The Meaning of Puck: How Hockey Explains Modern Canada

by Bruce Dowbiggin

Red Deer Press | November 23, 2011 | Trade Paperback

The Meaning of Puck: How Hockey Explains Modern Canada is rated 2.3333 out of 5 by 3.

Hockey is more than a game. It''s more than a way of life. In Canada, it''s a portrait of who we are. It''s a window into our very soul.

In The Meaning of Puck, bestselling author Bruce Dowbiggin takes a peek into that window and - frankly - it''s not always such a pretty picture. Viewed through the prism of hockey, Canada is, Dowbiggin argues, a land of compelling and surprising - even ugly and embarrassing - contradictions.

In a series of essays that is a road trip across the nation''s cultural landscape, he shows how the national passion of hockey reflects - or deflects - the issues of globalization, regionalism, anti-Americanism, militarism, violence, racism and greed.

Why are Canadians, for instance, such strenuous advocates of pacifism and non-militarism around the world while simultaneously embracing - and promoting - the world''s most vicious and violent brand of hockey? It''s not the Americans who popularize violence in hockey. It''s us.

Dowbiggin comes to terms with the absurd hero worship of The Great One. Or why Canadians so smugly spoof American ignorance while making a cultural icon of Don Cherry. Is it because in a nation without rules or standards he still stands for something, however distasteful?

The Meaning of Puck is a funny, acidic, irreverent, argumentative and often infuriating but always thought-provoking look into the fabric of a nation straining to keep old traditions alive and incorporate new national myths.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 232 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 1 in

Published: November 23, 2011

Publisher: Red Deer Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0889954739

ISBN - 13: 9780889954731

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Reviews

Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not good at all Bruce Dowbiggin might like a little cheese with that whine.
Date published: 2011-03-03
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Worst book i have ever read. Very boring read, the author is too wordy and opinionated to get his "unbiased" point across. The "Golen Spruce" was wordy but i couldn't put it down. This book i couldn't finish, i tried to revisit some time later and gave up in disgust. Thats correct, Disgust: an emotion that is typically associated with things that are regarded as unclean, inedible, infectious, or otherwise offensive. One more thing i kept struggling with was the title of the book, The Meaning of Puck: how hockey explains Modern Canada. The title is catchy and grabs your attention, but is also misleading as there is no substance to the claims made by the author for his opinion that hockey is a barbaric game. If you are not familiar with the game of hockey after reading this book you would assume that Don Cherry and Todd Bertuzzi are both one of the same in the Anti Christ. Save your self some time you will never get back in your life and pass on this one. Shane Monday
Date published: 2009-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So you think you might not like hockey ... no way I have met mainly two types of people in Canada: those who are obsessively in love with hockey and those who do not know what the heck it is. In the “Meaning of Puck”, Bruce Dowbiggin has illustrated the intricate relationship between this national favourite pastime and the underlying Canadian culture and concurrent political environment nicely. Even for me, a new immigrant who has never watched a full game of hockey, ever, this book is still tremendously fun, insightful, and (believe it or not) educational. In the past, I might have wondered if hockey can be viewed as the denominator to signify deep rooted Canadians from first generation immigrants and travelers. (Merely a fun thought to entertain, not one to segregate.) Not any more. Seeing hockey through reading “The meaning of Puck”, I believe otherwise – it’s all about the Canadian spirit, the sense of belonging in the midst of diversity and acceptance. I guess, the moment I felt I truly like Canada, I couldn’t stop myself from noticing the fun in hockey. Sometime this year, I will start from learning how to skate. In the meanwhile, it’s not bad to try to match team names with their origins, see Sydney Crosby playing shinny at the Timmy’s ad, play NHL2K9 on Wii, or, of course, watch Toronto Leafs playing whoever.
Date published: 2009-03-16

– More About This Product –

The Meaning of Puck: How Hockey Explains Modern Canada

by Bruce Dowbiggin

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 232 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 1 in

Published: November 23, 2011

Publisher: Red Deer Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0889954739

ISBN - 13: 9780889954731

From the Publisher

Hockey is more than a game. It''s more than a way of life. In Canada, it''s a portrait of who we are. It''s a window into our very soul.

In The Meaning of Puck, bestselling author Bruce Dowbiggin takes a peek into that window and - frankly - it''s not always such a pretty picture. Viewed through the prism of hockey, Canada is, Dowbiggin argues, a land of compelling and surprising - even ugly and embarrassing - contradictions.

In a series of essays that is a road trip across the nation''s cultural landscape, he shows how the national passion of hockey reflects - or deflects - the issues of globalization, regionalism, anti-Americanism, militarism, violence, racism and greed.

Why are Canadians, for instance, such strenuous advocates of pacifism and non-militarism around the world while simultaneously embracing - and promoting - the world''s most vicious and violent brand of hockey? It''s not the Americans who popularize violence in hockey. It''s us.

Dowbiggin comes to terms with the absurd hero worship of The Great One. Or why Canadians so smugly spoof American ignorance while making a cultural icon of Don Cherry. Is it because in a nation without rules or standards he still stands for something, however distasteful?

The Meaning of Puck is a funny, acidic, irreverent, argumentative and often infuriating but always thought-provoking look into the fabric of a nation straining to keep old traditions alive and incorporate new national myths.

About the Author

Bruce Dowbiggin is a critically acclaimed sports journalist whose many award-winning works include Money Players: How Hockey's Greatest Stars Beat the NHL at Its Own Game, Of Ice and Men and The Stick: A History, A Celebration, an Elegy. His work in radio and television has twice won him the Gemini Award for Excellence in sports broadcasting.

Bruce Dowbiggin is a critically acclaimed sports journalist whose many award-winning works include Money Players: How Hockey''s Greatest Stars Beat the NHL at Its Own Game, Of Ice and Men and The Stick: A History, A Celebration, an Elegy. His work in radio and television has twice won him the Gemini Award for Excellence in sports broadcasting.