Iceman

Iceman

3.8 8
by Chris Lynch
     
 

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Is Eric as cold as the ice he skates on? A fiery tour de force from the author of Inexcusable, a National Book Award finalist.

The other guys on Eric’s hockey team call him the Iceman, because he’s a heartless player, cold as ice. Only Eric knows the truth—he’s not cold, he’s on fire, burning with a need he just…  See more details below

Overview

Is Eric as cold as the ice he skates on? A fiery tour de force from the author of Inexcusable, a National Book Award finalist.

The other guys on Eric’s hockey team call him the Iceman, because he’s a heartless player, cold as ice. Only Eric knows the truth—he’s not cold, he’s on fire, burning with a need he just can’t explain. Least of all to his family—not to his dad, whose only joy in life is watching Eric smash other hockey players to a pulp. Or his mom, who starts every conversation with, “Your problem is...” Or even his brother, Duane, once a star athlete, now a star slacker.

Can Eric find a way to make them understand how he feels—before the fire inside consumes him completely?

Editorial Reviews

Stephanie Zvirin
At 14, Eric still loves his parents (his older, rebellious brother, Duane, seems to have given up), but Eric knows they are incapable of giving him the warmth and honest emotion he seeks. So emotionally fragile he hates to be physically touched, Eric slams out his anger and suffering in the hockey rink, where he's the Iceman, "the animal," so out of control even his own teammates shun him. Only time spent at the local mortuary--sitting in coffins and spying on mourners with McLaughlin, the taciturn recluse who works there--gives him some measure of comfort. But in this totally unpredictable novel, nothing is what it seems. Eric's salvation doesn't come from death. It comes from a Canadian hockey player who makes Eric face up to his feelings about the game; from Duane, who turns out to be a surprisingly wise brother-best friend; and, inadvertently, from McLaughlin, whom (in a discreetly handled but shocking scene) Eric finds sleeping entwined with a corpse. Much better than the usual sports novel, this is an unsettling, complicated portrayal of growing up in a dysfunctional family. Lynch is a wizard with game color, and he challenges the violence of the game throughout the story. Family dynamics are superbly drawn and characters cast with great sensitivity and depth--even Eric's father has his vulnerable side. It's only McLaughlin, at once caring and disturbed, shrouded in mystery, who'll give readers pause. A thought-provoking book guaranteed to compel and touch a teenage audience.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442460034
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
03/05/2013
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
725,328
File size:
7 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Playing With Fire

This is why I'm confused. I'm a hockey player -- a very good hockey player', not a great hockey player. My brother Duane was a great hockey player when he played, but he gave it up. "If I know one thing in this world, then this is the thing I know," he told me the day he bestowed his old equipment on me. "The minute you start thinking about the meaning of sports, you're useless as an athlete."

But that's not why I'm confused. I don't question why I'm a hockey player, I just am one. It's my style that's the issue. I play hard. Rock-'em sock-'em, you might say. Yet I always lead my team in scoring. Not because I've worked to develop my shot or my puckhandling skills, but because I either intimidate guys into giving the puck up to me or I ram the guy with the puck right into the net.

It works. Coach is always using me for an example in practice. "The guy with the fire in the belly," he calls me. "If you all played with half the fire this guy has, we'd win the damn Stanley Cup." But then he'll turn around and tell them, "He's cold as ice, this boy. And that's what you need to do the job. He'd skate right over his own mother, slice her to bits, to get that puck." And he meant it as a good thing.

Somehow, he was right both ways. I'm known to other players as the Iceman, because I'm heartless. But they couldn't really know about the burning inside. Could I be both, fire and ice?

Sure, depending on the day.

Opening day this season, in my grubby little league, I was on fire. I don't play anything, don't really do anything, in the summer, so I was kind of itchy when the season started. I cameout like a pinball, hitting everything in sight. I play defense, but right off the opening face-off I took a run at the center, leaving him flat like a bull's-eye in the face-off circle. The puck dribbled off to his left winger, who I chased, caught, and body slammed. As I sat on that guy, the defenseman came rushing by and scooped up the puck. Whoosh, he blew by the lame center and lame right winger on my team. Swoosh, he blew by our lame right defenseman.

But by the time he reached the right circle in front of our lame goalie, I was right on his ear. He heard me I know, because when I come up behind a guy, I use a heavy, pounding stride that cuts the ice so hard you can hear it in the stands. As I hoped, he tilted a glance just slightly over his shoulder in my direction and hesitated before winding up, and he was mine. His skates left the ice momentarily as I drove him with a football-like tackle, past the net and into the boards with a crash of sticks and pads and skates. Almost knocked myself out in the process.

I dragged myself wheezing and hunching to the bench. Less than a full minute into the season, and I was so exhausted I couldn't speak.

"Sometimes I think maybe you should just leave your stick on the bench when you go out there," Coach said, laughing, as he passed me the Gatorade squeeze bottle.

That was pretty much how that first game went. I knew that I should have been pacing myself, but it was like I had no control over it. I'd sit on the bench, get my wind back, then go out like a maniac for sixty seconds, destroying everything out there until I could barely crawl back to the bench. Somehow in all that I managed to steamroll a goal in, by slashing at the goalie's hands so much in a pileup that I swear I heard him mutter, "Screw this," as he pulled his hands back. We won 1-0, mostly because by halfway through the second period nobody on their team was too hot for holding the puck, and because I was being too disruptive for my own team to get any flow going when I was on the ice. When I wasn't on the ice? Let's just say my team wasn't very deep, which is why I had to concentrate on staying on the ice longer, not burning out.

Game 2 was a whole different thing. Pacing was never a problem. It came only three days after that first crazy game, but I felt so different, it was like I was a different player inside the same #4 uniform. I was cool, cold even, as I thumped up and down the ice, doing my job, stopping everybody who came my way, clearing the puck out of the defensive zone, even managing to whistle a few drives on net from the point. But I felt nothing. I knocked some guys down with good clean checks. Some guys knocked me down. But we all went on our way. When the second period came, I had no recollection of the first and had to look up at the scoreboard to find out that we were down 2-0.

The only time I felt a little bit of a something was when I had to go with Dice. Darren Dice, a big mother of a guy who had been dogging me since my earliest peewee games, was stalking me for the first of our many annual brawls, but I hadn't even noticed him. Not much of a talent, Dice, but always with a mean stupid grin that scares people into making mistakes for him. And he could knock out a bronze statue if you let him catch you...

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Meet the Author

Chris Lynch is the Printz Honor Award–winning author of several highly acclaimed young adult novels, including Printz Honor Book Freewill, Iceman, Gypsy Davy, and Shadow Boxer—all ALA Best Books for Young Adults—as well as Killing Time in Crystal City, Little Blue Lies, Pieces, Kill Switch, Angry Young Man, and Inexcusable, which was a National Book Award finalist and the recipient of six starred reviews. He holds an MA from the writing program at Emerson College. He teaches in the Creative Writing MFA program at Lesley University. He lives in Boston and in Scotland.

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Iceman 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
I liked this book because it was more of a sport book. The whole time i was reading this book i was asking myself "why did the author write this book?" and i thought he wrote this book to show that if you love something dont give up just try it the way you think is right.
cam88 More than 1 year ago
The book "Iceman" by Chris lynch is a great book! Chris lynch the author that has a wife and two kids (son and daughter) is a stay at home parent/writer. drurning his teens he did himself played sports.*= Eric a 14 year old boy who is a trubbled kid and hes pretty violent on the ice. his team mates call him the iceman ,but eric believes hes better than that. Lynch shows hockey as a violent game but also shows it being good. His father loves to watch Eric play and sort of lives vicariously plays through Eric's play. I play hockey myself and I could relate to this and this attracted my reading this novel. I highly recommend this book to a teen wanting to watch what life growing up as a boy that plays hockey is like. cam
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book Iceman is an amazing book. It is an action book in some chapters but then a gruesome book in other chapters. You don¿t have to be a sports fan to love this book. Chris Lynch writes Iceman in a way that all readers can understand the book. The reader can like all kinds of different types of books. It was a great sports book to read and respond about because it can really pull the reader into the book Eric is a 14 year old heartless hockey player who loves the game. He is a great athlete, works hard and is a bulldozer in his league. He is obsessed with dead bodies. There is a lot of hitting and it is an awesome sports book. If you are a sports fan or like sports we would recommend it to you. Chris Lynch wrote this book in a unique form because he put motions and emotions together.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book iceman by Chris Lynch is about a troubled 14-year-old named Eric or ¿Iceman¿. His behavior on the ice is violent but he is productive in scoring. His inside feelings are confused due to his bad house life and low school attendance. This book could reflect many teens¿ lives, which makes it good to read. You don¿t need to be a sports fan to appreciate advice from the author. The sports aspect of this book is very good. Lynch shows hockey show as a violent game but also shows it being good. His father loves him to watch him play and sort of lives vicariously through Eric¿s play. I play hockey and I could relate to this and this attracted my reading also. Many parents live through their children¿s actions and if this is your parent it will help you. I highly recommend this book to a teen wanting to watch what life growing up as a boy is like.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the book called iceman by Chris lynch. This book is about a Kid named Eric who was thought to be a really good hockey player . That is what his father thought of him. His mother wasn¿t as Proud of him as his father was. She just talked to Eric and Always started with what is your problem. Eric responds with Her by just walking away from her. This book would inspire Anyone who is into sports books and stuff like that. I would Give this book a thumbs up or a 100 per. Rating. I really Enjoyed reading this book. I felt connected with Eric the main Character.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OTZI!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I hope that you will too!