Searching For Bobby Orr

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Searching For Bobby Orr

by Stephen Brunt

Knopf Canada | May 1, 2007 | Trade Paperback

Searching For Bobby Orr is rated 3.8571 out of 5 by 7.
The book that hockey fans have been waiting for: the definitive, unauthorized account of the man many say was the greatest player the game has ever seen.

The legend of Bobby Orr is one of the most enduring in sport. Even those who have never played the game of hockey know that the myth surrounding Canada’s great pastime originates in places like Bobby Orr’s Parry Sound. In the glory years of the Original Six – an era when the majority of NHLers were Canadian – hockey players seemed to emerge fully formed from our frozen rivers and backyard rinks, to have found the source of their genius somehow in the landscape. Like Mozart, they just appeared – Howie Morenz, Gordie Howe, Maurice Richard and Bobby Orr – spun out of the elements, prodigies, geniuses, originals, to stoke the fantasy of a nation united around a puck.

Bobby Orr redefined the defensive style of hockey; there was nothing like it before him. He was the first to infuse the defenseman position with offensive juice, driving up the ice, setting up players and scoring some goals of his own. He was the first player to win three straight MVP awards, the first defenseman to score twenty or more goals in a season. His most famous goal won the Boston Bruins the Stanley Cup in 1970 – for the first time in twenty-nine years – against the St. Louis Blues in overtime. But history will also remember Bobby Orr as a key figure in the Alan Eagleson scandal, and as the unfortunate player forced into early retirement in 1978 because of his injuries. His is a story of dramatic highs and lows.

In Searching for Bobby Orr, Canada’s foremost sportswriter gives us a compelling and graceful look at the life and times of Bobby Orr that is also a revealing portrait of a game and a country in transition.

So Bobby Orr could skate, he could stickhandle, he could fight when he had to. He could shoot without looking at the net, without tipping a goaltender as to what was coming. His slapshot came without a big windup, and was deadly accurate. Skating backwards, defending, he was all but unbeatable one on one. He could poke check the puck away, or muscle a forward into the boards. In front of his own net, stronger on his feet than his skinny frame would suggest, he wouldn’t be moved. But there was more…
–from Searching for Bobby Orr


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 304 pages, 8.12 × 5.19 × 0.82 in

Published: May 1, 2007

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0676976522

ISBN - 13: 9780676976526

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Suggested reading for the Canadian hockey fan I very much enjoyed reading this book. Mr. Brunt was able to weave together both facts and analysis that felt genuine and informative. It is not easy for young NHL fans to understand how professional hockey functioned before the amateur draft or when there were only 6 teams. Through Brunt's description, I felt I started to understand the control that owners and the teams had over hockey. Alan Eagleson is a key player in this book, and I was not aware he had such an important role in Bobby Orr's career. The book was overall an easy read but also included a few deep thoughts that made you think or rethink about changes in professional sports. I especially enjoyed the passage about how sports heroes are held to different standards than movie or rock stars, because they are seen a role models. I agree and found it captivating that the trust between sports reporters and athletes has become nonexistent. Brunt proposes that Orr has a role in shaping the current environment. Being from Northern Ontario, I appreciated the Parry Sound portrayal and felt like I understand where Bobby came from, even if I am more than 30 years his junior. The only two weaknesses in my opinion is his constant reminders that Orr was amazing (a bit over the top) and I found the early-to-mid chapters a little jumpy, moving from junior to professional then back to junior. But overall, I felt this is a must read for any fan of professional hockey or hockey in general. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2011-03-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read One has to give credit to Mr. Brunt. Bobby Orr! There are not many sports hero's that are so untouchable and secretive than Mr. Orr, yet an admirable effort to bring the essence of the mystic legend to light.. Brunt gave us a good understanding of Orr's formative years and a sence of the time and challenges the Orr's faced. Brunt's writing brought you to the rinks, the punishing games, the injuries, the politics and a sence that Orr had a dark side. We became privy to a more intimate person and the dynamics of the NHL. I feel that there is a great deal more we may one day know of Mr. Orr, in some ways, I'm just fine with knowing what I know from Mr. Brunt and this book. I enjoyed this book, I hope that you do too.
Date published: 2011-02-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read . I originally passed on it based on the few reviews ; however, I was pleasantly surprised. Despite the "up and down" reviews, I thought this book was interesting and well written. One reviewer wrote, "In the course of researching this book, author Stephen Brunt was not able to talk to Orr or any of his close knit circle of friends and family. As a result, Brunt's account is superficial and, ultimately, disappointing and unsatisfying." I disagree. Because Orr was, in the reviewer's own words, a "secretive, introverted man", I do not believe that he is inclined to reveal any more of his private life than was shared in this book. The book provides an objective account of the best and most exciting hockey player ever to lace a pair of skates. Included are Bobby's battle with knee problems that robbed him (and all hockey fans) of a lengthy career and his financial difficulties linked to his association with Alan Eagleson.
Date published: 2011-01-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Number Fohour Bobby Ohour Stephen Brunt paints a classic bio about the classic #4
Date published: 2009-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Terrific I read this book during the summer of 2007. I recall enjoying it tremendously. Had the author been anyone else, I'm not sure I would have bought it, but I consider Stephen Brunt to be one of Canada's most talented sports columnists/writers. The book was an easy read, going through the beginnings of Orr's career, the wheeling and dealing that brought him to his various stops in junior hockey and to the NHL , and the relationship with Alan Eagleson, which eventually turned sour. The book examines much about the player's rise to stardom, but due to Orr's very private persona, I was left with a feeling that there would be much more to tell. Brunt seems up front about this. I actually bought 2 copies. One for myself and one for a great friend who is a Bruins fan. I would recommend this book to any hockey fan.
Date published: 2007-10-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply The Best! As someone lucky enough to watch Bobby Orr play for the Oshawa Generals, I have always felt that he was, not just the best hockey player of all time, but the most beautiful to watch. Stephen Brunt's book brought back vivd memories of an artist at work. I realize that there was far more to Brunt's narrative and his account of Orr's complex life from simple beginnings is fascinating but, for me, the book brought back powerful feelings about a game and a player that I revered - hockey and Bobby Orr: simply the best.
Date published: 2007-01-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from wish I could return it I found this book to be full of insinuations of Bobby's personality, character and private life ect. It wasn't backed up by any facts just presumptions, for most stars or famous people you could probably get away with this (to write a book and make a few bucks) but not with Bobby Orr, by the time I finished this book I despised the author and his writing style. Just another person making money off of Bobby's career...
Date published: 2006-11-13

– More About This Product –

Searching For Bobby Orr

by Stephen Brunt

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 304 pages, 8.12 × 5.19 × 0.82 in

Published: May 1, 2007

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0676976522

ISBN - 13: 9780676976526

Read from the Book

Chapter One Parry Sound On the river, he could skate forever. No barrier but the banks and the horizon, the ice stretching far out into the bay. Soon enough, the cold seemed to disappear, even for the boy who always insisted on lacing up barefoot – it just felt better, more natural, that way. Take the puck, and try to hold it. Keep away. Offer it up, then pull it back, tuck it behind the blade, make it disappear. Sleight of hand, sleight of feet. Learn to keep your head up, your eyes forward, feel the puck on your stick, don’t look down. Speed up, change direction, the motion natural, deceptive, economical, graceful. No churning legs or laboured strides, even on beat-up, second-hand skates. He is smaller than the rest, a skinny kid, scrawny, no meat on his bones at all. But they can’t get near him, even though it looks as if he isn’t working hard, as if he is shifting through the gears in automatic – one speed, then another, then another. Size and muscle are of no use, without corners, without ends, without limits. There are no coaches standing by, waiting to impose their will. No parents shouting at the side. No drills, no repetition, but rather every rush is an improvisation, a jazz solo, a flight of the imagination. And when the boy is clear of them all, or alone by choice, when all he faces is open ice, the other sounds of his world disappear, the intermittent hum of small-town traffic, the rumble of distant factories, the angry shouts at hom
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From the Publisher

The book that hockey fans have been waiting for: the definitive, unauthorized account of the man many say was the greatest player the game has ever seen.

The legend of Bobby Orr is one of the most enduring in sport. Even those who have never played the game of hockey know that the myth surrounding Canada’s great pastime originates in places like Bobby Orr’s Parry Sound. In the glory years of the Original Six – an era when the majority of NHLers were Canadian – hockey players seemed to emerge fully formed from our frozen rivers and backyard rinks, to have found the source of their genius somehow in the landscape. Like Mozart, they just appeared – Howie Morenz, Gordie Howe, Maurice Richard and Bobby Orr – spun out of the elements, prodigies, geniuses, originals, to stoke the fantasy of a nation united around a puck.

Bobby Orr redefined the defensive style of hockey; there was nothing like it before him. He was the first to infuse the defenseman position with offensive juice, driving up the ice, setting up players and scoring some goals of his own. He was the first player to win three straight MVP awards, the first defenseman to score twenty or more goals in a season. His most famous goal won the Boston Bruins the Stanley Cup in 1970 – for the first time in twenty-nine years – against the St. Louis Blues in overtime. But history will also remember Bobby Orr as a key figure in the Alan Eagleson scandal, and as the unfortunate player forced into early retirement in 1978 because of his injuries. His is a story of dramatic highs and lows.

In Searching for Bobby Orr, Canada’s foremost sportswriter gives us a compelling and graceful look at the life and times of Bobby Orr that is also a revealing portrait of a game and a country in transition.

So Bobby Orr could skate, he could stickhandle, he could fight when he had to. He could shoot without looking at the net, without tipping a goaltender as to what was coming. His slapshot came without a big windup, and was deadly accurate. Skating backwards, defending, he was all but unbeatable one on one. He could poke check the puck away, or muscle a forward into the boards. In front of his own net, stronger on his feet than his skinny frame would suggest, he wouldn’t be moved. But there was more…
–from Searching for Bobby Orr


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Stephen Brunt is Canada’s premier sportswriter and commentator. He is the author of The Way It Looks from Here: Contemporary Canadian Writing on Sports; Facing Ali: The Opposition Weighs In; Mean Business: The Rise and Fall of Shawn O’Sullivan; Second to None: The Roberto Alomar Story and Diamond Dreams: 20 Years of Blue Jays Baseball. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario.

Editorial Reviews

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 Hardcover edition.
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