Anyone who's ever played hockey in the open air will treasure Jack Falla's warm, witty memoir, Home Ice. The New England sports journalist describes how building his backyard rink became a yearly ritual, drawing him closer to family and friends as he "descended the ladder of sports evolution" toward the heart of the game he loves. Falla quotes with approval his 8-year-old daughter, who turns down his offer of figure skating lessons-- "I want to have my own fun, not somebody else's fun." Wonderful moments are captured: an afternoon after a desultory indoor practice when the teenage team he coaches finds a stretch of frozen river on the way home and rediscovers the joy of playing; Falla and his wife together on the rink at midnight, welcoming in the new millennium. We see the rink becoming his best way to connect with the world, a place where friends play shinny, unwind, and reveal their characters by the degree of their willingness to shovel the ice. Near the end he even offers useful instructions on the best way to set up a backyard rink of one's own. Home Ice is an unassuming classic, indispensable for anyone who wants to really understand the world's greatest game. --David Gowdey
There is no shortage of books that describe how participating in a particular sporting activity strengthens bonds between people. Falla's book accomplishes this feat through a collection of essays on backyard skating rinks and frozen ponds and how these local skating venues allow their participants to get in touch with the game of hockey in addition to building relationships with family and friends. The author, a sportswriter and author of Sports Illustrated Hockey, is the architect and CEO of his full-scale backyard rink, the Bacon Street Omni, around which neighborhood life seems to revolve during the long, cold months. Each essay is short and provides for excellent recreational reading for people interested in skating in general and hockey in particular. Throughout, the author's love for winter sports is clear, especially as a link between his New England childhood and his current life, but readers who have never put on a pair of skates may have trouble connecting with this well written book. Recommended for public libraries already stocked with a strong collection of winter-oriented sports books.DPatrick Mahoney, Off-Campus Lib. Svcs., Central Michigan Univ.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.