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Midnight Hockey: All About Beer, the Boys, and the Real Canadian Game [Paperback]

Bill Gaston
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 25.00
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Book Description

Sept. 25 2007
From Giller-nominated author Bill Gaston, proof not only that hockey players can read, but that some of them can even write.

Midnight Hockey tells the story of Gaston’s final season, as he contemplates hanging up his skates, and looks back on the sport that has meant so much to him.

Sometimes lewd and hilarious, sometimes (though not as often) reflective, Midnight Hockey is a portrait of Canada’s fastest-growing athletic phenomenon: beer-league and oldtimers’ hockey. Gaston spills the beans about the rules of the game (written and unwritten), weird beer, team names, and road-trip sex, illustrated with stories of Gaston’s life in the game, from the outdoor rinks of Winnipeg, through junior hockey, varsity, the professional leagues of Europe, to the late-night games and road-trip shenanigans of beer-league.

For all those thousands of guys who drive to the rink late on a snowy night, who know the euphoria of a beer after the game, who think of how good they used to be, who grow nostalgic over a whiff from an unwashed hockey bag – and for anyone who has had to live with such a person – Midnight Hockey is laugh-out-loud funny, true-to-life, and ultimately thoughtful.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Review

Midnight Hockey is a lovely book, which is to say bawdy, beautifully written, fresh, coarse, hilarious, smart, vulgar, joyful and as rank with the realities of putrid hockey bags, diminishing motor skills and impending death as . . . well, let’s just say it’s a lot like the hockey most of us play, those of us who are willing and able past the age of 35. Sidney Crosby wouldn’t get most of it, but I think his dad would.” —The Globe and Mail

“A wonderful homage to beer-leaguers and old-timers . . . who keep lacing them up long after youth has faded. Gaston . . . brings his artist’s eye to this tender, ribald and very funny memoir about grown men chasing pucks with beers at midnight. . . . Seasoned with reflections on beer, road trip sex, hockey in France and China, old guys dropping gloves, the sublimes tolerance of his wife and team names, both good . . . and bad. . . . This is a glorious book, a superlative valentine to the game for anyone who ever played, plays or wanted to play–and for those who love them.” —Vancouver Sun


"Bill Gaston's book stinks like hockey, as all great hockey books should." 
—Dave Bidini, author of Best Game You Can Name, and Tropic of Hockey

Midnight Hockey is a portrait of a game, an aromatic reminder of why the sport is an icon in Canadian life.” — The Sun Times (Owen Sound)

“The definitive ode to the ‘beer leagues.’ . . . A hilarious autobiographical romp through sweaty dressing rooms and drunken tournament weekends. . . . It’s page-turning, read-aloud-to-anyone-within-earshot material.” —TheTyee.ca


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Bill Gaston is the author of five novels and five collections of short fiction. He teaches at the University of Victoria and is the winner of numerous awards, including the 2003 inaugural Timothy Findley Lifetime Achievement Award and the CBC/Canadian Literary Award. Mount Appetite, one of his collections of short stories, was shortlisted for the 2002 Giller Prize, and another, Gargoyles, was shortlisted for the 2006 Governor General’s Award for Fiction.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Smells like a dressing room June 30 2007
Format:Hardcover
This is a fast, fun read for anyone who has played any adult hockey or anyone who is married to someone who has. It's really authentic, one of those books where you keep recognizing people you've met and remembering stupid things you've done. Are you an overly intense cage wearer reliving a youth you didn't really have, or a wily vet just wanting to be allowed the space to make that special move you don't execute so well anymore? Bill Gaston understands your addiction and will help you and those who love you understand it too. Read the book, the beer will taste better after.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Forced humour should be benched Dec 23 2013
Format:Paperback
I'm a lousy old-time player. There are good moments on the psychology, the love hate of a game which we'd all like to be nearly as good as we think we are. But the humour is poor, laboured and forced. Mild;y funny when not funny at all would be more apt. An okay read
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5.0 out of 5 stars it's true Sept. 7 2013
By MarcS
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a crap player who loves to play. Some folks don't understand the fascination, the fantasy, the grade 6 excitement coming from a 49 year old hack. Bill Gaston, you truly truly get it. And you tell the story like I never could.

MS
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Format:Paperback
This book reminded me of why I stopped playing and what I now miss. It should be required reading for every Canadian male over the age of 50 who used to play, if for no other reason than to allow them to replay their glory days without boring kids and grandkids for the 100th time. Late nights with work looming the next morning, parking lots in -20C January, 38-year-old, overzealous opponents who think they can still 'make it' if a scout happens by and sees them, these are reasons why most of us don't play anymore. The goofiness of almost any collection of guys, the joy of scoring a goal and the locker room pranks are the reasons why most of us miss it. The latter are the true delights of this book, all presented by Gaston in a self-deprecating and insightful way. He is observant and possesses the ability of knowing a good story when he sees one and passes them on in an entertaining way.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hockey Hangover Oct. 12 2008
By Jim Dwyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Beer is what Gaston says is one of the "seductions that make the return to the rink an annual rite." His book, written in a refreshing steady stream of consciousness, is not only a collection of his hockey memories, like playing in France, China, and Japan, but also a venue for venting his thoughts on hockey. Gaston offers colorful takes on everything from nicknames (Gaston answers to "Thrasher" and "Gasser") to teams' names (one of his favorites is Friends of Jesus). Gasser does so in the context of what may be his last season of oldtimers hockey. The defenseman pops in some goals and pops some tops with his pals, and the reader is left with a fantastic hockey hangover.
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny read March 19 2013
By Noreen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
East and funny to relate to. Will recommend it to my teammates. Glad the guys on the bench were talking about it.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read for the baby boomer generation March 12 2013
By Bill Love - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A must read for the old timer hockey players and late night guys. Very funny. Lots of hockey memories come back to you when you are into this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Midnight Hockey - a Guide to the Canadia Beer leagues June 4 2012
By Movie lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hilarious, insightful and just awesome. A must read for any big hockey fan whether or not you are Canadian. One of the best hockey books I have ever read and would happily recommend it to anyone!
5.0 out of 5 stars so true March 23 2012
By Jdub - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you every played oldtimer hockey you will love this book. It's all so true..The injuries, the beers, the weird characters you play with, crazy stuff at tournaments..it's all there.
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