.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great read for any hockey fan, Theo's story is incredible. Another great tale of overcoming the odds and beating adversityPublished 6 months ago by Jeff K
An absolutely tragic story. I was a huge fan of Theo when he played. In fact, I saw him score his first NHL goal. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Peter R Haslock
playing with fire is a good read. fleury`s account of his substance abuse is fascinating like a train-wreck. Read morePublished 10 months ago by dave spotts
I would highly recommend this book to any fan of his , the game or sports fan in general. Theo's book proves no matter how dark things get you can always find your way out of your... Read morePublished 10 months ago by annonymus
Great book for hockey fans! A lot of great stories about partying and playing hockey. There're some sad stories in the book as well, but all an all a great book!Published 11 months ago by Kevin Jordan
Unparalleled insight into the World of the NHL through a troubled and turbulent, hugely talented superstar. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Riku Reimaa