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Ken Dryden and Roy MacGregor

Toronto, McClelland & Stewart, 1989. 283pp, paper, $16.95
ISBN 0-7710-2871-7. CIP

Grades 7 and up/Ages 12 and up
Reviewed by Ed Somerville.

Volume 19 Number 3
1991 May

Ken Dryden, writer, lawyer and former all-star NHL goal tender, provides a thoughtful examination of hockey as a national institution that might set the standard by which other sports literature will be judged. Dryden has distinguished himself as a writer previously with his 1983 bestseller The Game. He co-authors this book with sports columnist Roy MacGregor.

Hockey or sports fan readers may be familiar with the nature of this book, having seen the CBC television series of the same name. The book, like the TV series, is divided into six parts. It deals with topics such as the effects of hockey on Canadian small towns, especially in rural Canada. In doing so, it provides a unique view - or social history - of our country. Also covered are the effects of hockey on a twelve-year-old player's life and his family, the dollar and sense (excuse the pun) of hockey business, and hockey in the Soviet Union, comparing the latter to the situation in Canada. The game and its personalities at the professional level are not ignored, as a chapter covers the action in a Montreal-Edmonton hockey game.

The book is profusely illustrated with over one hundred full-colour photo­graphs and a few in black and white. In terms of readability, the text could be handled by junior high school students. Its contents and approach would likely make it more appealing to senior students and general audiences.

Whether through the metaphor of hockey Home Game makes us better able to understand what it means to be Canadian might be open to some debate. This book remains an excellent example of what sports literature can be. I recommend it highly for all public and school libraries. It is likely to be in high demand and widely read.

Ed Somerville, Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, Red Deer, Alta.
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