Home Game: Hockey and Life in Canada

Overview

In October 1983 Ken Dryden gave us what was called the best non-fiction book ever written about hockey – The Game. In that same month Roy MacGregor published what was hailed as the best novel ever written about hockey – The Last Season. In 1989 these two writers teamed up to write another extraordinary book: inspired by Ken Dryden’s major CBC-TV series on hockey, Home Game takes us all the way from street hockey to the showdowns between Canada ...
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Overview

In October 1983 Ken Dryden gave us what was called the best non-fiction book ever written about hockey – The Game. In that same month Roy MacGregor published what was hailed as the best novel ever written about hockey – The Last Season. In 1989 these two writers teamed up to write another extraordinary book: inspired by Ken Dryden’s major CBC-TV series on hockey, Home Game takes us all the way from street hockey to the showdowns between Canada and the Soviets.

On publication, Home Game shot to the top of the bestseller lists, establishing itself as must reading for every hockey fan. Not only was this lavish book with over 95 full-colour photographs popular among ordinary Canadians: book reviewers loved it.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The closest thing the game has to a literary masterpiece.”
Sun (Vancouver)

“This book will be the gauge against which future [sports books] will be measured.…And it’s not just a hockey book; it’s a book about Canadians and what makes us tick.”
Leader-Post (Regina)

“The tale of hockey is told like never before. This is the hockey book of the decade, if not the century.”
Telegraph-Journal (Saint John)

“Dryden and MacGregor have penned a tremendous read.…you’ll be moved to take up skating again. Fans of hockey won’t be disappointed and fans of Canadiana shouldn’t miss it.”
Hamilton Spectator

“Go out right now and buy this book.”
Mercury (Guelph)

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780771028724
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart Ltd.
  • Publication date: 10/28/1990
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 244

Meet the Author

Ken Dryden is a former NHL goalie whose book The Game was nominated for a Governor General’s Award. He was elected a member of Parliament in 2004 and lives in Toronto.

Roy MacGregor is a Globe and Mail columnist and the author of thirty-six books. He lives near Ottawa.

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Read an Excerpt

The fans count down the final seconds. On the bench of the Edmonton Oilers, the players, all standing, hug and laugh and pump their arms in the air. The Stanley Cup is won.

It is the fourth time in five years. But after living through a season of doubts, when to others and sometimes even to themselves they seemed no longer the best, this 1988 Stanley Cup may be for them the sweetest. It is as plain on their dead-white faces as in their incandescent eyes. They have gone through much to get here, and now they feel all the world’s relief, release, and pleasure at having made it. And so do their fans. As the clock melts away, they sing down louder and louder each joyous number.

Wayne Gretzky, their leader, accepts the Stanley Cup, and with a child’s enormous grin he raises it above his head. The fans roar once more. His teammates join round and together they begin their many laps or honour. Like prehistoric men back from the hunt, they display their shimmering prize, passing it from outstretched arms to outstretched arms, sharing it happily, generously, with each other and with their fans.

It is the pinnacle moment for any team. When they came together eight months ago they had one goal — to win a Stanley Cup. They placed themselves in the powerful, yet vulnerable hands of each other. They worked hard and played hard. Sometimes they were weak and selfish. Many times, they forgot the team and went out in search of their own rewards. But only one thing was going to leave them happy. And eight months later, they got it.

They are probably too young to know how rare it is to set out after something and achieve it. Still, in the way the contort their bodies, acting out the feeling that is too big to keep inside, they know they are part of something special.

It is the only moment in a season when there is more than enough for everyone to share, when there is no temptation to pull on the blanket to take more for yourself. Gretzky hands over the prize to Mark Messier, and Messier to Kevin Lowe, and on and on, each new person greeting the Cup with a whoop and a holler to the true delight of the rest. Everyon gives, everyone shares. It is the best of moments.

Oilers’ owner Peter Pocklington works down closer to the ice. From this series he will earn many hundreds of thousands of dollars. Gretzky himself will earn thousands more from NHL and team bonuses. Oilers’ fans have paid higher ticket prices to watch these playoff games, but in return they have seen their remarkable team win. Everyone has given as good as he’s got. There is no resentment, no bitterness, no other agenda. At this one moment, the business of sport does not exist. Anything other than the game has evaporated.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2000

    Dryden Understands

    This book shows that Dryden understands the game, and what the game means. He simply states that to understand Canada you must understand hockey (and vice versa). If you love a sport (even if its not hockey) you will love this book as a way of expressing how sport can mean so much more than the final result.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2000

    A Must!

    I seem to disagree, this book is Dryden at his best. I cannot praise the book enough. It is a book to read over and over again. Outstanding.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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