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From the Publisher"[A] brilliant compilation."
"What drives a Bobby Orr to push along on wrecked knees? How was Wayne Gretzky able to see patterns opening up on a rush before they did? Why did Tim Raines risk all his potential on cocaine? Not all of the answers are to be found in this eclectic and intentionally quirky collection of exceptional Canadian sports reportage, but the questions are posed frankly and with no ulterior motive beyond sincere curiosity."
—Ottawa Citizen, Feb 6, 2005
"The way it looks from here is pretty darn good. With Mordecai Richler writing on former world snooker champion Cliff Thorburn of Victoria, Peter Gzowski on Gretzky, Ken Dryden on saving hockey and Stephen Brunt on the still unforgiven Ben Johnson, how can it not be?... These varied and mostly well-chosen pieces reflect [the Canadian] understated yet sometimes surprisingly feisty national sporting character."
—The Times-Colonist (Victoria)
"[Brunt] has assembled an eclectic and intentionally quirky collection of exceptional Canadian sports reportage. . . . As a whole, [the selections] explore what it is about sports that captivates so many of us. . . . Questions are posed frankly and with no ulterior motive beyond sincere curiosity."
—The Gazette (Montreal)
"Skillfully selected.… sure to take readers back to a more innocent time — when Wayne Gretzky was the world’s greatest hockey player, not a Hockey Canada executive, Ben Johnson was the world’s fastest human, not a drug cheat, and the Montreal Expos and Toronto Blue Jays were at the top of the baseball world and had more than a few thousand fans in the stands per game to witness it."
—Winnipeg Free Press
"Brunt’s good choices … sew past to present to future with magical stitches."
Praise for Facing Ali:
• A Globe 100 Best Book of the Year
• A Sports Illustrated Book of the Year
“These are men of substance, worth getting to know. Brunt does them justice, but the author has done something even more impressive: He has found something new to report about Muhammad Ali.”
“Stephen Brunt’s method of revealing the human story is as rich as it is simple. . . . The 15 stories in Facing Ali are elicited with a respect and appreciation that is simply too rare in sports reporting these days. Boxing desperately needs more coverage that combines Brunt’s technical knowledge with his writerly interest in these human stories upon which all prize fighting is based.”
—The Globe and Mail
“Facing Ali is a work of wit and insight. It goes the distance.”
—The Vancouver Sun
From the Hardcover edition.