Format: Trade Paperback
Dimensions: 304 pages, 8.12 × 5.19 × 0.82 in
Published: May 1, 2007
Publisher: Knopf Canada
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
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.
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.”
“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.”
“Facing Ali is a work of wit and insight. It goes the distance.”
–The Vancouver Sun
From the Hardcover edition.