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The Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980 U. S. Olympic Hockey Team

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Living in the Moment In 1980, the XIII Olympic Winter Games wer

Living in the Moment

In 1980, the XIII Olympic Winter Games were held in Lake Placid, New York. At the time the United States was struggling with an economic slump, fighting an oil crisis, and facing many overseas issues like the Iranian Hostage Crisis and the Cold War...
Living in the Moment

In 1980, the XIII Olympic Winter Games were held in Lake Placid, New York. At the time the United States was struggling with an economic slump, fighting an oil crisis, and facing many overseas issues like the Iranian Hostage Crisis and the Cold War with the USSR. Morale was down throughout American citizens. Wayne Coffey relinquishes a defining moment of these Olympics and American sports history that changes the course of American spirit by retelling the hockey game of USA vs. USSR in the medal semi-finals in the book The Boys of Winter.

The Boys of Winter is a compelling story about hard-work, determination, the cohesiveness of a team, and reaching goals. This book is a fantastic read for someone who is looking for a thrilling recount of the biggest hockey game in American history. The book provides amazing information and enticing stories of players and coaches, but it is not a history lesson. The Boys of Winter starts nearly at the first drop of the puck in Lake Placid on February 22, 1980 and ends after 60 minutes of a hard-hitting hockey game.

I was aware I might be disappointed by this book because I already knew the beginning, middle, and end by watching Disney’s take on the event, the movie Miracle. However, Coffey conveys his own unique spin on the game by accounting for nearly every second spent on the ice, the logistics surrounding it, and my favorite part, expertly intertwined descriptions of each USA player’s personality through special stories of their lives before and after that game. He highlights the strengths of the players enough to make me believe that this win did not just come from a well-conditioned, fairly talented and hard-working group of players; it came from a team where each and every player had their own special addition, from the will to lead by example to the will to disprove stereotypes, that was hand-selected by coach Herb Brooks.

This book was generally a very quick and easy read, but at times when Coffey was detailing every shot took in each period it would drag on. The extensive hockey vocabulary was hard to follow, especially for someone who does not play the sport. He matches his specialized moments by enticing and personable stories that make this book fun to read for someone who is looking for more than just the movie portrays about the game and all the United States players.

posted by ktrefz93 on March 8, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Soccer

My god i am looking for a soccer book

posted by Anonymous on September 22, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2012

    Love hockey?

    Great read. If you love hockey, read this book.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 8, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Living in the Moment In 1980, the XIII Olympic Winter Games wer

    Living in the Moment

    In 1980, the XIII Olympic Winter Games were held in Lake Placid, New York. At the time the United States was struggling with an economic slump, fighting an oil crisis, and facing many overseas issues like the Iranian Hostage Crisis and the Cold War with the USSR. Morale was down throughout American citizens. Wayne Coffey relinquishes a defining moment of these Olympics and American sports history that changes the course of American spirit by retelling the hockey game of USA vs. USSR in the medal semi-finals in the book The Boys of Winter.

    The Boys of Winter is a compelling story about hard-work, determination, the cohesiveness of a team, and reaching goals. This book is a fantastic read for someone who is looking for a thrilling recount of the biggest hockey game in American history. The book provides amazing information and enticing stories of players and coaches, but it is not a history lesson. The Boys of Winter starts nearly at the first drop of the puck in Lake Placid on February 22, 1980 and ends after 60 minutes of a hard-hitting hockey game.

    I was aware I might be disappointed by this book because I already knew the beginning, middle, and end by watching Disney’s take on the event, the movie Miracle. However, Coffey conveys his own unique spin on the game by accounting for nearly every second spent on the ice, the logistics surrounding it, and my favorite part, expertly intertwined descriptions of each USA player’s personality through special stories of their lives before and after that game. He highlights the strengths of the players enough to make me believe that this win did not just come from a well-conditioned, fairly talented and hard-working group of players; it came from a team where each and every player had their own special addition, from the will to lead by example to the will to disprove stereotypes, that was hand-selected by coach Herb Brooks.

    This book was generally a very quick and easy read, but at times when Coffey was detailing every shot took in each period it would drag on. The extensive hockey vocabulary was hard to follow, especially for someone who does not play the sport. He matches his specialized moments by enticing and personable stories that make this book fun to read for someone who is looking for more than just the movie portrays about the game and all the United States players.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Boys of Winter

    The novel The Boys of Winter by Coffey is an amazing story of the 1980 Olympic miracle on ice. This story shows how so many players from diverse areas of the country were able to come together and unite in order to win a gold medal. The book gives a great play by play of the game against the Russians that brought the U.S.A. together. At times this book may sound like it is promoting the violence of the game due to the detail Coffey goes into on the hits but he is just trying to tell an accurate account of the game, nothing more. This is the story of a group of men coming together against all odds, this is not just a book about hockey. So even if the reader does not enjoy hockey they should still enjoy this book. The portrayal of Coach Herb Brooks by Coffey is amazing, the reader gets to see exactly what he had to go through in order to unify that team. Overall The Boys of Winter is highly recommended and all sports fans should take the time to read this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2014

    Hi inc.

    Thats my company. If youre reading this you must repost this three times then look under your bed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2013

    ***********

    Bob Suter is still alive
    Rate:**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2012

    Its a great book but a kittke profanity in it

    ********************************************************************************************************************************************************** stars

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2011

    Highly Recommended - a must read!

    An inspiring story of a dream come true. The dedication and focus, this coach and team had, is remarkable. Truly a Miracle........ that brought me to tears of joy!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2011

    HOCKEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is a great book to read if you are interested in hokey and what happened to one of the best hockey team ever put together by Herb Brooks. It tells the story of the 'miracle on ice' of 1980. People wil love this book if they are interested in hockey. I am and i very much enjoyed this book. I could read it over countless times. READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!<3

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2011

    this is a amazing book

    i love this it is about a dad who.... well you will find out this book is perfect for kids who read at night or hockey but one more time BUY THE DAMN BOOK

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2007

    A Gold Medal Book!

    The Boys of Winter gives the reader an inside look at the lives of the players and coaches of the 1980 United States Olympic Hockey Team. It begins with the funeral of legendary coach Herb Brooks in 2003, and follows with the play-by-play of the Lake Placid Olympic semi-final game between the American and Russian teams. With a 4-3 victory over the Russians, the young Americans went on to win the gold against the Finns. The Boys of Winter is much more than the record of a memorable sports event because it takes us into the lives of the players and coaches. During the heart-stopping plays, author Wayne Coffey often returns to a player's childhood with plenty of details about the youngster's early days on frozen Minnesota lakes and backyard ponds. He includes heartwarming stories of the sacrifices parents made and challenges families overcame. We learn that the players continue to excel in their adult lives some still in hockey, others in business and are enjoying new careers. The decade before the 1980 Olympics was very stressful in America: post-Vietnam, rising tension in Afghanistan with the USSR invasion and rising gas prices. The victory gave Americans reason for hope and pride once more. This is a story of winning over impossible odds, of creating unity, and relentless determination. I enjoyed the book in its entirety, especially how the Herb Brooks united the players from the Midwest and the Northeast by becoming their common enemy. As a hockey fan, the description of the game was made more exciting because Coffey departs from the action to player biographies. For someone unfamiliar with hockey terminology, the story could be difficult to follow, although explanations are given of some hockey-talk. This book is a great piece of historical sports writing, covering a phenomenal twentieth century event. Hockey fans, young hockey players, and those who remember ¿the miracle¿ should consider reading The Boys Of Winter. It¿s definitely a score.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2007

    Miracle on Ice

    This is the best book I have ever read. It is a triumphic story about a group of young men overcoming the odds and defeating the Russians.Herb Brooks seems to be the smartest coach of all time, with his strategic plans on picking the team. I highly suggest this book to anyone who is interested in history or hockey.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2007

    The Best Sports Book Ever Written!

    Beautifully written, carefully researched. An inspiring story and fun to read. Any hockey fan or fan of the 'Miracle' movie/game will love this book. Absolutely outstanding. Reads like the game played.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2007

    The Miracle

    This is a very interesting and touching story of a group of young men defeating the best team in the world at their prime. This is a great story teaching everyone about the team and coaches of the miracle team. Everybody knows this amazing story to some extent but after reading this book everyone will learn a lot more. I think that if you get the chance read this book and you will not regret your time spent reading it. It is a page turner and it makes you feel like you are in the crowd chanting U-S-A with the rest of the fans.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2006

    The Miracle was it on the ice or off...

    The Boys of Winter is a wonderful novel taking an inside look into the team but especially the lives of the athletes of the 1980 Gold Olympic Hockey team. Earning the chance to play in the Olympic finals against Finland after beating the best team in the world, Russia, is just a small fraction of what these boys did. Yes, boys! The average age of the 1980 USA Olympics hockey team was 22. This novel delves into the people who live on to become legends. One example is Steve Janaszak practicing late at night by the light of his dad¿s car, Jimmy Craig¿s mom, Margaret, being completely devout to her children, dies of cancer. Mark Pavelich overcomes a tragic shooting accident while hunting. All of the athletes overcome their own challenges. A major theme is the challenges on the ice, off the ice, and from Herb Brooks. Herb Brooks, the coach of the 1980 Olympic hockey team, was considered by many to be too harsh on the team. As the players now say Herb Brooks was a great coach, able to unite them. Without Herb Brooks the team may have been individuals causing problems if they did not have a united front against Herb Brooks. Herb Brooks not only united them but played many different mind games with all the players in order to motivate his team. In the end Herb Brooks was successful in his radical ideas and followed through with an Olympic Gold Medal. This was a book that I hated to put down. I enjoyed the background information that any one active in the sports world knows about the miracle that happened on the ice the night of February 22, 1980 but the facts and information about the lives of the athletes involved is what makes the story. I enjoyed how the book was written with the information displayed going back and forth between an in-depth look at the individual players¿ lives and the game against the Soviets. I disliked the fact that the book followed the hockey game but did not give enough on the teams played. Also I would have liked more insight into the life of the players after the 1980 Olympics. There are parts that talk a bit about what happened after the miracle but I would have liked to know more about what these young legendary player went on to do with their lives. I would definitely recommend this book whether you are an athlete or not. The book does a great job of not only talking about the hockey and sports side of life at this time but also the political and social aspects going on in the lives of all people around the world. This book touches the lives of all portraying the time period and the simple hockey game that has influenced the lives of so many.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2006

    The Miracle of the Twentieth Century

    The U.S¿s greatest hockey moment takes center stage in Wayne Coffey¿s book The Boys of Winter. On the night of February 22, 1980, in Lake Placid, New York, Herb Brooks¿ U.S. Olympic hockey team took on the reining Olympic champion Soviet Union in the Olympic semi-final game. Coffey breaks the game down period by period and play by play, from the first face off right down to the last exciting second. Coffey also takes a deeper look at the lives of each of the team¿s members since that evening in Lake Placid, detailing their various careers and accomplishments. Throughout the book Coffey employs deep messages of hope, faith and team work. Coffey makes the reader feel as if they are equally important as each of the team members. The author strives to make his readers believe in the true miracle of the U.S¿s win against the Soviet Union with great accomplishment. I absolutely enjoyed this book! I enjoyed everything from the pressure of the first face off to the relief of the last second. I enjoyed Coffey¿s writing style and his use of flashback, foreshadowing and personification. These three stylistic devices brought an immense amount of depth and anticipation to the book. I also enjoyed how Coffey described the lives of the team members after that night. Many people often forget about the people and Coffey does not. However this book is, at times, difficult to read because of the hockey jargon used to describe plays the U.S. used during the game and to describe the players themselves. The book is also hard to read at times because of the play by play action. If a person reads this book and only has a microscopic knowledge of the game of hockey, this book would be very hard to follow. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with an interest in hockey or the 1980 American Olympic hockey team. As a reader, you feel as if you were there when the U.S. scored their goals against the Soviet Union, you can feel the vibration of the stands, you can hear the reverberation of the chanting and you can believe in the true miracle that came to be the night of February 22, 1980 in Lake Placid, New York when the U.S. hockey team beat the unbeatable and went into the history books as the sports miracle of the twentieth century.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2006

    At what price glory?

    This a a great book not because it recounts the game where boys beat monsters but because it details the huge emotional price paid by both players and coaches for the victory. How far should one go in order to achieve 'the win'? What kind of individual does it take to give and receive extreme emotional, physical, and mental discipline? This book delivers the answers to those questions at the level where their blades meet the ice. It shows the bad and disturbing moments with the same detail as the glorious part. This probing account once again proves that anything, however improbable it may be, is at least remotely possible on any given wintry Friday night.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2006

    Best sports book ever

    The boys of Winter is not just a book about a hoockey team, it is a book about the hockey team. The team is the 1980 olympic team. This book is so good it will have you read it again and again. the stats in the book are cool and the box scores and rosters are even cooler. The story told really will motivate you respect people. Herb brooks the coach is just the best ever. Lots of new coachs take herbs style and take it into play on there teams. Just as the book motivates you the best part is the expirence of life and sports back then. There are no such things as dream teams only the reallity of having one. When you read this book it really puts it into perspective of how hard it was for a country to compete in the olympic games. Though people die, people like herb live forever. His spirit will be with us for eternity and will bless our hockey teams from now out. He was not just a coach but a hero. Anyone who met him would and should be honored to have met such a great and talented guy. If I would have met him i would feel honored.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2005

    You will believe!

    Great book on the greatest moment in sports. If you are at all interested in the Miracle on Ice team, you will love this book and learn things you didn't know about the players and people that made it possible.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2005

    Hockey as it should be

    This is just a tremendous read. Hockey is a simple game played on ponds and rinks. If you've played the game the book brings you back to younger days playing up to eight hours on the ponds of New England. You realize that kids in Minnesota, Michigan were doing the same and everyone had a dream of college, olympic and NHL hockey.It's unfortunate with the state of pro hockey today which is a boring game played by overpaid players who really don't care about the game only their fat wallets.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2005

    Inspiration from perspiration.

    The story presents the reader with an insiders view of the players who, born with gifted athleticism; faced a demanding coach in his quest to adopt a new system of hockey to compete with the Soviets in the 1980 winter olympics which resulted in a stunning victory for America and future US born players. I suggest this entertaining yet simple to understand read to anyone looking for an inspiration to succeed.

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