An enduring classic, Ken Dryden's The Game
has lost none of its luster since its original publication in 1983, and remains the one book every hockey fan must know. Imagine writing that combines the locker-room perspectives of Ball Four
and the philosophical musings of both
Bill and William James and you have some idea of the scope of The Game
. At the height of his Hall of Fame career, goalie Dryden took a year off from the Montreal Canadiens to article for a law firm, and the sabbatical deepened his appreciation for hockey. The Game
is funny, acutely observed, and full of insight into human nature and the importance of sport in today's society. Dryden's portraits of his teammates are precise and unforgettable. Catching the balance between banter and seriousness, Dryden describes Scotty Bowman's pep talks; Serge Savard motivating teammates; the river skater Lafleur, in uniform hours early, reappearing and startling everyone into focus with a whack of his stick on the table; Larry Robinson sensing the wrong atmosphere before a game against a weak opponent and resetting the stakes with the unanswerable remark, "Gotta play it--might as well win it."
Dryden also offers the best analysis anywhere of the contentious and eternally unresolved debate on violence in sport. Drawing on well-documented research he disproves the "violence as release" metaphor favored by hockey traditionalists, showing that violence is in fact a learned response and that deliberate abuse of the rules and constant retaliation only leads to more of the same, until the game deteriorates and the sport loses its best qualities. This backstage look at one of hockey's greatest teams remains one of the best books ever published on any sport. --David Gowdey
"The sports book of the year, or maybe the decade, or maybe the century."
—The Globe and Mail
"A work of art that defines and represents our game."
"[Dryden] has written a very special book, possibly the best [hockey book] I have ever read. His affectionate yet realistic portrait of the players is unrivalled in hockey writing."
The Game has lost none of its luster since its original publication in 1983, and remains the one book every hockey fan must know….This backstage look at one of hockey’s greatest teams remains one of the best books ever published on any sport."
"An enduring classic, Ken Dryden's The Game has lost none of its luster since its original publication in 1983, and remains the one book every hockey fan must know...This backstage look at one of the best books ever published on any sport."
Sports Illustrated: One of "The Top 100 Best Sports Books of All Time" (number nine).
· Top hockey book.
· Top Canadian sports book.
· Top book written solely by an athlete.
University of Toronto Review: One of "The Top 100 English-Canadian Books of the 20th Century."
Named by Sports Illustrated in 2002 as one of the Top Ten in "The Top 100 Best Sports Books of All Time." It was the number-one hockey book on the list.
#9: "Hall of Fame goalie Ken Dryden was always different. A Cornell grad, he led Montreal to six Stanley Cups, then at 26 sat out a year to prepare for the bar exam. His book is different too: a well-crafted account of his career combined with a meditation on hockey’s special place in Canadian culture."
"The best hockey book ever written."
—Quill & Quire
"If you haven’t seen hockey through Dryden’s eyes, you should."
—The Toronto Sun
"A [hockey] book so rare that there is actually nothing to compare it to."
"A first-rate discussion of hockey by one of hockey’s first-rate players and first-rate minds….Essential reading for anyone serious about hockey as an important part of Canadian life."
"The Game is a beautifully written, insightful, perceptive, revealing look at hockey."
"A book about Ken Dryden, about Quebec, about the rest of Canada, and most of all, a loving book about a special sport."
—New York Times
"We always wondered what he was thinking about whenever the play stopped and he struck his characteristic pose resting his chin on his goal stick. Now we know. He was composing one of the best hockey books ever written….There is a ‘you are there’ quality to the prose as the author-goalie lets you see everything through his eyes, spicing his vivid descriptions with personal reflections and observations….The Game succeeds both as an inside look at hockey and a portrait of an articulate athlete who knew when to quit."
—Winnipeg Free Press
"The Game is a brilliant adventure into ourselves. It makes all other books about the sport look preliminary."
"The best Canadian sports book in years."
"An incredible memoir, a poetic journey through the life of Les Canadiens. It rises above being just a book about hockey. It’s a book about people, the fragile, delicate moments on the edge of fame and glory, failure and disillusionment. Dryden’s The Game is the complete hockey book."
"As Dryden reminisces, we are presented with a portrait, in broad and vivid strokes, of the players who comprised the best team in professional hockey….All the ingredients of a winner."
"No one has ever delivered an account of our national sport as deep as this. On a scale of 1 to 10, give the guy his sweater number—29."