There is a joke I know. It goes like this...
What's the difference between Canadians and Americans?
Canadians think there's a difference between Canadians and Americans.
As an American, I thought, tongue-in-cheek, that there wasn't really any difference between us and our neighbors to the north. Well, of course they have funny colored money, speak two languages, and say 'aboot' instead of about. But essentially we are the same.
Oh yeah, they have a strange fascination - obsession - with the sport of hockey. However, to know why hockey is so much at the heart of Canada and it's people is to appreciate that they aren't 'just like us'. That is the purpose of _Home Game_, by Ken Dryden and Roy MacGregor.
Dryden, a former goalie of the Montreal Canadiens and numerous Canadian National teams, along with MacGregor do this wonderfully. His broad sweep is both sociological and poetic, as he tries not to just explain, but also to convey, through his words, how much Canada relies on hockey to maintain it's identity.
The stories range from a father using the hose on a cold winters day to create a young son's ice 'arena', to the mega-bucks dealings that would send National icon Wayne Gretzky to Los Angeles. It is a hockey book and more. A wonderfully emotional piece, Canada will never seem 'just like us' after reading this book.