Playing With Fire: The Highest Highs And Lowest Lows Of Theo Fleu by Theoren FleuryPlaying With Fire: The Highest Highs And Lowest Lows Of Theo Fleu by Theoren Fleury

Playing With Fire: The Highest Highs And Lowest Lows Of Theo Fleu

byTheoren Fleury

Paperback | October 19, 2010

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One of the most influential hockey books of all time, and the runaway blockbuster that changed the way we look at the sport

Finalist for the CBA Libris Award for Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year

Theo Fleury, at 5'6" made a name for himself in a game played by giants. A star in junior hockey, he became an integral part of the Calgary Flames’ Stanley Cup win in 1989. Fleury’s talent was such that despite a growing drug habit and erratic, inexplicable behaviour on and off the ice, Wayne Gretzky believed in him. He became a key member of the gold medal–winning men’s hockey team at the 2002 Olympics.

The Colorado Avalanche picked up Fleury for the playoffs, and when he signed with the New York Rangers, he was a kid in a candy store. After one season of his next multi-million-dollar deal, this time with the Chicago Blackhawks, Fleury suddenly called it quits and wouldn’t explain why. In Playing with Fire, Theo Fleury takes us behind the bench during his glorious days as an NHL player and talks about growing up devastatingly poor and in chaos at home. Dark personal issues haunted him, with drinking, drugs, gambling and girls ultimately derailing his Hall of Fame–calibre career.

Theoren “Theo” Fleury won a World Junior title, a Turner Cup, a stanley Cup as a rookie with the Calgary Flames and later a Canada Cup and an Olympic gold medal. A former player with the Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks, he now lives in Calgary, where he is a motivational speaker and an investment representat...
Title:Playing With Fire: The Highest Highs And Lowest Lows Of Theo FleuFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.9 inPublished:October 19, 2010Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1554682401

ISBN - 13:9781554682409

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Read An interesting read for any hockey fan. Theo is brutally honest and open about his life and what he went through.
Date published: 2018-07-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Despite the trials and tribulations, I'm glad he made it to the other end in presumably a better position. Motivational. Inspiring.
Date published: 2018-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful Memoir Wow! This novel is an eye-opening account of Theo Fleury's childhood and how it affected his adulthood. This book brings up many harsh issues such as abuse, alcoholism, and drugs. At parts, it is hard to read the novel to know what Theo went through. However, it is very powerful that Theo is able to share his experiences to hopefully help others who are/were in his situation.
Date published: 2017-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow! To go through so much and come out the other side! Great read!
Date published: 2017-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Parts are hard to get through but so inspiring and amazing! A very interesting read
Date published: 2017-06-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing never quit. motivational. inspiring
Date published: 2017-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this! I bought this a month ago, and I'm so glad I did!
Date published: 2017-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating From start to finish I couldn't put it down. Had to read it every chance I got. A must read for any sports person.
Date published: 2017-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bravo Quite a tough read. Props to Theo for putting all his emotion into this book. One of the best biographies I've ever read.
Date published: 2017-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from incredible! A heartbreaking telling of his life story and how he managed to get through everything. Very well written
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Engrossing read Quite the story of his life and career. Some of the claims made of his drinking, drug use and gambling exploits are hard to believe but if true are a sad commentary. Still quite the book to read.
Date published: 2017-01-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great One of the better biographies I've read. Theo is very courageous and sharing his story will help others. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from One of the better biographies I've read I was not disappointed. this book had me hanging on every word, wondering how Fleury ended up where he did.
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I absolutely LOVED this! I bought this from his brother a few years back, I recommend this to everyone. It is an incredible read, very impactful. Loved every second of it.
Date published: 2016-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Playing with fire What an inspiration. By sharing his story it will help others.
Date published: 2016-11-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Theo Fleury is a true victor His courage, his honesty, his journey... this book changed my life.
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Real Page Turner... I just couldn't put this down. Theo was one of my heroes growing up and watching him on the ice was so inspiring and the emotion he brought to the game was infectious. So reading about what was really going on for him, his past, present and the future for him was beyond intriguing and really opened my eyes to the things that happen behind the scenes that we never hear about. Also being someone that has had my own struggles in life this was a very inspirational read to help show there is always light in the darkness and you just have to be willing to look for it and ask for help sometimes. A must read and amazing book from an amazing individual. Had the opportunity to be at one of his events where he spoke about his experiences and it was chilling. A must read!
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from you wont wanna put it down this book left me speechless. when i got it, i was just gonna read the intro and get back to it later, i ended up reading the whole book in one shot. you wont regret buying this book
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from loved this book first book i have read in years got me hooked on reading
Date published: 2016-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING!!! This book is amazing! I couldn't put it down. Great read for anyone, not just hockey fans.
Date published: 2015-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book!! What an amazing story and a real page turner. If you love hockey you will love this book!!
Date published: 2014-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspirational Story A very inspirational story. I couldn't put this book down. To read the behind-the scenes life of one of my heroes growing up was vry eye opening. I took a lot from this book and from Theo's message and I believe everyone that reads this will find some message in it that they will carry with them after they are done reading it. 
Date published: 2014-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good read One of the most honest and we'll written biographies I've read. They holds nothing back and is an inspiration for a lot of people.
Date published: 2013-11-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Insightful Great read. Very insightful look at Theo.
Date published: 2013-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow!!!! What a great book and inspiring life story! Could not put it down. And Im a mother and grandmother. The only association I have with hockey is being a Red Deer Rebels fan so not typically one who would read this book, but I would recommend it to everyone! Thank you so much for sharing, Theoren!
Date published: 2013-04-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Triumph Over Adversity An amazing story of what the human spirit can endure and overcome. "Don't quit before the miracle."
Date published: 2012-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Triumph over Tragedy!!!!! This is one of the best books I've read. I know allot of hockey fans who are reluctant to read this book because they are squeamish about what they might have to read about. To them as well as all others I say - read this book. Fleury has done a good job of telling his story while at the same time being mindful of his reading audience and their sensitivities. The language is straight forward hockey talk - written the way many professional athletes speak. The narrative is compelling and follows Fleury from his early childhood through his junior hockey teen years and into his professional career. Fleury tells the reader frankly about how the demons of his past haunted him through a stellar professional career and ultimately led to the end of that career. That Fleury was able to persevere through all the challenges and continues to work forward as he now helps others is a testament to the strength of the human spirit when faced with seemingly overwhelming odds. The positive contributions of family and close friends are also highlighted. A truly human story of triumph over tragedy and quite simply a great read both for hockey fans and for those who don't know the game.
Date published: 2012-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best books I've read in a long time! I used to think Theo Fleury was a bully. Reading this biography has changed my opinion greatly. What Theo went through was truely brutal, and nobody deserves that. It's amazing that he's overcome so many obstacles to become the amazing Canadian that he is today. A great read, even if you're not a hockey or sports fan!
Date published: 2010-10-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome book! This book full of intense and very descriptive parts the early years of the disturbing early years of Canadian sports icon in Theo Fleury. But throughout this book we can understand why he went down that road of drugs and alcohol. He was confused, scared and pressured by his coach Graham James which sent in that downward spiral. He gives us that sense of exactly how he felt with his coarse wording and raw depictions of each of his life changing experiences throughout his Junior hockey career right on through his career in the NHL. He reveals so much to us readers and by doing so it gives us the true understanding of his troubles that truthfully ended his NHL career and nearly ended his life. The story is scary in that its true and I thank him for being brave in getting his story out to the world.
Date published: 2010-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 2009 Hockey Book Of The Year 2009 Hockey Book Of The Year by Joe Pelletier It should come as no surprise that the 2009 Hockey Book Of The Year is Theoren Fleury's tell-all autobiography Playing With Fire. Tell-all is right. Fleury talks about all of his demons - the drugs, the alcohol, the gambling, the promiscuity - and finally reveals the sad truth behind it all. He was sexually abused by infamous junior coach Graham James. In a weak year for hockey books, nothing really came close to Fleury's book. It has been a Canadian best seller for weeks, drawing the most attention from media across North America. No book rivaled that attention. Fleury has won over fans all around the world, which was not easy given he was one of the most hated hockey players of his era. He has earned everyone's respect for the bravery he has shown with this book, and with the progress he has made in his life. Once again we are all cheering for the little underdog in the biggest fight in his life. Co-author Kirstie McLellan Day deserves full credit for her role writing the book, keep the darkness of Fleury's life very evident in the pages of this book. Her expert touch gives the reader an idea of the emotion and anger of Fleury's life.
Date published: 2010-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from More than absolutely great! This is the most fascinating book I have read in a long time! Theoren lays it all out...raw...sensitive. He should be applauded for what he came through and what he has become as a person! My hat is off to you Theoren!
Date published: 2010-02-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A story of healing and hockey Theo Fleury was during his time one of the most skilled hockey players in the world. A long shot a 5'8'' to make the NHL Fleury set himself a goal as a child to do just that and he did. However, there were demons in his closet that he he did just about everything to keep from coming out. As we now know, Fleury was sexually abused as a teenager by his hockey coach. This is his story of how that act shaped his life, how he coped and finally came to terms with what what stolen from him by a pedophile. A great story. Buy it or borrow - read it twice.
Date published: 2010-02-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Degrees of seperation My husband is cousins with Stu Grimson, my parents are great friends with Lyle Odelein and his parents, my brother in law played hockey with Barry Trapp's grandson, and my home town is only a few hours away from Russell Manitoba, all these reasons to check out this book as recommended to me by my mom. but once I got into it, it turned out to be an amazing story. The ups and downs that Theoren Fluery has made throughout his life, and how he is using his experiences, both good and bad, to help others is incredible. Kudos to Theoren for writing such raw, emotional, and bare all story. If you are not into hockey, the detailed hockey stats, and all the players mentioned can get a little confusing, but otherwise a good read!
Date published: 2010-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from GREAT BOOK I can not believe how revealing this book is it takes alot of guts to write what fleury did awesome book
Date published: 2009-12-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Painfully Honest This book is as honest as they come. Although his thought process can be scattered at times, the book provides candid insight into the horror Theo experienced at the hands of his former coach (and subsequent substance abuse), but also all the good times that the game of hockey provided him. It is great to see how far Theo has come, and how much the sharing of his story has helped those in similar situations. Good on him.
Date published: 2009-11-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting hard story I have always been a Theo fan so I got the book right away. It is a difficult story to read for sure. You get a few little breaks from the difficult parts when he describes many of the best hockey games he has been in and of course, he comes through it all at the end. However, tons of swearing in it and when my 13 year old wanted to read it, I wasn't sure about it. He read the first chapter and then decided maybe he wouldn't read it after all. Theo is certainly an amazing person and his story will help alot of people but you do have to brace yourself to read this journey as it certainly is a very difficult journey. I am glad to have read the book though and I have alot of respect for Theo.
Date published: 2009-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Blunt in more ways than one Theo pulls no punches as he weaves the readers' minds through a shocking, and exciting life. The book is a must read for any hockey fan and would entertain even those who aren't. The story begins with an un-spectacular childhood and continues on to follow the rise and fall of the carreer of one of the best players to ever play in "the show" (pound for pound). The book contains many amusing stories about various NHL superstars, and includes deep a look into the life of an alcoholic, cocaine addicted hockey player who struggles to hide his many demons while being one of the best players in the league. Theo bares all and this book really is one that is hard to put down.
Date published: 2009-10-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book has it all! "Playing With Fire" written by Theoren Fleury, far exceeded my expectations. Once I picked it up it was very hard to put back down. Whether you are a sports fan or not, you will enjoy this book. It provides a detailed look into Theo's life and both the positive and negative experiences that he encountered. It also outlines his experiences with sex, drugs, alcohol and abuse. It is also a story about an individual who fought back, an individual who dedicated his very existence to being the best he could be (both on and off the ice). For those of you interested in reading "Playing with Fire", you won't be disappointed! If you are looking for a book written with lots of emotion and honesty, this book has it all...
Date published: 2009-10-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brutally Honest, and in the end... Triumphant! I have rolled my eyes at Theoren Fleury may times in recent years... after reading this book I regret each and every time I did. What Theo went through is something I would never wish upon anyone, not even my worst enemy. He had his childhood innocence stolen by a man he trusted and for that I truly feel sorry for him. But for as much as this person (who's name I refuse to even type) is responsible for much of Theo's troubles... Fleury also pulls no punches when it comes to accepting responsibilities for his actions and the negative affects they had on not only his life but the lives of those closest to him... and for that he deserves a round of applause. Thankfully... for all the struggles he had to overcome (undersized, serious injuries, abuse, addiction, public scrutiny) he found a way to get through it all and create a new start for his life. This book is not just a must read for Fleury fans (like myself), Flames fans (like myself), or even hockey fans... but for anyone who has ever thought that their struggles are too much to overcome. Fleury almost didn't... but did!
Date published: 2009-10-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Playing with fire... This is one of the best memoirs I've ever read. Actually, it's one of the best books I've ever read. I've read a lot of memoirs and biographies, and this one is brutally honest -- heartbreakingly so. 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.
Date published: 2009-10-21

Editorial Reviews

“The emotional story of a young man who despite his size, troubled upbringing, and addictive demons made an undeniable impact on the game of hockey.”