The Lost Dream: The Story Of Mike Danton David Frost And A Broken Canadian Family Hardcover – Sep 20 2011
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“Riveting, stunning…. A powerful cautionary tale.” - Roy MacGregor, The Globe and Mail
“A guaranteed page-turner.” - Leader-Post (Regina)
“Chilling.” - Maclean’s
“A very well researched and disturbing read from cover to cover.” - TheScore.com (A Best in Books 2011 selection
“Profoundly disturbing…. The Lost Dream … [is] a cautionary tale for parents obsessed with making their boys hockey stars, and a serious indictment of hockey culture in general.” - NOW Magazine
About the Author
STEVE SIMMONS is one of Canada’s best known and most provocative sports columnists. His column appears regularly in the Toronto Sun and other Sun Media and QMI publications. His signature Sunday notes column has been called “the most read page in Canadian journalism.” Author of the bestselling Lanny and contributor to eight other books, Simmons appears regularly on TSN The Reporters with Dave Hodge and That’s Hockey 2Nite on TSN2. A minor-hockey enthusiast and longtime coach, Simmons lives outside Toronto with his wife, Sheila, and sons, Jeffrey and Michael.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
And with that, went the small chance of stopping the events relayed in the book.
There are plenty of victims in the book. Simmons does a good job of identifying Tom Jefferson as possibly the only one who survives inspection, dignity intact. And he's a self-confessed angry man who plays the game of "What If?" and "Might'a Been," wondering how his idol, his older brother Mike, could give up the family name, participate in a hazing/torture of him and eventually get arrested in a murder for hire plot that ended his NHL career ... and still be taped on phone calls from prison telling the man he wanted killed, Frost, that he loved him.
The elder Jeffersons admit to all of their failings, which they share with many, many parents of talented young athletes. They, Steve more than Sue, could have been any of hundreds of parents I encountered in a decade and a half of sports writing. Was there too much drinking? Yes. It happens. Was there too much willingness to turn over their first-born to a coach with the plan to make their boy a professional star? Yes. To their eternal damnation. Because the man they chose was a champion of the separate and divide philosophy of reaching his goals. He turned Mike and several others into a group that moved from team to team and played by his rules. Even when the group was drafted into the Major Junior A hockey ranks, it took almost no time for the players to act up and get traded away, to their communally agreed-on team. And even from there, to yet another team. Again as a group. For Frost, rules meant nothing. Laws meant nothing.
Frost has survived being banned in multiple leagues. Has beat legal action. Had destroyed families where ever he has gone. He is, by my definition, one of the worst things that could happen to any family. And one of his own tried TWICE to have him killed. If evil walks the earth, I have a tough time believing it doesn't act like Frost.
Having all of this baggage reading a book doesn't make for the most joyous of reads. I kept worrying that eventually Simmons would blame the loathsome Frost for everything and declare all members of the Jefferson family victims, even Mike. I was wrong. Simmons wraps up the story with his personal assessment of the cruelties that Mike Danton has visited on his parents. He might very well be a non-dangerous member of society, having done his prison time and gotten a university degree in psychology. But he never will be able to explain away the vile name-calling and cruel communications he had with his mother. Or lack of communications with his much put-upon brother. He cannot escape what he has done to them. He's contemptible.
Frost still lurks out there. This book should be mandatory reading for any hockey parent with a boy (or girl) starting out on their way. That's why this book is worth five stars. It is a public service announcement, a warning about what abdicating your parenting responsibilities can result in. That the boogeyman sometimes look like normal men with melton jackets.
If you have a child you have dreams for, whatever the activity, please read this book.
I must admit I knew most of the stuff in this book from reading the articles Simmons wrote over the years. To be honest he had to stretch things out to make a whole book as he got no input from the key people in the story, Mike Danton and David Frost. The whole thing is depressing. It paints Frost as as essentiallly a sociopath who not only wanted to control Danton to help him be a better player but also distance him completely from his family. This he has succeeded in and has ruined the lives of Danton and his parents in the process. Frost is clearly a sick person but Simmons acknowledges that he did help Danton and others to be quality hockey players. However he did not help them to be quality human beings.