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Thunder and Lightning: A No-B.S. Hockey Memoir Mass Market Paperback – Oct 19 2004

6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart; 1 edition (Oct. 19 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 077103086X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771030864
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #52,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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Legendary NHL bruiser and loudmouth Phil Esposito's Thunder and Lightning: A No-B.S. Hockey Memoir reads like a transcript from a classic barstool bull session. And that's a good thing. Espo is in the Hockey Hall of Fame, he's an Order of Canada inductee--and a Canada Post stamp-boy, to boot. Yet he reveres no sacred cows, including himself, in these particular pages. While insight into his on-ice travails and numerous scoring records is scant, there is plenty of rumble and flash in behind-the-scenes glimpses of Espo's life and times with the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Team Canada, and post-playing days. Alas, "If I've offended anyone, tough shit. I'm not sorry."

The off-ice follies--drinking is usually involved--runs the gamut from womanizing to fork stabbings to a near-fatal water fight. Quite uncouth at times, the memoir is mostly a rollicking ramble that amuses with bluntness and grandstanding: former NHL exec and convict Alan Eagleson as "a crook and a liar" and the late ABC sports commentator Howard Cosell as "a sleazy old geezer." But there are also words from the heart: "Nothing hurt me more than having founded the [Tampa Bay] Lightning and having the fat cats with more clout, power, and money take my team away from me." Somewhat sadly, that's what ultimately resonates: the spectre of Espo as yet another sporting great who stays too long and is in the end mentally, if not physically, devoured by the game he "loved more than anything else." --Sigcino Moyo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Colourful characters and crazy capers spill out of the pages – totally uncensored. The drinking, the skirt chasing and profanity remain.”
–Canadian Press (Vancouver Province, Kingston Whig-Standard, Ottawa Sun, Windsor Star, and more)

“Thunder and Lightning, written with sports author Peter Golenbock, better portrays Esposito’s warts and his lust for life, revealing an R-rated, quick-witted, fiercely loyal competitor, a longshoreman on skates who packed his lunch pail with an unquenchable will to win.

“Esposito’s candour and storytelling are terrific.…”
–Montreal Gazette, October 11, 2003

“Just like Esposito, the book is opinionated and to the point. This is the way he sees it and if that offends you, then too bad.”
–The Windsor Star, November 11, 2003

“Funny and rollicking. Honest.”
Toronto Star, October 5, 2003

“Above all else, Espo is a talker. That makes for a good read.

“This is just a bunch of stories strung together that tell the story of a famous life – stories you’d love to sit around and listen to and laugh to, along with a cigar, a beverage, and big ol’ Espo himself.”
Edmonton Sun, October 29, 2003

“Its saltiness makes this one of the more honest sporting memoirs.”
–Victoria Times-Colonist, December 14, 2003

“Esposito, noted for the intensity of his emotions as well as his ability to score from the slot, delivers what publishers like to call a ‘rollicking’ good read.”
Toronto Star, November 20, 2003

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Feb. 1 2005
Format: Hardcover
I went out and purchased this book simply because I knew Esposito has never been one to shy away from speaking his mind. Well, as I assumed, he speaked his mind and more in this memoir. He talks about everything from his childhood growing up, to the Canada/Russia '72 series. I had a good laugh over some of the stories he had shared and also learned a few things. A good portion of the book is his hockey career, but once he tells of him retiring and moving on to start up the Tampa Bay Lightning franchise, I found the book a little dull. The funny stories faded and it became more of ranting and complaining than anything. It's probably why I'm giving this book four stars. Nevertheless, it's definetly worth a read and any hockey fan should open it up.
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By Brian Maitland TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 6 2005
Format: Hardcover
It's mostly a bunch of anecdotes thrown together to make a book esp. on Phil's playing days. Where it gets better and reads more like a book is from Phil's management days with the NY Rangers and TB Lightning. I just love the whole behind-the-scenes stuff on how dumb owners are in hockey. The NYR turning down getting Gretzky in his prime because their building was full so they "didn't need #99." Or trades often made by owners with GMs finding out after the fact--who knew this went on?
The whole mystery of the J-owners in Tampa is revealed and shows how Phil really is one hell of a dealmaker in getting hockey started there (and one Stanley Cup matter what you think of hockey in the Deep South...that team is a success now on and off the ice).
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By Bev Mortimer on March 30 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
A real fun read. Honest. Have shared this book with other. Glad he is Canadian. Shows not everyone has things handed to them.
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