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Wayne Gretzky's Ghost: And Other Tales from a Lifetime in Hockey [Hardcover]

Roy MacGregor
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2011
The gift book of the year for hockey fans: Roy MacGregor has been called "the best hockey writer in the country," and we finally have a collection of his very best hockey writing, revised and updated.

For nearly 40 years Roy MacGregor has brought hockey, our national sport, alive on the page. From tales of the game's greats (Guy Lafleur, Jean Beliveau, Marcel Dionne) to today's stars (Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Daniel and Henrik Sedin), his magazine and newspaper coverage has revealed so much about these and so many other personalities, in moments of promise, victory and defeat. While many of these stories play out on the ice, some of the most compelling take place on the home front (Mario Lemieux's battle against cancer, the many tribulations of Bob Gainey), and MacGregor's prose shines especially when focused on the human side of a sport defined by superhuman feats of speed, aggression and power.

Wayne Gretzky's Ghost will be a personal book, and also a book of challenging ideas: that Wayne Gretzky, through no fault of his own, was the worst thing to happen to hockey; that CBC's Hockey Night in Canada has lost sight of what it is; that goaltending has become a position out of all proportion to what was intended. And who could offer a better perspective on the game than a writer who, playing as a youngster, had to face an onrushing phenom from Parry Sound named Bobby Orr, or who spent a year ghostwriting a national newspaper column for the Great One himself? When it comes to hockey, Roy MacGregor has seen (and in some cases, done) it all.

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Wayne Gretzky's Ghost: And Other Tales from a Lifetime in Hockey + The Great One: The Complete Wayne Gretzky Collection
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Review

NATIONAL BESTSELLER
 
“The Harper government should just go ahead and designate Roy MacGregor a national treasure and be done with it…. He’s the best writer around whose subject happens to be hockey…. MacGregor shows why he’s the best at chronicling Canada’s game.”
Ottawa Citizen
 
“The nation’s most incisive and interesting writer on the game and its hold on us.”
The Globe and Mail

“The closest thing there is to a poet laureate of Canadian hockey.”
The Washington Post
 
“He brings a rare—and trust me, admirable—touch to his work.”
Edmonton Journal
 
“MacGregor has a unique ability to balance objective reportage with a keen, emotional core; he has a good eye for the human interest angle, which intensifies his editorial thrust, rather than distracting from it.”
Ottawa Citizen
 
“Roy MacGregor’s friendly wit, acute observations, sympathy for people, innate curiosity, delightful modesty, and love of country have made him the reader of our national soul and diviner of our foibles, par excellence.”
—Jeffrey Simpson
 
“Peter Gzowski’s gone and both Douglas Coupland and Will Ferguson are a bit too young yet, so that should probably hand the print title of Captain Canada to Roy MacGregor—if he weren’t so deserving of it anyways, for both craft and heart.”
Toronto Star

About the Author

ROY MacGREGOR is the acclaimed and bestselling author of Home Team: Fathers, Sons & Hockey (shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award); A Life in the Bush (winner of the US Rutstrum Award for Best Wilderness Book and the CAA Award for Biography); and Canadians: A Portrait of a Country and Its People, as well as two novels, Canoe Lake and The Last Season, and the popular Screech Owls mystery series for young readers. A regular columnist at The Globe and Mail, MacGregor's journalism has garnered four National Magazine Awards and eight National Newspaper Award nominations. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and was described in the citation as one of Canada's "most gifted storytellers." His most recent book is Northern Light: The Enduring Mystery of Tom Thomson and the Woman Who Loved Him. He lives in Kanata.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best hockey writer in Canada Jan. 23 2012
By Brian Maitland TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
First of all, this book has been out awhile and are you kidding me that I'm the first to review it? Where are all the hockey fans in Canada?

Anyway, Roy MacGregor is one of Canada's best writer on hockey and this is a compilation of his best articles on the sport from various magazines and newspapers he's been published in.

The book is broken up into sections and the best are when he writes on the Legends of the Game and Stars of now. You learn so much that really I wonder why I'm not checking the Ottawa Citizen Web site every week. Who knew "Burnaby" Joe Sakic really is Vancouver Joe and only played his minor hockey in Burnaby? He grew up in Vancouver. I knew Guy Lafleur was a smoker but he used to smoke in the between-period intermissions. He's the first writer I've ever seen explain kids' affection towards Alexander Ovechkin's style of play. We also learn the real family reason why grandpa Jean Beliveau turned down Canada's Governor General posting. You thought Beliveau was the epitome of class already. His actions in this case choosing his family over country are beyond honorable and really the man should be sainted.

MacGregor also understands the game and the beauty of international play better than any sportswriter around. He's the first writer I've read who "got" how good the Nagano '98 Team Canada team was and put the whole thing in Hasekian perspective.

The great thing about the book is there is so much in here that is so current from articles on the Sedins, Ryan Kesler, Drew Doughty, Kris Letang. Marc Savard (pre-concussion), Alexei Kovalev, Canada at the Olympics both men's and women's teams and the World Junior Tournaments including the meltdown vs. Russia in 2010.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best writing on hockey Jan. 23 2012
By Brian Maitland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Roy MacGregor is Canada's best writer on hockey, and this is a compilation of his best articles on the sport from various magazines and newspapers he's been published in.

The book is broken up into sections and the best are when he writes on the Legends of the Game and Stars of now. You learn so much that really I wonder why I'm not checking the Ottawa Citizen Web site every week. Who knew "Burnaby" Joe Sakic really is Vancouver Joe and only played his minor hockey in Burnaby? He grew up in Vancouver. I knew Guy Lafleur was a smoker but he used to smoke in the between-period intermissions. He's the first writer I've ever seen explain kids' affection towards Alexander Ovechkin's style of play. We also learn the real family reason why grandpa Jean Beliveau turned down Canada's Governor General posting. You thought Beliveau was the epitome of class already. His actions in this case choosing his family over country are beyond honorable and really the man should be sainted.

MacGregor also understands the game and the beauty of international play better than any sportswriter around. He's the first writer I've read who "got" how good the Nagano '98 Team Canada team was and put the whole thing in Hasekian perspective.

The great thing about the book is there is so much in here that is so current from articles on the Sedins, Ryan Kesler, Drew Doughty, Kris Letang. Marc Savard (pre-concussion), Alexei Kovalev, Canada at the Olympics both men's and women's teams and the World Junior Tournaments including the meltdown vs. Russia in 2010.

Finally, the piece de resistance is his criticism of the way Hockey Night in Canada seems stuck in the past. The funny thing I think MacGregor does not touch on is, being out here in the West, I don't really know anyone who sees HNIC as must-see TV ever since the advent of TSN and Sportsnet carrying games-a-go-go. After all who really wants to watch the Make Beliefs every Saturday when you get Blackhawks, Red Wings, Flyers, Pens, Caps, Rangers, what have you all week long. Let alone once you get the NHL Centre Ice package, HNIC becomes totally irrelevant.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written stories. Great book to keep beside your bed. May 12 2013
By Raymond IJzermans - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Beautifully written stories. Great book to keep beside your bed. This is the kind of book you keep picking up just to read a story. They are so well written they keep entertaining. Even for a person whose native language is not english. This book is still pretty easy to read.
Would almost say....a must read for every hockey fan!
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best and most detalied books i've ever read July 22 2012
By annonymus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I absolutely loved this book and I would recommend this to hockey or sports fan for that matter. the writing is superb and the detail that was put into this is so spot on that if your a fan of this guys writing you would not be disappointed. I love how the characters are portrayed by him are so true to how they actually spot on with what they are in real life. this is a fictional story but all of the numbers and facts are spot on. totally worth reading for any old school hockey fans or sport fans in general.
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